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Chief Social Workers write to colleagues following Arthur Labinjo-Hughes tragedy

The letter comes after the Government announced a national review into the case

England's Chief Social Workers have written a letter to all social workers across the country, following the tragic case of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes.

The letter, dated Tuesday 6 December, is signed by Isabelle Trowler, Chief Social Worker for Children and Families in England and Lyn Romeo, Chief Social Worker for Adults in England.

The full letter is available to read below and also to download as a PDF.


Dear all,

We wanted to write to all social workers across England following the events of the last few days. We know you too, will be deeply saddened by the death of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes and appreciate how this will have affected you. We also wanted to recognise the strength of feeling and collective shock from the public about the cruel treatment to which Arthur was subjected, and acknowledge that this creates a difficult context for your practice, as social workers.

You may have seen that earlier today (06/12/2021) the Rt Hon Secretary of State for Education, Nadhim Zahawi gave an Oral Statement to the House of Commons where he emphasised the Government’s support for all safeguarding professionals. As part of that statement, he said: “Those already serving our country’s most vulnerable children deserve our thanks – and I want to be extremely clear that no safeguarding professional should be the victim of any abuse. The targeting of individuals is wrong, deplorable and helps nobody”.

We want to reiterate this message. The part you play in supporting and protecting the country’s most vulnerable children, adults and families makes a positive difference each and every single day. We condemn those targeting abuse towards individual social workers and the social work profession.

We are pleased that Annie Hudson, the chair of the National Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel, will work with leaders in Solihull to deliver a single, national, independent review of Arthur’s death. We know Annie well, and trust that she will lead a thorough and fair review of multi-agency practice which, will encompass local government, as well as those working in the police, health and education sectors.

With warm regards,

Isabelle Trowler, Chief Social Worker for Children and Families (England)

Lyn Romeo, Chief Social Worker for Adults (England)