MIKAEEL KULAR & LIAM FEE
The job, advertised by Fife Council, was posted just one day before their former social worker was struck off for failure and neglect
The child protection department where tragic Liam Fee “fell off the radar” before his murder is now looking to hire a new £116,000-a-year boss.
Fife Council advertised the job on Monday – the day before one of their former social workers was struck off for a catalogue of failure and neglect in the cases of Liam and other children, the Daily Record reports.
The panel of experts who condemned Lesley Bate, 60, said her managers could have done more to stop her “pattern of misconduct”.
They also accused some of the council’s most senior social workers of being defensive and evasive in their evidence to the hearing.
One boss, Karen Pedder, admitted she kept track of cases in her head.
And the panel heard that the Glenrothes child protection team where Bate worked was “dysfunctional”, with some members reluctant to talk to others they disliked.
The council’s new executive director of education and children’s services will have ultimate responsibility for the Glenrothes team and others.
He or she will have to cope with the aftermath of the Fee case.
The council’s advert says they are looking for a proven “strategic thinker and change leader”, who can deliver a service with “a clear focus on the complete needs of every child”.
The winning candidate will earn £116,627 and report directly to council chief executive Steven Grimmond.
Liam, two, was murdered in March 2014 by his mother Rachel and her civil partner Nyomi Fee. He had suffered horrific abuse at their hands for much of his life, and the Fees also brutalised two older children.
Pedder, who led the Glenrothes team, admitted at the trial that Liam had “fallen off the radar” of the council.
Before they struck Bate off, the Scottish Social Services Council heard how her bosses asked her to investigate after Liam’s childminder raised concerns about injuries he had suffered.
Fife council is advertising for a new Executive Director of Children’s Services with a salary of £116k
The Fees told Bate he had hurt himself by accident, and she believed them. The panel upheld 12 charges against her involving Liam and 14 other children and said her misconduct amounted to neglect.
Charity NSPCC Scotland said after the hearing: “Children like Liam Fee suffer the most when the systems set up to protect them fail to function properly.”
The council have also been criticised by the father of three-year-old Mikaeel Kular, who was beaten to death in 2014 by his mum Rosdeep Adekoya, for their dealings with the family.
A council spokeswoman denied the job advert was linked to either case. She added that children’s services in Fife
were evaluated “very positively” after an official inspection this year.
Previous head of children’s services Craig Munro resigned earlier this year. Shelagh McLean is now acting boss. source
Liam Fee was beaten to death by his mother and her lesbian lover in 2014
Hearing today heard how Lesley Bates misconduct put him at ‘actual risk’
She failed to follow up on reports he had bruising to his face and sore neck
Committee also slammed employer Fife Council for ‘systematic failures’
The social worker in charge of murdered toddler Liam Fee’s case has been struck off due to ‘serious misconduct’ that amounted to neglect of 15 children.
A watchdog panel today sacked Lesley Bate, who had worked for the Fife Council team when Liam was found beaten to death with more than 30 injuries by his mother Rachel Fee and her partner Nyomi in March 2014.
The watchdog heard how Bate, who was overseeing his case, had ignored reports that the boy was bruised on numerous occasions, before his case then ‘dropped off the radar’.
She was found guilty of 12 charges of misconduct relating to 15 children including Liam, who a judge said was subjected to a ‘cruel and pitiless regime of ill-treatment and neglect,’ when he jailed Rachel and Nyomi for life in July.
The council also tried to cover up its mistakes and the committee branded staff, including Bates’ boss Karen Pedder, ‘defensive’ and ‘evasive’ in giving evidence to the hearing. It said the council was ‘less reliable than might reasonably have been expected’ when failures were being investigated.
Fife Council tonight said the findings of the sub-committee ‘do not reflect our current practice or the high standard of professionalism we expect from staff’.
During his Rachel and Nyomi Fee’s trial, the court had heard how defenceless Liam died from ‘car crash-style injuries’ including a ruptured heart as a result of severe blunt force trauma to his body. SOURCE
- Liam Fee social worker Lesley Bate struck off
- Liam Fee social worker struck off over catalogue of misconduct charges …
A hearing into a social worker accused of failing murdered toddler Liam Fee has been urged to find every charge against her proven.
Lesley Bate was assigned to some of the most serious child abuse cases in Fyfe, Scotland.
The 60-year-old faces 13 misconduct charges relating to 16 at-risk children including two-year-old Liam.
Ms Bate is accused of not following up properly concerns about injuries he’d suffered and failing to minimise the potential risk of harm to the youngster.
Liam’s mother Rachel Trelfa, 31, and her partner Nyomi Fee, 29, originally from Gateshead, were found guilty of murdering the toddler in March 2014.
The solicitor acting for the social services watchdog urged the Scottish Social Services Council hearing to find her guilty of misconduct.
