Following the murder of 3 year old Liam Johnson, the ‘Liam Johnson Review Report of the Panel of Inquiry’ (24.11.89) by Elizabeth Lawson QC, raised serious concerns about the structure of social services and pressures on administrative systems.
‘There is a genuine widespread commitment to the delivery of services through the neighbourhood system. The effective delivery of these services, however depends upon them being properly resourced and upon there being adequate and efficient administrative staff. ‘
‘The deficiencies inherent in the system have to some extent been masked by the stable and experienced social work force. The staff are beginning to leave.. once these small social work teams consist of unexperienced staff working under the stresses we have identified the risk of a preventable tragedy is high. We think the present neighbourhood office structure is a time bomb waiting to go off.’
‘ We are concerned about the lack of any real appreciation of the problems or of the fact they are getting worse not better.’