8. Serious Case Reviews

Serious Case Reviews (SCRs) are carried out when a child or young person dies or is seriously injured and abuse or neglect are known or suspected to be factors in the death. They are carried out so that improvements can be identified and action taken so that agencies work with each other more effectively to keep children, young people and their families safe.

When each review is completed a report is published. This includes an outline of what happened, without identifying the child or their family, what went well and what needs to change to make sure that in future other children and young people can be better protected.

Legislation

Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015 (WT2015) sets out the following principles which - "should be applied by LSCBs and their partner organisations to all reviews:

  • there should be a culture of continuous learning and improvement across the organisations that work together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, identifying opportunities to draw on what works and promote good practice;

  • the approach taken to reviews should be proportionate according to the scale and level of complexity of the issues being examined;

  • reviews of serious cases should be led by individuals who are independent of the case under review and of the organisations whose actions are being reviewed;

  • professionals must be involved fully in reviews and invited to contribute their perspectives without fear of being blamed for actions they took in good faith;

  • families, including surviving children, should be invited to contribute to reviews. They should understand how they are going to be involved and their expectations should be managed appropriately and sensitively. This is important for ensuring that the child is at the centre of the process ;

  • final reports of SCRs must be published, including the LSCB’s response to the review findings, in order to achieve transparency. The impact of SCRs and other reviews on improving services to children and families and on reducing the incidence of deaths or serious harm to children must also be described in LSCB annual reports and will inform inspections; and improvement must be sustained through regular monitoring and follow up so that the findings from these reviews make a real impact on improving outcomes for children." (WT 2015 p74)

Learning from Serious Case Reviews

It is required by law"Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs) should maintain a local learning and improvement framework which is shared across local organisations who work with children and families. This framework should enable organisations to be clear about their responsibilities, to learn from experience and improve services as a result." (Working Together 2015: p72)

B&NES LSCB Learning and Improvement Framework

 

Statutory guidance also sets out the following principles which -

"should be applied by LSCBs and their partner organisations to all reviews:

there should be a culture of continuous learning and improvement across the organisations that work together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, identifying opportunities to draw on what works and promote good practice;

 

improvement must be sustained through regular monitoring and follow up so that the findings from these reviews make a real impact on improving outcomes for children." (WT 2015 p74)

Statutory guidance also sets out the following principles which -

"should be applied by LSCBs and their partner organisations to all reviews: 

  •  there should be a culture of continuous learning and improvement across the organisations that work together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, identifying opportunities to draw on what works and promote good practice;

 

  • improvement must be sustained through regular monitoring and follow up so that the findings from these reviews make a real impact on improving outcomes for children." (WT 2015 p74)

Practice Issues from Serious Case Reviews published by SCIE and NSPCC

Learning from SCRs

Concerned about a Child?

  • If you have a concern about a child or young person, please call the Children and Families Assessment and Intervention Team on 01225 396312 or 01225 396313.
  • If outside of office hours, please call the Emergency Duty Team on 01454 615165.
  • If a child or young person is in immediate danger then please dial 999 and ask for police assistance. 

LADO
The Local Authority Designated Officer for managing allegations or safeguarding concerns against staff can be contacted on 01225 396810 Monday – Friday in office hours.