Dead Girl Uncovers Holes in System

The system of social services in Slovakia has come under scrutiny after it was discovered that a man with a history of tyranny and brutality had murdered his 5-yr old daughter Lucia and kept her dead body for three years also with his wife’s knowledge.

The latest revelations from a preliminary inspection point to how the girl may have been spared if the social services had done their job properly, following complaints by neighbours and the fact that the father had already been up on charges of tyranny against his wife, reports daily SME. The social workers apparently came to inspect the situation, but just left after not getting an answer at the door instead of calling the police.

photo (c) Yumi Kimura

The case was then neglected, which was unfortunate as this was before the girl was tyrannised to death, meaning her life may have been saved if the correct procedures had been applied. Now the Office of family affairs (UPSVaR) is planning to make a nationwide inspection of all reported cases of possible tyranny.

Spokesman for the office Peter Zeman announced the inspection yesterday and expects the first results within a month. The case looks set to shake up the whole system of social services and how and what procedures should be followed, but all too late in this case.

It seems the social services suffer a severe lack of capacity with each social worker having up to 250 cases to deal with in a year, something the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family admits is too much.

The case also raised the problem of how local or school authorities are not aware of a child missing from the school system, as this could also have saved young Lucia, so now there is talk of setting up a central register to deal with the problem.