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Comment on convictions relating to the death of 2 year old Jeremiah Regis

At the end of last week the step-father and the mother of 2 year old Jeremiah Regis were both sentenced at Wolverhampton Crown Court for their part in his death. Read more ....

Jeremiah's step father was given a 21 year sentence for his murder. Descriptions given to the Court of what happened convey the extent of the suffering of this little boy. On behalf of Wolverhampton Safeguarding Children Board I would like to echo the comments of others, that every child deserves the protection of those entrusted to look after them and that no child deserves such horrendous treatment.

Whenever such a death occurs, all of us who work to support people in our city, including those who manage or oversee services for them, rightly asks questions of ourselves and / or the systems we work within.  We would not want the public in Wolverhampton to gain an impression of a system in chaos or indifferent to such tragedies. Many people working in child care are parents themselves. Like you they will be both angry and bemused that any adult could inflict such violence on a child.

Everyone who works with children, young people, and families wants to do their very best for the people they work to support, often in demanding circumstances. We are extremely keen to learn from when things go wrong, and we are always scrupulous in establishing an independent Serious Case Review to learn all we can to avoid another similar tragedy in the future.

None of us wants a child to die in this City at the hands of their carers. Serious Case Reviews have to be initiated all over the country, and Wolverhampton is no different to all other cities, towns and counties in that regard. However, just because such terrible events occur, and will probably always occur, this does not mean we are in any way complacent. We must always try to reduce the likelihood of them happening again even though we cannot guarantee it. To offer some public reassurance  it is useful to remind ourselves that the Safeguarding Children Board was recently inspected by Ofsted who said of practice in Wolverhampton that;

'Learning from Serious Case Reviews and child deaths are systematically shared with professionals and partner agencies. Robust strategic and operational arrangements are in place to safeguard and protect children.'

We shall report on the outcome of the Serious Case Review once it is completed and it will be published along with how we are implementing any recommended improvements.

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