EH v London Borough of |Greenwich  EWCA Civ 344 - Lord Justice Wall (now President of the Family Division) - engaged in trenchant criticism of social services in Greenwich (and perhaps, indirectly, on a wider basis). Wall LJ stated that he was not engaging in "gratuitous criticism" of social workers but stated that the local authority in the case had acted in a way which was inimical to the ethos of the Children Act 1989 and wholly contrary to good practice in care proceedings. It is reported that the British Association of Social Workers have expressed "astonishment" at the criticism - see Family Law Week.
As the "fall-out" from the Baby -P case continues, it was with a "lurking sense of unease" that Foskett J decided against Sharon Shoesmith - see the lengthy full judgment here. Of course, it is right that dismissal has to be an option where officials are, after fair and proper investigation, found wanting in the performance of their duties. However, the sense of unease ought to be widely shared by fair-minded people who will see a great deal for concern in the processes used to dismiss Shoesmith and also in the subsequent handling of the case. It will be no surprise if this "sense of unease" manifests itself by way of the unintended consequence of fewer people taking up child protection work. [See Baby P- just what is going on?]. Scrupulous fairness must be followed or that unintended consequence may become a certainty.
See "Sharon Shoesmith and the crisis in child protection" - Patrick Butler - The Guardian 23rd April 2010. See also Family Law Week.