Even by the usual standards this one is shocking. That a Social Services Safeguarding Review can still shock gives us just how bad this one is.
As per the Guardian there were 60+ calls to social services about this boy, including ones which described serious abuse. Still he was at home with a serious criminal with a recent history of violent threats to people who had reported his abuse.
Check this from report author Jane Wiffin, an expert in these kinds of reports. She writes that:
This review has found that professionals working with Alfie were hard working, they
showed care, and commitment to Alfie and the family, but were often hampered by
two adults who sought to deliberately lie, mislead, and cover up what was
Leaving aside the multiple reports by family and concerned members of the public just consider that statement. This is like saying, “the police did not catch the criminal because he told them it wasn’t him”. It is precisely the job of social workers to get behind the lies of abusive parents and identify children who are being abused. This is what they are trained for and what they are paid for.
I once attended court as a witness and I noticed how the person in the dock attempted to portray himself as the victim. This is the “I am the victim here” defence. This is what Jane Wiffin is trying here. Jane Wiffin has a Masters in Social Work.  I would tentatively suggest that the reason she has been asked to write multiple “independent” reviews for social services is rather obvious.
How are these people able to get away with this? How could the people revolt against these horrible injustices? We can’t. We are forced to endure the spectacle of social workers clearing themselves of the results of their ineptitude.
The next thing that will happen (these processes are all too familiar) is that senior figures in the social work lobby will use this event to call for more powers and/or funding. Notwithstanding the reality that no matter how many powers you give them if social workers do not use the powers they have then nothing will change.
- All the actual report says is that “Jane is an experienced independent reviewer with a professional background in social work. She has written and published many serious case reviews and local child safeguarding practice reviews.” (Notice the informal ‘Jane’. There is a certain style to these things). And that she has: “BSc (Psychology), MSc (Social work) and Certificate in Qualification of Social”. (I have found various references on the Internet to a Jane Wiffin who is a freelance writer of these reports but I cannot be 100% certain this is the same one so I have relied only on the internal data in the report itself).