Balen, Rachel, Gabb, Jacqui, Gibbs, Graham R., Hall, Christopher, Hanson, Susan, Masson, Helen and Teal, Andrew (2004) How can we learn from an Inquiry into the death of a child? In: ISPCAN 15th International Congress on Child Abuse & Neglect, 19-22 September, 2004, Brisbane, Australia. (Unpublished)

The Laming Inquiry into the death in the UK of eight year old Victoria Climbié was not simply a review of failings in a single case of child abuse. Reporting to both the Home Office and the Department of Health, the Laming Report (2003) of the Inquiry set in motion a major re-evaluation of the child protection system in England and Wales. Its recommendations set the direction for major changes in organisation, legislation, policy and practice, as proposed in the British Government’s Green Paper ‘Every Child Matters’. The Inquiry was also significant because, for the first time, evidence presented to the Inquiry team was immediately available to the public via a website

This paper reports on the development of the Victoria Climbié Inquiry Project at the University of Huddersfield which is working with the material on this website - in particular the cross examinations of witnesses - to develop a data corpus. The data consists of the detailed examination of fieldworkers, managers and policymakers about all aspects of child protection practice and policy in three local authorities in London, amounting to 68 days of testimony.
Utilizing the Delphi technique, the project team have consulted professionals with specialist knowledge in child welfare issues in the fields of social work, nursing, paediatrics, policing, law, housing and education to aid us in identifying the themes of child protection work that underpin the content and process of the cross examinations, and to establish a system of data management and retrieval that makes the data corpus both useful and accessible to this diverse group of professions. These themes and uses are being utilised to catalogue and code the cross examinations, which will constitute the first stage of the Victoria Climbié Inquiry Data Corpus. Once completed, the data corpus will be available for future research and child protection training.
The paper will include explanation of the method used by the project team to establish what child protection themes are present in the data from the Inquiry and discussion of the nature and content of these themes.

Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email