Social Services problem – They could have saved him
The murder of Liam Fee, an innocent 2 year old boy in Fife, Scotland by his own Mother and her partner has once again highlighted a major Social Services problem.
On Tuesday his Mother Rachel Fee and her civil partner Nyomi were found guilty of the systematic beating and murder and will be sentenced on 6th July when it should be confirmed that a life sentence in prison is to be served. In addition to the murder of Liam, they had previously subjected 2 other young boys to a series of psychological and physical abuse over an extended period of two year, which included forcing one of the boys to sleep in a cage and another to sleep in a room infested with rats and snakes which the women had said ate little boys.
The Social services had been alerted on more than one occasion but had failed to act on the information given. Even the nursery where Liam attended had alerted social services as they were worried about the changes they saw in Liam and concerns were raised about his loss in weight and a number of unexplained injuries he had.
A Fife senior social worker admitted to the court that at one point Liam “fell off their radar”. and that this was inexcusable. The Fife Child Protection Committee is to carry out a significant case review.
Elaine Torrance, the president of Social Work Scotland, said such cases were “exceptional”. “Liam’s death is an absolute tragedy and the level of cruelty that Liam experienced was deeply shocking,” she said. “What makes it worse is that the abuse was carried out by the very people Liam should have been able to trust the most: his mum and his step-mum.”
The murder of Liam Fee is maybe exceptional but the failures of the Social Services in acting upon reports of child abuse before anything like this happens are becoming more prevalent. As parents we should always be aware of the children in our neighbourhoods and do our best to ensure that they are safe and well cared for.
We should never be afraid to call someone if we have any concerns, It is better to have 100 false alarms than 1 fatality. Have you ever had a Social Services problem? Never take No for an answer. life is too precious. The NSPCC has published a guide for everyone who may have some concerns about child welfare, this can be found here www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/safeguarding