Lowestoft: ‘Lessons have been learned’ from tragic deaths of mother Fiona Anderson and her three children
07:00 22 January 2014
Council chiefs said lessons had been learned after a Lowestoft woman fell to her death from a car park and then her three young children were found dead at their home.
Today a serious case review has been released into the deaths of 23-year-old Fiona Anderson’s children, Levina, aged three, two year-old Addy and Kyden, aged 11 months.
A heavily pregnant Miss Anderson died after she fell off the multi-storey car park in Gordon Road, Lowestoft, on April 15 last year.
The bodies of her three children were then found at their home at London Road South the same day.
Today Suffolk Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) published its serious case review into how Suffolk County Council’s children and young people services had worked with the Anderson family since they had been in contact before Levina’s birth.
The independent review said on-going relations with Miss Anderson and the council were “strained from the outset” and there was no success in effectively engaging the family in interventions by professionals.
This meant that overall the implementation of the child protection plans was “significantly compromised” while a further lack of progress was not challenged by managers.
However the report does say there was no history of self harm in the family and the deaths of the children and their mother “were completely unexpected” and “it was not predictable or thought in any way likely”.
The review raised 13 “learning points”, while a further 21 courses of action have been identified by the two authorities.
Sue Cook, the council’s director of children’s services, said: “In reviewing our own involvement with the family, there are some changes we have already made – including strengthening senior management oversight of child protection plans.
“We fully accept the lessons identified in the report and have either implemented, or are in the process of implementing, all actions that are relevant to us.”
She added: “Social work is a complex profession where every day dedicated people deal with human relationships and behaviour that is both unpredictable and constantly changing.
“In this case, child protection procedures were followed and there was never any indication that Fiona would take her own life, or her children’s. “Fiona loved her children.”
Mark Bee, leader of the council, said: “While it is clear that what transpired on 15 April last year could not have been predicted, changes have been made building on the lessons of the review.
“I am confident in the way in which Suffolk LSCB has conducted its review and that the actions taken by staff in our children and young people’s department since this tragedy have strengthened child protection arrangements in Lowestoft. Public bodies are already working more closely in Lowestoft which I believe will further protect the most vulnerable people in our communities.”
Peter Aldous, Waveney MP, said the four deaths had a “significant impact” on Lowestoft and it was only right that an independent review should be carried out.