top of page
Adults'
All features
Training
Children's

“I stand by them”: Former director urges support for social workers in Finley Boden case

Sharon Shoesmith has called for the social work sector to support its colleagues in Derbyshire following the release of the horrific details around the murder of Finley Boden.

19/04/23

“I stand by them”: Former director urges support for social workers in Finley Boden case

The parents of a 10-month-old Finley Boden have been found guilty of his murder after a four-month trial.

The jury concluded that Finley Boden had suffered a shocking catalogue of injuries at the hands of his parents on Christmas Day in 2020 – with both found guilty of his murder.

A post-mortem was conducted which found that Finley had died as a result of multiple fractures and infective complications as a result of his injuries. When his body was examined, he was found to have 71 bruises, and two burns, that had been caused during multiple, separate assaults. Further examination found he had suffered 57 fractures including 17 fractured ribs, a fractured collarbone, wrist, shoulder, left thigh bone, right shin bone and both thighs.

A specialist paediatrician who reviewed Finley’s injuries was of the opinion that none of the fractures could be explained by normal events – and that it was her belief that Finley was in “severe and protracted pain” prior to his death.

Media reports have commented on child protection concerns meaning Finley was taken from his parents shortly after he was born in February 2020 before being returned to their care after a court order. The court order proposed an eight-week transition, despite social workers asking for a six-month period.

Derbyshire Constabulary said both parents were evasive with medical and social care professionals following Finley being returned to their care. The court heard that they would work together to keep professionals away and cover up wrongdoing, such as telling social workers who arrived unannounced that Finley may have COVID and refusing to let them in.

A child safeguarding review into the circumstances surrounding Finley's death is currently under way, but many in the sector have drawn parallels between Finley’s death and that of Baby P, in which social workers and other professionals received the blame from the mainstream press.

Sharon Shoesmith, former Director of Education and Children’s Social Care at Haringey Council – the authority with responsibility for Baby P – and was at the centre of the media storm following the convictions of Peter’s mother, her boyfriend and her boyfriend’s brother.

“The scapegoating and vilification of me and other social workers in this case and others has had many unintended consequences,” Ms Shoesmith wrote in a Guardian column prompted by the Prime Minister’s baseless claims that social workers often “ignore” sexual abuse when it is reported to them.

Commenting on LinkedIn after the news of the conviction of Finley Boden’s parents, Ms Shoesmith said: “If we do know the social workers who knew this family let's send messages of support. They will need it big time. I stand by them.”

Other key figures in the sector have expressed their condolences to those affected by the murder, but will await the findings of the child safeguarding review for further comment.

"It is deeply harrowing and difficult to comprehend the suffering that Finley experienced leading up to his death, inflicted by the very people who should have been caring for him and protecting him from harm,” Sir Peter Wanless, Chief Executive of the NSPCC, said.

"The death of a child in such brutal circumstances leaves many of us asking questions and we await the child safeguarding practice review to provide answers as soon as possible."

The British Association of Social Workers (BASW) said its “thoughts are with everyone affected by this terrible tragedy at this very sad and painful time.”

“We await the outcome of the Local Child Safeguarding Practice Review to understand findings and learning, including the potential impact of manipulative behaviour and how Covid was reported to have been used to stop agencies seeing Finley during lockdowns in 2020.”

Paint on Face

Barnardo's

Family Wellbeing Practitioner

Job of the week

Sign up for an informal interview for this role today

£23,400 - £28,600

SWT_SideAd1.png

Featured event

Social World Podcast

Podcast

30 Jan 2024

Instant access

Featured jobs

Barnardo's

Supervising Social Worker

Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Health and Justice Court Practitioner - Social Worker/AHP

SWT_Online_Events_ad.png

Most popular articles today

Party leaders urged to debate with young people ahead of election

Party leaders urged to debate with young people ahead of election

Bill introduced to remove private profit from the care of looked-after children

Bill introduced to remove private profit from the care of looked-after children

First local authority adults’ services assessments published by CQC

First local authority adults’ services assessments published by CQC

“The system is so broken”: Number of adoptive families reaching crisis point at record levels

“The system is so broken”: Number of adoptive families reaching crisis point at record levels

Sponsored Content

What's new today:

Supporting social work students with additional needs during their placement

bottom of page