Child protection services are too slow to intervene when they get reports of possible child abuse, according to a highly critical report by the national safety research institute.
In addition, officials put too much faith in parental cooperation and have no formal way of assessing the risk to children, the institute said.
‘They let the interests of the parents prevail over that of the children for too long,’ the report, which took four years to draw up, said.
It bases its claims on an assessment of 27 serious cases, several of which resulted in the death of the child.
The institute recommends that social workers work more closely with other experts such as doctors and says there should always be a formal inquiry following the death or serious injury of an abused child.
Officials held a public inquiry into just five of the 27 cases which the institute looked into.
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