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Birmingham social services criticised.

Byline: Birmingham's child protection system is "not fit for purpose", according to a damning new report.

Summary: Birmingham's child protection system is "not fit for purpose", according to a damning new report.

Birmingham's child protection system is "not fit for purpose", according to a damning new report.

An inquiry into social services in Britain's second city was commissioned after inspectors found weaknesses in care for at-risk children last December.

At least eight children known to social workers have died in Birmingham in the past four years, including seven-year-old Khyra Ishaq, from Handsworth, who was allegedly starved to death.

Her mother and stepfather, who have denied killing her, are due to stand trial for her murder next year.

A report by a Birmingham City Council scrutiny committee found that a lack of senior management was a "major risk" and a shortage of experienced staff continued to "hamper progress towards improvement".

Findings from an external audit revealed that overall the quality of case files for children in care was not adequate.

Members of the inquiry committee visited all the council's main social care establishments and were "shocked and dismayed" at the standard of accommodation at some sites.

The report concluded that the current model of service delivery "is patently not working", adding that urgent investment was needed to address immediate and short-term issues.

Independent Television News Limited 2009. All rights reserved.

Independent Television News Limited 2009. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Independent Television News Limited (ITN)
Date:Oct 8, 2009
Words:245
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