The Inquiry into the death of Victoria Climbié was portrayed as the most wide ranging Inquiry into failure to protect a child. It was instrumental in the development of the new safeguarding agenda and joined-up children's services in the Children Act 2004. Both its process and outcome appear to fit with New Labour's agenda for joined-up government. A social constructionist analysis reveals it as a narrower project which ignored key issues and failed to make links between government policy, the law and local authority action. Three issues 1) parental responsibility, 2) treating intra-family child abuse as a crime and 3) local authorities' responsibilities for family support exemplify the Inquiry's restrictive approach and the impossibility of joined-up services if central government seeks to retain authority without taking responsibility. Despite its success in changing policy, the Climbié Report shows again the inadequacy of such Inquiries as a basis for reform.