Poor use of Haringey Council's electronic recording system played a part in the mismanagement of the Baby P case, according to a review published today (1 December 2008).
The system did not have enough flexibility to support social workers in managing their case load, the Ofsted Joint Area Review said. It also said managers should have devoted more energy to resolving this issue.
The report said, "The existing social care electronic recording system operated by the council lacks sufficient flexibility and, although this impedes effective practice by social workers, there has been insufficient priority given to resolving this issue by managers."
Every council is required to implement the Integrated Children's System to help social workers manage their case loads. Some authorities have struggled with the implementation, however, and the system has weathered complaints about inflexibility and a lack of user-friendliness.
The IT system was one of many problems the report identified with Haringey Council's children's services department. Director of children's services Sharon Shoesmith was removed from her post after the report's publication. Council leader George Meehan and cabinet member for children and young people Liz Santry have also resigned.
Baby P was a 17-month old boy who was found dead in his cot nine months after first being placed on the child protection register in December 2006. Three adults, including his mother and step-father, were convicted of causing his death.