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Baby P: In His Mother's Words - give us your thoughts

Panorama reveals the controversial video-taped interview with the mother of Baby P and asks whether crucial warning signs were missed.

Tracey Connelly tells clear lies in the training interview with a senior social worker. But she also gives some vital clues about what was going on in her son Peter's life.

Panorama investigates whether these clues were adequately followed up, and examines the ground-breaking research into child protection that is now a part of Baby P's legacy.

If you or someone you know is affected by the issues raised in Baby P: In His Mother's Words there is help available.

The organisations listed on this page have information on dealing with child bereavement.

Please use the Panorama blog to leave your comments on this programme.


  • Comment number 1.

    We welcome your thoughts on Baby P: In His Mother's Words. Please use this forum to comment.

  • Comment number 2.

    its so heartbreaking, especially when you hear the statistics,on panorama it was mentioned that there are vital clues to recognize, such as withdrawn, angry, frustrated and behind in developments, i know someone who has a young child, with three of these signs, and i am concerned, so i spoke to a health visitor and nothing has been said or done, any advice please, as this could be vital to that little child thankyoui

  • Comment number 3.

    It strikes me from watching the programme how little the system has changed in the last 20 years. I spent my entire childhood in residential care. I spent 1 year living with my alcohol mother who was under the supervision of social services. Despite the treatment I experienced at the hands of my mother over a 12 month period, it was only when the situation deteriorated beyond comprehension that social services intervened and took me into care. Seems as though social workers are still as gullible as ever. My Mother knew what to say, how to react and how to control social work professionals. Baby P never stood a chance and nor did I when I was living with my Mother - although unlike Baby P I escaped with my life.

    Forget about all the solution based therapies and all the rest of it - they only add to the confusion. At one end of the scale the child protection system is inadequate and completely out of synch with the needs of vulnerable children, and at the other end the care system is a mess and failing. Yet, no one ever challenges the thinking of the politicians, policy makers or the social work professionals which make up the rules. Perhaps it is the children who have been failed and the children who are at the receiving end of these services that need to stand up and tell it how it is - how the system failed them, what lessons can be learned and how child protection and the care system can work better for the children caught up in the middle of it.

    It shouldnt take a child to die for policy makers and social service professions to see how inadequate our child protection system really is. I could have told you that 20 years ago, and I am sure thousands of other people could do the same.

  • Comment number 4.

    There are a lot of good Social Workers out there that try their best. Unfortunately there is the other side when Social Workers and other health care professionals just tick boxes and put their own values and lifestyles on parents.Instead of listening to the parents and see the situation they react on assumptions.There are cases when parents are wrongfully accused of neglecting their children because of a single incident and are given no chance to explain the situation. Parents feel helpless because they are left without any support and legal advice to protect them from Social Services. This can end in harming the child instead of protecting it.

  • Comment number 5.

    Maria Colwell. 1973. This was the first time I remember reading about horrific treatment meted out to a small child which resulted in her death. Figures indicate that approximately two children per week die at the hands of their carers - and that this has not changed since Victorian times - and these figures do not reflect the number of children being abused and neglected who nevertheless survive (after a fashion). According to the programme if bad parenting of a baby does not change within six months there is little chance of it changing at all and by the time the child is three it will already be damaged - or worse. It seems to me that there are two problems - universal reluctance to believe that a mother is not capable of nurturing her baby (reflected in the behaviour or health professionals, teachers, social workers and the legal system which continues to "give the benefit of the doubt" to carers over prolonged periods) and the woeful lack of safe environments (fosterers, care homes, boarding schools) where infants and children could be placed when removed from their homes. A colossal amount of money is currently spent on support services for families. If this support fails to benefit children those damaged children then become the "problem children" whose lack of education and anti-social behaviour incur further costs ..... and on it goes. Supporting a disturbed teenager in a care home is more expensive than sending a child to an elite boarding school - and the chances of a child in care benefitting from an education are remote because they are by then so damaged that education is almost impossible. If funds were instead used to build and staff facilities for babies and children (including nurseries and schools) we MAY break the cycle of abused children becoming abusive parents. But first we have to alter our rose-coloured view of the sanctity of the mother-child relationship and concentrate on investing in the child first and foremost. I can't see it happening.

