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Sharon Shoesmith 07 Feb 2009
Sharon Shoesmith and Jenni in the Woman's Hour studio
The former Director of Children’s Services on Baby P and child protection

In 2005, Sharon Shoesmith was appointed the Director of Children’s Services at Haringey Council, the London borough where Victoria Climbie was tortured to death by her great aunt and boyfriend nearly nine years ago. In the same London Borough, and under her watch, another tragedy occurred last year. A seventeen month old child known as ‘Baby P’ died on the 3rd August 2007 from severe injuries, which were inflicted while he was in the care of his mother, partner and lodger. In November last year, two men were found guilty of causing or allowing the death of the child. The mother had already pleaded guilty to the same charge. His tragic death shocked the nation, when it was revealed that the child had been seen over sixty times by authorities including social workers, health workers and the police and was also subject to a multi agency child protection plan, following concerns that he had been abused and neglected. He was still subject to the plan when he died. Jenni talks to her about the case, her department’s failings, her refusal to resign and how she has responded to the vilification.
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