Another angelic toddler face.
Another small human brutalised by those there to love and nurture him. Another tiny life extinguished by the inability of adults in contact with him to share doubts or properly articulate them. Another outing for the sickeningly ubiquitous cliche "lessons will be learned".
The recitation of the life and truly awful times of little Daniel Pelka was simply unbearable. The list of clues as to his distress long enough to invite incredulity that nobody anywhere joined some dots. And worse, that nobody anywhere thought to talk to the child himself.
As it happens, the Children and Young People (Scotland) Bill is being examined by Holyrood committees this week. Its range is ambitious, not least in its efforts to embed joint working and sharing of information about children's wellbeing across a wide spectrum of services responsible in various ways for their care and education. It's due to be passed by next spring, with full implementation over the next three years.
But what's important about this bill is its origins in a strategy which came into being under one Scottish administration in 2006 and has been embraced by successor governments. Getting it Right For Every Child (GIRFEC ) was an attempt to make universal provision just that; an acknowledgement that children had to be front and centre of any policies and processes. It was piloted in a few local authorities, most successfully by common consent and evaluation in Highland Region which became the exemplar when GIRFEC was rolled out nationwide, with patchier results, two years ago.
However, many of the core elements are embedded in the new bill: the importance of having a named person being responsible for the welfare and wellbeing of every child under 18; of that person being required by law to share information and or concerns with all other relevant professional agencies and they with her or him; of a lead officer being brought in where real vulnerability or impending crisis is identified - someone charged with making sure information and service integration becomes the prevailing practice rather than a pious hope.
A minority of those giving evidence in committee have talked about an intrusion into parental privacy. That cut no ice with the Information Commissioner who ruled quite clearly that an endangered child trumps data protection concerns. Would that the privacy of Daniel's mother and stepfather been intruded upon.
GIRFEC spawned another important acronym: SHANARI. It is the mental checklist everyone needs when dealing with the wellbeing of a child. Is he or she safe, healthy, active, nurtured, achieving respected, included? How can a child with multiple reported injuries be thought safe, or one seriously underweight healthy, or one scavenging for food nurtured? Harriet Dempster, who was the Director of Social Work in Highland at the time these policies were introduced, makes the important point that alongside professional responsibilities, what the bill calls corporate parenting, is the necessity for everyone in a community to make every child's welfare their business. Not in a nosy neighbour fashion, or in terms of malicious misreporting. But surely a ravenous child eating refuse would ring alarm bells with most folk? Or a scrawny fearful one? Or one living in a household which is the subject of repeated police calls responding to violent arguments?
Central to these reforms is not just that such a child's wellbeing should be the over-riding concern, but that we should acknowledge that centrality by listening to them. It's our casual dismissal of children's sometimes sotto voce cries for help which has also led to years of abuse going undetected only because they were not believed or given due consideration. Abuse is all too often at the hands of the so-called responsible adults charged with their care.
It's unrealistic to suppose we can stop every incident of child abuse, identify every perpetrator, always intervene in time to prevent tragedy. But we can make a big difference. We already have a culture in the Children's Hearings system which allows space for a child's voice. But too often the child in question has had minimal contact with their social worker or had to reprise their story with a changing cast list. We need to fix that too.
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