  • Comment number 6.

    I was shocked and appalled at what I witnessed regarding the 'training programme' with the mother of Baby Peter. One thought struck me if this was a training programme where was Baby Peter? Why was all the concentration on the mother when it was the interests of the child which were the most paramount? We need to go back to basics when dealing with front line personnel who actually have to deal with people like little Peters mother. You keep the relationship with these types of manipulative people 100% professional; a firm but fair approach ensuring that the reason for you doing the job is for the welfare of the child. Any suspicion and you dig deeper. Manipulators laugh at people who attempt to be their friends in the hope they will change. You let them know you mean business and until you are satisfied the child is well cared for you wont let go. Furthermore; when you enter a home and it is in a disgusting state that surely should ring alarm bells. Perhaps its a naive way of thinking and each situation should be judged on its merit. At the end of the day it is the CHILDS welfare which is important. The images of the little boy still haunts you because you know what he will suffer later on in his tragic little life. Bring back those wonderful down to earth people who showed immense common sense, compassion, but a streetwise understanding of human nature!

  • Comment number 7.

    It happened at "home" so was that of victoria; destiny or not, our human right laws did not discomfort the alledged matters.

  • Comment number 8.

    Why oh why do the BBC insist on churning out yet another Baby P program that tells us nothing new???
    Peter was killed by his mother, her boyfriend and his brother- not by anybody from any of the statutory agencies.
    The senior social worker they attack in this last program, Sue Gilmour is the very same person the BBC used for a Nigel Slater program Simple Suppers series 1. Where she and her family have Nigel slater visit their huge allotment and he cooks up a soup using their vegetables.

    I suspect the motivation for these programs, which are produced in close consultation with the defendants legal teams is to assist the defence for their appeals against conviction.

    BBC hang your heads in shame.

  • Comment number 9.

    Baby P's parents are victims of abuse themselves. If someone had intervened for them none of it would have happened to baby P. They would have developed into fully functioning adults. But it isn't too late to do something to help them to become normal. Just punishing and punishing criminals I don't see how that can work.

  • Comment number 10.

    Before watching this documentary I had previously read the book. What was inflicted upon this little boy is beyond comprehension. I know alot of families who have been failed by the system or their families and are no where near as disfunctional as these three responsible for this baby's death. You cannot even call them animals as animals do not even act this way unless raised to by humans so what does that tell you about society?
    As for them being rehabilitated I do not think they, especially the brothers who caused this, can ever be and should not be allowed to be intergrated back into society. They should definately not be given a change of identity if they ever are released.

    The welfare workers should be given more rights to be able to remove a child at risk if they feel it is neccassary because I feel for some their hands were tied, tragically. As for interviewing his mother as part of her diploma I know proffessionally that that was unethical even is if it was allowed she still should have questioned her on this man. If she did delegated her responsibility for looking into this man she should have followed up to make sure her request was carried out. That is something you are learnt in any proffession if you have to delagate you delagate then follow up.
    Yes Baby Peters mother, boyfriend and his brother caused the demise Of this little boy but The proffessionals were responsible for it.

  • Comment number 11.

    You say at the end of your post that the professionals were responsible for the demise of Baby P. This implies a kind of guilt of the professional people who handled the case. It said in the press that Jason Owen had an IQ of 60 which is retarded. Tracey Connelly had "just managed to pass a handful of GCSEs". The thing is, you have to take into account their lack of intelligence and the lack of power in their lives. They are not on the same level as someone who sails through the education system learning new things easily and gaining a string of qualifications which will lead them into a job. Also if they were released into Society without a change of identity they would be killed. The media never stop. They are like a pack of wolves themselves.

  • Comment number 12.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 13.

    The whole of society failed & still fails especially when you consider last night's Panorama. Until we all demand these services are revised & put right in practice & caring, then there will unfortunately be some more toddlers who sadly suffer & die like Baby P.


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