Today [30th Dec 2016] we have just been treated to a long, uncritical, bordering on indulgent interview with Sharon Shoesmith – the former head of Children’s Services in Haringey – on BBC Radio 4 PM programme. She was in charge at the time of the “Baby P” case.
During the interview Shoesmith was treated as if she was a social worker (she wasn’t) and an expert on child abuse (at the time it was far from evident she knew anything about child abuse).
The interview concentrated almost entirely on what had happened to Shoesmith personally and on her reactions. There were no questions about her personal responsibility for the service she led nor any exploration of the context – the merger of education and children’s social services which later proved to be problematic nationally.
Here is what I wrote about this back in Feb 2009. I hope it throws a bit more light than the PM interview did. Continue reading