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Published 19/12/2019

This case focuses on the death of a two-month-old baby who sustained multiple rib fractures which led to the baby’s death. The baby was subject of a Child Protection Plan for neglect from birth, due to concerns about mother’s parenting capacity, alcohol and substance misuse and previous abusive relationships. Throughout the baby’s short life, health and social work professionals in Birmingham and Solihull worked closely with the family, undertaking regular visits. When discharged from hospital mother and baby initially resided in Birmingham, before moving to temporary accommodation in Solihull. This move brought about a change in professionals working with the family and a reduction in support for the mother. A receiving-in Initial Child Protection Conference was arranged; however, sadly the baby died prior to the meeting being held. The mother was subsequently found guilty of manslaughter and two counts of grievous bodily harm and received a custodial sentence of thirteen-and-a-half years. There was no information or evidence available to agencies and professionals involved at the time which would have led them to be able to predict the tragic outcome in this case. However, the review identified important learning for professionals.