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Social services severely criticized for "Yara" case

Published tisdag 10 februari 2015 kl 12.14
"How social services handle reports of concern is a huge risk area"
5:53 min
Photo: Rebecka Gyllin/Andrea Jilder/Sveriges Radio
Photo: Rebecka Gyllin/Andrea Jilder/Sveriges Radio

The Social Services Committee at Karlskrona City Council has come in for harsh criticism for their handling of the case of an eight-year-old girl who was later killed by her carers.

The Health and Social Care Inspectorate says the girl, Yara, did not get the help she should have been able to expect from the authorities.

Yara came to Sweden from Gaza at the age of eight, and came to live with her uncle and his wife, local Swedish Radio channel P4 Blekinge reports. The inspectorate found that the social services did not look into what special needs Yara may have had, and also did not look into the suitability of the couple as her guardians.

"They focused on what was positive and ignored information that it would not be good for her," Joonas Terje, supervisor of the inspectors at the Health and Social Care Inspectorate, told Radio Sweden.

Another major problem was how the social services dealt with several reports of concern about Yara that were handed in. None of these were taken sufficiently serious. The last warning about Yara's situation came from the police to the social services. That time, the police fax was left untouched in a postal tray and was was only found after the girl's death.

According to Joonas Terje, what is unique about the case is its tragic ending, but similar problems can be found at social services in other parts of the country as well. He tells Radio Sweden that they have identified a "huge risk area" of how social services around the country are handling reports of concern that are made by schools, the police and the public to the social services.

In the case of Yara, a court found her uncle's wife guilty of murder, she killed the girl after repeatedly hitting her with a rolling pin. Yara's uncle was convicted of grievous bodily harm and involuntary manslaughter.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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