'Psycho babble cobblers!': Nick Ferrari slates ex-Children's Comm's safeguarding plan

22 April 2022, 09:13

Nick Ferrari challenges Anne Longfield on how to prevent child abuse

By Seán Hickey

The former Children's Commissioner is challenged by Nick Ferrari after suggesting serious child abuse can be prevented by developing relationships with families.

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Nick Ferrari was reflecting on the sentencing of the mother, step-father and a 14-year-old for the murder of Logan Mwangi this week.

The five-year-old's body was found in a river in Wales with injuries said to be the result of "brutal and sustained assault" in 2021. Nick Ferrari was joined by former Children's Commissioner and chair of the Commission on Young Lives Anne Longfield to reflect on the horror.

"Do people get fired as a result of this incompetence?" Nick asked after Ms Longfield offered a way forward for social workers, particularly developing stronger ties with families.

Read more: Social services face questions over tragic five-year-old Logan Mwangi's murder

"This isn't a way of being soft on parents, it's a way of understanding what's going on better", she explained.

"If you know that family and you know what's going on, you'll be able to make that decision to pull the child out of the family at an earlier time."

Caller unveils appalling conditions some at-risk children live in

Ms Longfield went on: "I am not someone who hides behind bureaucracy, what we need to do is have proper relationships to understand what's going on in children's lives."

Nick took exception to the suggestion, stating "you can't have a proper relationship with a man who thinks it's appropriate to kick a five-year-old to death.

"Respectfully, you're talking psycho babble cobblers, Anne!" He stated, telling the expert "you cannot engage with these people."

Ms Longfield defended her position, explaining that with more developed relationships "you will know that child is at risk enough to be able to not take them off the child protection register", which is what happened to tragic Logan.

"This has to be a completely different approach which understands children and actually intervenes to protect them", Ms Longfield added, concluding "at the moment I don't think we're anywhere near being able to do that."

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