the 15 months that have passed since have done little to ease the shock and distress caused by the brutal death of Mikaeel Kular.
The killing of a three-year-old child always leads naturally to a demand for answers as to how things could go so badly wrong.
The results of the significant case review ordered into the dealings which social workers had with Mikaeel and his family in the months leading to his death do not provide all the answers. It was probably never realistic to expect that it would be able to explain completely such devastating events. It does, however, shed some light on failures in the systems set up to ensure Scotland’s most vulnerable get the protection they deserve.
The fact Mikaeel’s school was not warned until three months after he was returned to his mother that he had spent a year in care shows there were shortcomings in the attempts to monitor his welfare. More efficient communication between care agencies would not have saved the three-year-old’s life. A similar breakdown could have proved fatal for another child.
The unstable lives lead by some of the most vulnerable children means they move from area to area more often than other children, due to family breakdown and other factors.
Yet, it has emerged, there are no established protocols setting out how sensitive information about such children should be shared when they move from one social work area to another. That is a significant gap in our care system.
There is some comfort to be drawn from the fact that Mikaeel’s death will now lead to it being plugged.
Little else will console those who loved the smiling youngster who won hearts wherever he went. He will not, however, be forgotten by the people of north Edinburgh who turned out in their hundreds to search for him, and the community spirit that they showed then still remains strong today.