A HIGH-POWERED group will investigate how Kirklees Council looks after vulnerable children.
The commission met for the first time yesterday to examine how the council safeguards children who are in care or classed as at-risk.
Kirklees Cabinet member for children Clr Ken Smith said: “It’s an overview of all the systems in place, not just the council’s, but the police and the health service, to make sure everything’s working.”
The council’s Safeguarding Commission began work yesterday by interviewing social workers at Brian Jackson House at New North Parade.
The commission is chaired by Martin Manby, director of the National Children’s Research Centre.
The group includes Clr Smith and four other Kirklees councillors. It is expected to report by this summer.
Several high-profile cases of child abuse have been uncovered in Kirklees in recent years.
A serious case review is under way into Sanam Navsarka, two, who had 107 injuries when she died last year in Deighton. Last month her mother Zahbeena Navsarka was found guilty of her manslaughter while her stepfather Subhan Anwar was jailed for murder.
It is the third such review by Kirklees, in the wake of the murder of Leticia Wright, at Moldgreen, and the kidnapping of Dewsbury girl Shannon Matthews.
But Clr Smith believes Kirklees is doing well despite these high-profile cases.
He said: “I spent 30 years as a social worker in Derby, Wales and Calderdale. Kirklees Council has had a good reputation for caring for children for the last 10 or 15 years.”