HeadLine: TOT DEATH WOMAN IS KIDDIE BOSS
The Mirror, 19/03/2001, p20
by SHAUN MILNE
A BLUNDERING social worker blamed for failing to prevent the murder of
a three-year-old girl has been promoted.
Sheila Clingan has been made commissioning and development officer at
Dumfries and Galloway Council.
But the senior post, putting her in charge of risk assessment forms,
has caused unease among staff.
One source said: “Forms are only as effective as the people who fill
them in. It’s a waste of time.”
SNP deputy justice spokesman Mike Matheson said: “I’d question moving
someone who was criticised to a post where she is looking at policies
around child welfare.”
Clingan was part of the social work team that failed to stop little
Kennedy McFarlane being battered to death by her mum’s kick-boxer
lover, Thomas Duncan, 33, last May.
It was the culmination of a series of beatings Duncan had handed out to
the “bright and vivacious” tot.
The Scottish Mirror told last month how a report into the killing
criticised the department for not acting on a series of warning signs.
A post-mortem revealed injuries dating back weeks but the most damning
information was that neighbours and nursery staff raised fears for her
safety at least three times.
Despite the tot’s admission to hospital with serious eye injuries and
drug ingestion last year, social workers failed to act.
Dr Helen Hammond, of West Lothian Healthcare NHS Trust, carried out a
probe after Kenneydy’s death which criticised social workers.
She said: “No-one put all the pieces of the puzzle together creating a
total picture of escalating harm.
“It is my conclusion that although her violent death could not have
been accurately predicted – it could have been prevented.”
A council spokesman confirmed Clingan’s new job.
He added: “She has no final decision making powers.”
Categories: Daily Mirror articles