Family agencies in Walsall criticised in child stabbing case

Dudley | News | Published:

A serious case review report has criticised agencies working with families in Walsall after a nine-year-old child known to authorities was taken to hospital with stab wounds.

The review was launched last year after the child was taken to A&E in March and a report with 43 recommendations was published today.

The points, which include agencies 'never forgetting that children are at the heart' of all the work that they do, have been made and accepted by the Walsall Safeguarding Children Board.

The report also recommends that whenever an assessment is done on a child, all information and evidence possible should be taken into account. The child, of Bangladeshi ethnic origin, was taken to hospital with a 1cm cut on the back of his neck.

Initially the child declined to offer any details about how the injury was sustained but later disclosed to doctors and nurses that his father had inflicted the wound. Doctors examined the boy and found a deep injury on his lower back, an injury to his right arm and cuts on his leg, all caused by a knife.

The child's family had been known to various agencies for several years prior to the incident, today's report states.

The review was carried out by the Local Safeguarding Children Board and recommendations apply to Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, Walsall Primary Care Services, Dudley and Walsall Mental Health NHS Partnership Trust, Walsall Children's Services, West Midlands Police and West Midlands Ambulance Service.

Robert Lake, independent chairman of Walsall's Safeguarding Children Board, said today: "It is clearly unacceptable that this child and his family were not well supported and we recognise that we need to change what we do to better support children and families."

The nine-year-old boy has since made a full recovery.

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