Gary Burton said that by not progressing cases properly she has failed to protect children from the danger of harm.
The hearing previously heard that Lesley Bate was erratic, disorganised and chaotic.
She has not appearred at the hearing but denies the charges.
The committee will deliver its findings at a later date. SOURCE
- Liam Fee hearing: Charges against social worker ‘should be found proven’
- Hearing ends on social worker accused of failing murdered tot Liam Fee and other at-risk children
- Social worker did put murdered toddler Liam Fee at risk, hearing told
KAREN Peddar also told how a team meeting descended into chaos after one social worker shouted, ‘I have never worked with such a crowd of bitches’. THE BOSS of the social work team responsible for murdered toddler Liam Fee admitted today she kept track of cases “in her head.”
Karen Pedder also told how one team meeting she chaired ended in chaos when a junior social worker shouted: “I have never worked with such a crowd of bitches.”
The evidence was heard at the professional conduct hearing of Liam’s social worker, Lesley Bate at the Scottish Social Services Council conduct sub-committee over her work for the authority between December 2011 and August 2014.
- Murdered toddler Liam Fee was ‘failed’ by his social worker, hearing told
- Liam Fee was ‘failed’ by his social worker, case hears
- Liam Fee: Key social worker “did as little as possible”, hearing told
A team of social workers charged with ensuring the wellbeing of Fife toddler Liam Fee — later murdered by his mother and her partner — were beset by “personality clashes” and were “split into two camps”, a probe into the conduct of one of its workers has heard.
Lesley Bate was a member of Fife Council’s child protection team in Glenrothes and faces a string of charges at the Scottish Social Services Council conduct sub-committee over her work for the authority between December 2011 and August 2014.
The hearing was earlier told that Ms Bate had chosen not to intervene after Liam was found badly bruised in January 2013 – and failed to follow up on reports he had suffered a neck injury weeks later.
Liam Fee murderers Rachel Trelfa and Nyomi Fee.
Senior social worker Sharon Barr, who worked with Ms Bate for three months in early 2013, today told the tribunal of other cases Ms Bate had worked on.
In one, Ms Bate, 60, left a child “at risk of harm” by failing to follow up on reports the child’s parents were “living in squalor”, Miss Barr told the hearing.
In another she recommended a girl be given back to her mother – who had assaulted her – despite managers ordering her to change her recommendations ahead of a case conference.
Miss Barr, a former police officer, said the team had left a child, identified only as AA, “in a very risky and vulnerable condition” because of Ms Bate’s failures.
She said: “The parents were living in squalor. There were dirty nappies lying around and ingrained dirt. There were blind cords hanging that posed a danger. There was no record of Lesley Bate carrying out any visits or of tasks being done. We had left a child in a very risky and vulnerable condition. No-one was monitoring the situation. Her practise was not good and in my opinion it left that child, AA, at risk of harm. It was like the AA case had fallen off the radar.”
Speaking of issues within the child protection team, she added: “There were personality issues in the CPT and I didn’t want to become embroiled in any of it.
“I took the personality clashes not to be work-based issues. There was a split in the team – almost like they were in two separate camps.”
The hearing is examining 16 charges involving 13 children that Ms Bate was involved with over the course of almost three years.
Two of the charges relate to Liam Fee – identified in SSSC papers only as FF.
Those charges allege that Ms Bate failed to follow up on a referral regarding serious bruising Liam suffered in January 2013, and that she didn’t follow up claims he suffered a neck injury weeks later.
Earlier, an official who investigated Ms Bate’s conduct during her time in the child protection team told a hearing of her involvement with Liam and his parents, Rachel Trelfa and Nyomi Fee.
Tracey Burke told how Liam’s childminder Heather Farmer – referred to at the hearing as HF – had raised concerns in January 2013.
Despite that, and subsequent concerns about a neck injury he suffered weeks later, Ms Bate failed to follow up on the case or make notes relating to it on council computer systems.
Instead, she blamed “pressure of work” for her failures – despite other workers saying her case load was not excessive.
Miss Burke said her failings were “not acceptable” and that she should have followed up allegations of child abuse “in a robust manner”.
The hearing, at the SSSC headquarters in Dundee, continues. SOURCE
- Liam Fee social work team ‘dysfunctional’ with colleagues
- Murdered toddler’s social workers ‘split into two camps’
TRAGIC toddler Liam Fee’s social worker decided child protection workers should not intervene after the tot was found badly bruised, a probe into her conduct has heard.
Lesley Bate faces a string of charges over her work including the circumstances of her involvement with the youngster.
The two-year-old was murdered by his mother and her civil partner in April 2014 in one of the most shocking child abuse cases ever in Scotland.
Bate was a member of Fife Council’s Child Protection team and yesterday the official who investigated her case gave evidence to the hearing.
Tracey Burke said Liam’s childminder, Heather Farmer, had raised concerns about his treatment and condition in January 2013.
