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Review Discovers Parents Murdered Ten-Month-Old Finley Boden Due to a System Failure

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Finley Boden, who was brutally killed by his parents in December 2020, should have been “one of the most protected children,” according to a devastating safeguarding evaluation. However, due to weak processes and serious errors in assessment and planning, Finley Boden was not given the proper care and protection.

The study emphasized the serious disruption brought on by the COVID-19 epidemic, which hindered services and protective measures intended to stop abuse. Illness and protective measures forced key personnel—social workers and guardians among them—to take time off, creating crucial voids in supervision and assistance.

Only a few weeks before he passed away, Finley was given back to his parents by a family court order, in spite of prior social services interventions and cautions about possible harm. The study stressed that although Finley’s parents were ultimately to blame for his demise, trained interventions ought to have protected him.

Notably, there was a lack of contact between drug misuse services and children’s social care, and a risk assessment about Boden’s cannabis usage was found inadequate. The evaluation emphasized the need for improved practice and the wasted chances.

The children’s services department of Derbyshire County Council apologized for these errors and acknowledged the need for better procedures and oversight. They promised to put the review’s suggestions into practice in order to reduce the likelihood of disasters like this one.

When Shannon Marsden and Stephen Boden, Finley’s parents, were sentenced in May of last year, the judge denounced their “unimaginable cruelty” and called them “persuasive and accomplished liars.” Both were given life sentences; Boden had to serve at least 29 years and Marsden had to serve at least 27 years.

Calls for increased coordination and monitoring within safeguarding systems have been prompted by the tragic case, which aims to protect vulnerable children and avert disasters in the future.

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