“Kaiya Blake who was suffocated by her mum”.

Report slams child services over girl death

28 Feb 2013 11:41

Kaiya Blake, when she was about 2 years old, and her mother Chantelle Louise Blake
Kaiya Blake, when she was about 2 years old, and her mother Chantelle Louise Blake
A serious case review revealed a series of errors, despite concluding tragic tot Kaiya Blake’s death could not have been prevented

Child protection agencies have been slammed for missing a string of chances to help tragic tot Kaiya Blake who was suffocated by her mum.

A serious case review by Manchester’s safeguarding board has now revealed a series of errors by the authorities – but concludes her death in 2011 could not have been prevented.

Mum Chantelle admitted her four-year-old daughter’s manslaughter at their Moss Side flat last year after being diagnosed with schizophrenia.

The report reveals Kaiya, had been known to social services since she was 18 months old – yet an adequate assessment of her needs was never carried out. It says despite Chantelle being repeatedly referred for a mental health assessment – after being aggressive, hearing voices and making bizarre claims – she fell through the net.

Her heavy cannabis use was also not questioned.

The report includes a string of recommendations for Manchester council, NHS Manchester, Manchester Health and Social Care Trust, Central Manchester Foundation Trust and Greater Manchester Police.

It urges them to tighten up – and properly follow – safeguarding guidelines and not save time by ditching ‘key’ meetings.

And it says mental health concerns must be taken more seriously – even if diagnosis is proving hard.
Mike Livingstone, director of children’s services at Manchester council, said it had thoroughly investigated what was a ‘distressing and complex case’.

He added: “Nothing can undo what happened to this child at the hands of her mother. But we have faced up to the fact that our work with this family fell below the high standard required.

“I’m sorry for this and I am determined that every one of our staff can and will learn from this so that we can continue to make improvements.”

Dr Sean Lennon, medical director of Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust, admitted agencies missed a series of chances.

But he said training, referrals and information-keeping have all been improved on the back of the case.

NHS Manchester said it fully accepts the findings and will follow up the recommendations.

Greater Manchester Police said it had always acted in Kaiya’s best interests, adding that a single public protection division has now been set up to give more control over difficult cases.

Credit: Manchester Evening News : http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/serious-case-review-report-moss-1686305

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