Education & Family

Child abuse reports are to be published

Baby Peter Connelly
Image caption The reviews into cases including Baby Peter are to be published in full

Full reports of official investigations into recent notorious cases of crimes against children are to be published, ministers have confirmed.

Children's Minister Tim Loughton said the serious case reviews into the deaths of Baby Peter and Khyra Ishaq would be released in full.

The cases of the Edlington brothers and Shannon Matthews would also be published, Mr Loughton confirmed.

Publication will ensure the children involved remained anonymous, he said.

'Restore confidence'

In an interview with Children and Young People Now, Mr Loughton said: "When you read some of these reviews it becomes clear that a lot of fault can be laid at the door of other agencies.

"Yet it is always social workers who take the brunt of the criticism.

"Actually, this is a way of helping to restore some of the lost confidence in social workers."

A spokesperson for the Department for Education said there was no timeline at present as to when these case reviews will published.

In the run up to the election, both the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats had said they would publish serious case reviews in full and this commitment was restated in the coalition agreement.

They are now set to retrospectively publish reviews from high-profile cases.

Baby Peter, from Haringey in London, died at the age of 17 months at the hands of his mother, her boyfriend and their lodger.

He had had 60 contacts with the authorities over eight months.

Khyra Ishaq died in May 2008 after getting an infection following months of starvation at her home in Handsworth, Birmingham.

It emerged that Birmingham City Council was aware of concerns about the child's welfare almost five months before her death.

Schoolgirl Shannon Matthews was kidnapped and hidden by her own mother Karen Matthews in an attempt to claim thousands of pounds in reward money in February 2008.

Karen Matthews was jailed for her part in the kidnapping, along with her former partner's uncle, Michael Donovan.

And in January, two brothers were jailed for an "appalling and terrible" attack on two boys, then aged nine and 11, in Edlington, near Doncaster in South Yorkshire.

The case provoked widespread criticism of agencies involved with the family.

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