Review Into Toddler’s Death Reveals Social Services Failings

Bristol Safeguarding Children Board Outline 'Missed Opportunities'


Serious concerns have been raised about the care provided by social services and other agencies to toddler Jayden-Lee Green, who was killed by an overdose of methadone administered by his drug addict parents in August 2011.

Following a three-week trial at Bristol Crown Court in June this year, the child’s father Jamie Green was sentenced to nine years for manslaughter and for causing cruelty to a child. His mother Sonia Britton was also convicted of causing cruelty to a child and was sentenced to four years imprisonment.

Now, a serious case review carried out by the Bristol Safeguarding Children Board has claimed there were more than 50 “missed opportunities” to do something for Jayden-Lee before he overdosed on the heroin substitute.

While signs of physical abuse, the parents’ lack of engagement with agencies and increased avoidance and dishonesty were recorded by specialists, the report suggested that the child’s parents were not sufficiently challenged about them.

The 86-page report added that “a better planned and authoritative approach to the family” could have prevented the toddler’s death.

Tom Fletcher, a solicitor at Irwin Mitchell, specialises in providing legal support to victims of child abuse and neglect, helping them to secure answers and vital support over the physical and psychological trauma they have endured.

Commenting on the findings, he said: “The most significant finding here is that there were clear indications this child should have been removed from the care of his parents earlier, but the professionals in a position of responsibility to care for him did not take the proper safeguarding action to ensure that he was protected.

“This raises a very serious question here about the delay in taking protective action and also about the communication between the various agencies involved.

“We hope that the findings of this serious case review can be carefully examined and considered by social care authorities, with a view to ensuring that important lessons can be learned from this terrible incident.

“The release of this report must be the catalyst for improvements to care standards which ensure that awful cases of this kind become a thing of the past.”