Friday, 30 November 2007

Hackney Social Services: delays and accusations of negligence

From the Hackney Gazette:

AN investigation into failings by Hackney social services, which may have contributed to the deaths of two children, has been delayed for the second time this year.

A panel looking into the deaths of Antoine Ogunkoya, 10, and his three-year-old sister, Keniece, who were killed by their schizophrenic mother, Viviane Gamor, at her home on the Pembury estate in Lower Clapton in January, despite warnings from their father, will now report its findings in February - more than a year after the tragedy.

The report, which will look at the involvement of Hackney social services and East London and City Mental Health Unit in the children's deaths, has been delayed once already.

A spokeswoman for Hackney Council said the decision to delay again had been to allow the family of the two children to contribute to the report.

The Safeguarding Children Board, a multi-agency body which oversees child protection, commissioned the independent serious case review.

It was due to present its results in September. Now this second delay has led to fears that other children under care of Hackney social services may be at risk.

The children's father, Gabriel "Jimi" Ogunkoya, who lived with them in Trehurst Street, Lower Clapton, has already accused Hackney's social services of "frogmarching" his children to their deaths.

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