Sharon Shoesmith was Director of Children's Services for Haringey in 2007 at the time of the death of Peter Connelly, also known as 'Baby P'.
In Learning from Baby P, she carries out a dispassionate analysis of the events which followed Peter Connelly's death, documenting the responses of the media, politicians and the public. She explores the psychological and emotional responses we share when faced with such horrifying cases of familial child homicide, and how a climate of fear and blame which follows such tragedies can lead to negative consequences for other children at risk of harm, and for the social workers striving to protect them.
Learning from Baby P is a thought-provoking book which aims to deepen understanding and shed light on the difficult relationship between politics, the media and child protection.
Sharon Shoesmith has worked with children for almost 40 years in a career which culminated with her role as Director of Children's Services in the London Borough of Haringey, having previously been one of Her Majesty's Inspectors. She now works as a researcher, writer and public speaker in areas related to education, social care and public perception. Sharon also works as a volunteer with Macmillan Cancer Care at University College Hospital. She completed a PhD in 2015 at the University of London, Birkbeck College.
Preface. Introduction. 1: The Background to the Familial Homicide of Peter Connelly. 2: The Denial of Crimes Against Children. 3: Exploring Processes of Blame, Fear and Denial from a Psychosocial Perspective. 4: The Socio-Political and Cultural Context of the Death of Peter Connelly. 5: The Narrative About Baby P Emerges. 6: The Identification of a Cultural Trope That Blames Social Workers for Harm to Children. 7: Conclusions and Main Findings. Appendices. Bibliography.