Sharon Shoesmith

I’ve been sitting on my hands (or mouth!) since hearing that Sharon Shoesmith, the former Head of Children’s Services at Haringey Council  has lost her claim that her dismissal was  unlawful.  It wasn’t.  Her dismissal is now declared to be lawful.

The case of Baby Peter saddened and distressed most people with a caring heart, even though we may not have been connected directly to Baby Peter and/or his family circumstances.  It sure did hit me with a thump.  Not because I have had anything to do with Children’s Services, but I have the equivalent of Baby P in my own life.  She could be called Grannie E, or Grannie K, or even Auntie D, or Auntie W.  Or it could even have been Grandpa B,  Uncle H, or Uncle B.    So I’ll plump for …. Auntie W, as the equivalent in my own life.

I read that Sharon Shoesmith is suffering ‘post traumatic stress disorder’.  And now I read that she is perhaps in line for £1.5m compensation because she ‘may not have had a fair chance to put her case’ forward.

I wonder whether anyone has ever considered the post-traumatic stress disorder that many of us are also suffering as a direct result of neglect in care.  Neglect of our own relatives in care.  Our relatives are more likely to have been far older than Baby Peter, and they were all placed into the hands of the caring care services, charged with caring.

Where do we all go to put our case forward, fairly and honestly and decently?  Not to achieve anything like a £1.5m payout, but just so as to achieve recognition and justice for those we cared about, who were neglected by the caring care services.  If only so as to ensure that it never happens to another Auntie W,

Where does my Auntie W feature in this caring world of ours?  Auntie W was also once a smiling, cheeky, chirpy little baby.  She grew and grew and grew.  She provided for herself and for others, doing all that was required of her. She was solidly reliable.  Which is more than could be said for the care service that came her way, and that eventually led to her death.

I’ll return another day to the story of Auntie W.

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Filed under liability, Local Authority, personal responsibility, politics, responsibility, social work

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