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England and Wales: Report Criticizes Implementation of Child Protection Laws

(Mar. 25, 2009) In the wake of a tragic case in England in which a toddler, known only as “baby P,” was killed by his mother, her live-in boyfriend, and their lodger, despite being seen by social services and doctors over 60 times prior to his death, a government report criticizing the implementation of child protection laws was published in March 2009. This is the second time the government has published a report looking into the failings of child protection services. A previous report was written after the death of a young child, Victoria Climbie, at the hands of her aunt and guardian. The recommendations in that report formed the basis of the Children Act 2004. The current report makes few calls for changes in legislation; rather, it criticizes the implementation of the recommendations contained in the previous report, as well as poor training, large workloads, and excessive bureaucracy. (Lord Laming, The Protection of Children in England: A Progress Report (2008-9) HC 330 (Mar. 12, 2009), available at