Cumbria

Cumbrian abuse social worker 'unqualified'

Victim of abuse
Image caption The worker failed to examine underneath the girl's clothes

A social worker who missed signs of abuse against a three-year-old Cumbrian girl was "unqualified" for the job.

A Serious Case Review has ruled the worker "lacked experience".

The child suffered nearly 200 scars at the hands of her father who was jailed indefinitely in 2009 for inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent.

The review highlighted 15 recommendations to improve services. The Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) said all have been implemented.

Social services in Cumbria acted after an anonymous tip-off but the report states the worker believed the child's mother claims that the caller was a "malicious racist".

It is understood the father scratched and pinched the youngster's body from the age of eight months old.

He was jailed in February last year and must serve a minimum of five years before he can be considered for parole.

'Significant harm'

The trial heard the child's mother covered up the abuse by not seeking medical intervention for the injuries and ensuring her daughter was always fully dressed in public.

She was jailed at Carlisle Crown Court for two-and-a-half years after pleading guilty to cruelty.

The report found the social worker failed to examine underneath the girl's clothes.

It also pointed out issues around the lack of experience and appropriate qualifications of the worker who was given the case.

It added that in cases where a child is reported to be suffering "significant harm", initial assessments must be carried out by a qualified and experienced social worker.

The report made 15 recommendations for the board and agencies involved.

In a statement, an LSCB spokesperson said: "Ensuring our children are safe and protected from harm is our absolute priority and we will continue to work with all agencies to ensure we do the best we can for children at risk."

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