A serious case review (SCR) has found that a ten week old baby, who was born prematurely, died after his parents and sister were evicted from social housing following the withdrawal of tenancy support.
Baby John died on the night the family were forced from their home in Warwickshire in September 2013.
He died during the night while sharing his grandparents’ sofa with one of his parents, Warwickshire Safeguarding Children Board (WSCB) said.
A serious case review into the incident found the eviction had taken place after the social housing agency had withdrawn the family’s tenancy support.
The damning report also ruled a wide range of organizations and state agencies “could have done more” to help the family handle the eviction.
Agency responses were sometimes “superficial and do not always get to the heart of what the issues are, and therefore do not fully address risk,” the report said.
It said the mother’s ongoing recovery from a caesarean section had not been sufficiently taken into account, nor were the needs of her younger daughter who suffered from a developmental delay.
The report’s independent author Joanna Nicolas said there was some confusion among agencies who assessed the child.
“The agencies working with this family had not fully understood the issues at the heart of the case, and could have done more to mitigate the impact of the family’s eviction.
“The report also found that there was confusion about the extent of the lead professional’s role during the child’s assessment period.”
WSCB chair David Peplow said agencies could learn “important” lessons from the case.
“This is a deeply saddening case and on behalf of the board we express our heartfelt sympathies to the family for the loss of their child.
“A number of agencies were in contact with the family and, although child protection issues were not a causative factor in John’s death, we feel that there is important learning for all agencies from this case,” he added.
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