Haringey Chief Executive has worked at three councils where children’s services failed

Haringey Council Chief Executive Ita O’Donovan turns out to have held a senior post at three different councils where the children’s services were so poor that the Government had to intervene directly.

Not only is she currently the Chief Executive of Haringey Council, heavily criticised over the death of Baby P,  but she was previously City Manager (the most senior staff role) at Stoke-on-Trent where the Government warned children were being put at risk in the month she started at Haringey, and before that she was Assistant Chief Executive at Newham Council (1998-2001). In February 2001 the Government ordered the council taken into special measures:

Health minister John Hutton has written to the council ordering it make improvements across a range of social services, including child protection.

Mr Hutton wrote: “There remains a substantial professional and managerial change agenda which is needed to bring your services up to a safe standard.”

He added: “It is essential that services for children are protected and immediate action must be taken.”

A council is added to the special measures list when there are serious concerns about the quality of its social services. The council must then develop an action plan and submit monthly monitoring information to the social services inspectorate (SSI).

The social services department, which was the subject of a daming report by the SSI and the audit commission in January, has until the end of February to produce an action plan. (The Guardian)

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