But despite this and subsequent concerns about a neck injury which Liam suffered weeks later, Bate failed to follow up on the case or make notes relating to it on council computer systems.
She subsequently blamed “pressure of work” for her failures despite other workers saying her case load was not excessive.
Miss Burke said Bate’s failings were “not acceptable” and that she should have followed up allegations of child abuse “in a robust manner”.
The hearing in Dundee was told Liam’s mother, Rachel Trelfa, 31, had set up home with Nyomi Fee, 29, in Thornton, Fife.
The witness said the boy had been referred to the department with unexplained bruises.
Liam was described as being “unsteady on his feet and with bruising on his back. He also had a black eye” which his Trelfa claimed had happened when he fell while playing.
On another occasion, the childminder reported that the child had a “massive bruise” on his forehead and bruising on both legs, prompting her to raised concerns about whether the child had been knocked unconscious.
But Bate claimed to find Trelfa’s account “plausible” and only recommended that a school health visitor be contacted.
Miss Burke was also taken through a series of other cases allocated to Bate where despite being reminded by senior managers to complete projects, the social worker had failed to follow up on cases.
Bate was a member of Fife Council’s Child Protection team
- Murdered Liam Fee’s social worker decided against intervention
- Murdered toddler’s social worker did not pass on concerns to child …
- Liam Fee social worker failed to take action over tragic toddler’s bruises, …
- Liam Fee social worker failed to take action over tragic toddler’s bruises, hearing told
LESLEY Bate, who was part of the team responsible for the little boys’ welfare, faces 13 charges of failing to properly handle the cases of children aged from one to 15. A SOCIAL worker involved with Liam Fee and Mikaeel Kular in the months before they died has been accused of bungling the cases of 16 children.
Lesley Bate was part of the Fife social work team responsible for the little boys’ welfare shortly before both were killed by their parents.
Liam, two, was murdered by his mother Rachel and her sadistic civil partner Nyomi while three-year-old Mikaeel died two days after being beaten by his mother Rosdeep Adekoya.
Bate, 60, faces 13 charges of failing to properly handle the cases of 16 children aged from one to 15. The charges relate to the period between December 2011 and August 2014, when she was employed by Fife Council in the child protection team in Glenrothes and the children and families team in Dunfermline as a social worker.
Killer mother Rosdeep Adekoya
One of the charges claims Bate failed to follow up concerns raised by a childminder about a one-year-old boy, labelled FF.
It alleges that despite the carer raising concerns on January 15, 2013, “regarding bruising to the face” of the baby – and the next month that “he had a sore neck” – Bate did not act.
During the Liam murder trial, childminder Heather Farmer told the court she contacted the Scottish Childminding Association in January 2013 after he turned up with scratches and bruises to his face.
In a separate incident, she raised concerns about the toddler’s neck after he was dropped off at her home on February 18, 2013.
The charges against Bate also include failing to properly assess sex abuse claims involving a girl aged three and allegedly staying for tea at the family home of a vulnerable child.
She is accused of not minimising the risk of harm to children, not maintaining accurate records and disobeying management instructions.
On another occasion she allegedly left confidential paperwork in the street.
Bate is due to appear before the Scottish Social Services Council in Dundee later this month. The hearing is expected to take two weeks.
In June, we reported how the former BA air hostess – who did not give evidence in the Fees’ 34-day murder trial – had been suspended.
The news was revealed by a Fife Council whistleblower, who highlighted details of the authority’s controversial handling of Liam’s care.
Senior social workers claimed at his trial that the tot inexplicably “fell off the radar” but insiders said Liam was still under the care of Fife Council’s Glenrothes social work team.
Bate left the specialist child protection team on long-term sick leave. It is understood she moved from Cupar and resettled in Spain.
The brutality of Liam and Mikaeel’s deaths shocked Scotland.
Rachel, 31, and Nyomi, 29, murdered Liam in March 2014 by inflicting blunt force trauma on his abdomen with such force that it burst his heart.
They were also found guilty of horrific neglect and abuse of Liam and two older boys in the house near Glenrothes.
The women were given life sentences.
Mikaeel died after being savagely beaten by Adekoya at the family’s flat in Edinburgh in January 2014.
She dumped his body behind her sister’s house in Kirkcaldy, before telling police that he had disappeared from her flat.
Adekoya was later jailed for 11 years after admitting culpable homicide.
A Fife Council spokesman said yesterday: “These allegations of misconduct do not reflect the high standard of professionalism which we expect and receive from our social work staff.
“Fife Council’s children’s services were subject to a joint inspection earlier this year by the Care Inspectorate, Education Scotland, Healthcare Improvement Scotland and HMI of Constabulary for Scotland, who evaluated services in Fife very positively. DAILY RECORD
Social worker who handled Liam Fee and Mikaeel Kular cases Mirror – 17.06.16
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