19th January 2017

Anne Longfield comments on the serious case review into Poppy Widdison’s death

Commenting on the serious case review into Poppy Widdison’s death, Children’s Commissioner Anne Longfield said:

“This very sad story shows tragic failures to protect Poppy over her 4 short years. The serious case review into Poppy’s death described the presence of multiple risk factors including drug addiction, domestic violence and the failure to access prenatal care, all of which should have led professionals to draw up a child protection plan for this vulnerable baby. It noted that they subsequently missed a series of opportunities to intervene to protect Poppy.

“An Ofsted social services inspection a year before Poppy’s death highlighted low ratios of Child Protection Plans to open cases in this area, and a tendency to manage high thresholds of risk under Child in Need procedures. Tragically, failure to apply appropriate thresholds for intervention meant that Poppy was left unprotected from cruelty and ultimate death. Over the next year I shall be investigating the variable application of child protection thresholds around the country and making recommendations.”

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