THE missed chances for professionals to keep murdered Alfie Steele safe have been revealed in a new report. 

Last year Dirk Howell, 41, of Princip Street, Birmingham, was found guilty of murdering the nine-year-old while Alfie's mother Carla Scott, 35, was found guilty of manslaughter.

The pair were later jailed. 

The long-awaited multi-agency independent review (Child Safeguarding Practice Review) which looked into the murder has now been published. 

The review included the timeline of events when there was professional involvement with Alfie and his family - here are the key ones:



Scott and Alfie move to Worcestershire. Alfie subject to child protection plan for neglect.

There was a transfer conference with Alfie made subject to child protection plan for neglect for six months.



Alfie made subject to child in need plan for seven months.


Worcester News: MURDER: Alfie SteeleMURDER: Alfie Steele (Image: West Mercia Police)


August 2019

Howell meets Scott. There are concerns from family and neighbours about Dirk Howell’s criminal history, his aggression, shouting at Alfie and cannabis use.

Scott advised to complete Clare’s law application. A previous history of violence towards others was disclosed but there was no record of Howell being a perpetrator of domestic abuse.


September 2019

Strategy discussion. Howell’s long criminal history, marker for violence and drug dealing shared. Immediate safety plan in place.

Scott said she did not believe Howell posed a risk to her or Alfie.


October 2019

Initial Child Protection Conference convened. Child protection plan and safety plan agreed.


November 2019

Concerns shared by the neighbours that Howell was seen behaving cruelly to Alfie.

Worcester News: JAILED: Dirk HowellJAILED: Dirk Howell (Image: West Mercia Police)


January 2020

Review child protection conference.

Safety plan to remain in place, but legal advice to be sought regarding whether the threshold was met to initiate Public Law Outline or make a care proceedings application.


March 2020

Covid pandemic. Changes to operating procedures for all agencies.

School open to support vulnerable children. Scott would not allow Alfie to attend, despite this being an expectation for all children subject to child protection plans.

School attendance was not enforceable during Covid.


April 2020

The headteacher of Alfie’s school raises concerns about the lack of progress of the child protection plan and increased risks to his welfare.

Informed that a Legal Planning Meeting would be convened.


May 2020

Legal Planning Meeting (LPM). Risk assessment of Howell to be completed.

Parenting assessment of Scott and Alfie’s father.


Worcester News: JAILED: Carla ScottJAILED: Carla Scott (Image: West Mercia Police)

July 2020

Review LPM. Agreed that the threshold for proceedings was not met.

Child protection plan to continue.

Howell now allowed to be in the home and required to engage with child protection plan, attend core groups1, a parenting course, and anger management support.

Review Child Protection Conference was rescheduled to October 2020 due to the local authority COVID critical incident arrangements, which meant that no children were removed from child protection plans during this period.

Regular multi-agency core groups took place.


September 2020

Alfie returned to school. Concerns about Alfie being hungry and unkempt.


Worcester News: SCENE: Vashon Drive where Alfie Steele diedSCENE: Vashon Drive where Alfie Steele died (Image: Newsquest)


October 2020

Review Child Protection Conference held. Child protection plan adapted by the Review LPM.


November 2020

School was worried about Alfie; he looked unkempt, he had a nasty ear infection and seemed unsettled.

Discussed with lead social worker.


January 2021

Change of social worker.

Child protection plan reviewed, contact with neighbours who were part of the plan and they expressed concerns, contact with maternal grandparents who said they were unaware of the child protection plan.

Scott asked for change of social worker.


February 2021

Alfie Steele is murdered at Vashon Drive home.