Birmingham social workers are to face an inquiry by the national watchdog over the death of seven-year-old Khyra Ishaq.
Birmingham City Council has referred three social workers to the General Social Care Council, which oversees the code of practice for the profession.
They could be struck off the official register if they are found to have made repeated mistakes, effectively forcing them out of social work.
Khyra starved to death at her Handsworth home in May 2008, and her mother and stepfather were jailed for her manslaughter.
The tragedy sparked criticism of Birmingham’s social services department, after High Court judge Mrs Justice Eleanor King found that Khyra would probably still be alive today if social work staff and education officials had used legal powers to investigate.
But the authority faced demands for greater transparency after details of the inquiry were released following a Freedom of Information request.
Les Lawrence, the Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, announced in April that social workers and education officials had been ordered to attend council disciplinary hearings, but did not reveal that the case had also been referred to the General Social Care Council.
Details only emerged after a member of the public submitted a freedom of information request asking how many social workers had been referred to the GSCC in connection with Kyra’s death. In its reply, the authority said: “At this point three names have been given to the GSCC.”
MP Khalid Mahmood (Lab Perry Barr) said: “We need a transparent investigation so we know what went wrong and the public is reassured that problems are being fixed.
“Instead, we have information coming out in this drip, drip manner. I am concerned that social workers are being scapegoated by senior management on this issue.
“If they really are at fault then that should be made clear in a independent investigation, but we need a process we can all have faith in.”
A city council spokesman said: “We announced what we could in April and there has been no attempt to hide anything. There will be transparency when the Serious Case Review is published by Ofsted.”
A Serious Case Review by Birmingham Safeguarding Children’s Board has been completed and presented to Ofsted, which is expected to publish a summary later this year.
Khyra died after months of starvation. Her mother, Angela Gordon, was jailed for 15 years, and her former partner Junaid Abuhamza jailed indefinitely with a minimum term of seven-and-a-half years.