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Statement issued on behalf of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Safeguarding Partnership

Today, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Safeguarding Children Partnership will publish a Child Safeguarding Practice Review into the tragic death of a young baby aged 12 weeks who was the victim of significant physical abuse and died from his injuries.

The child has been referred to as Stephen throughout this review at the family’s request. Stephen’s mother’s male partner (who was not Stephen’s biological father) has been found guilty of Stephen’s murder, and Stephen’s mother was found guilty of cruelty to a child.

The review explores Stephen’s story and the services he received over his short life. This review aims to learn from the case and identify improvements in provisions for safeguarding and promoting children’s welfare.

The involvement of multiple agencies in the lives of Stephen and his family has been detailed and appraised. Recommendations based on the review findings have been made for all agencies and work has already been undertaken across the partnership to address the recommendations.

The partnership remains deeply committed to ensuring that agencies make the changes needed to take forward the learnings from this Child Safeguarding Practice Review and Stephen’s tragic death.

As part of the review process, we had the opportunity to engage and speak with Stephen’s family. We recognise that this will have been extremely difficult for them and we extend our gratitude to all that shared their stories and experiences of Stephen and helped ensure Stephen’s voice was heard through the report.

Our deepest sympathy continues to be extended to the family and friends of Stephen.

Notes for editors:

Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Safeguarding Partnership – 3 statutory partners

Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 confirms that the three statutory safeguarding partners in relation to a local authority area are defined in the Children and Social Work Act 2017 as

  • Local Authority
  • Clinical Commissioning Group
  • Chief Officer of Police

The three statutory partners have a shared and equal duty to make arrangements to work together to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children in a local area.

The Executive Safeguarding Partnership Board is made up of senior directors from the three statutory partners and other agencies and is the overarching countywide governance board for both the children’s safeguarding agenda and adults safeguarding agenda. The Executive Safeguarding Partnership Board is a high level, strategic board that has a primary focus on safeguarding systems performance and resourcing. This Board has the statutory accountability for safeguarding in both local authority areas. In addition, the three statutory partners are responsible for the governance of the Child Safeguarding Practice Review process.

Sitting below the Executive Safeguarding Partnership Boards are a series of Boards and sub groups.

What is a Child Safeguarding Practice Review?

A Child Safeguarding Practice Review, formerly known as Serious Case Reviews looks at how local professionals and organisations worked together to safeguard the child or young person at the centre of the review.

The review considers what was done, what lessons can be learned for the future and what changes may need to be made. It is not a criminal investigation or public enquiry and its aim is not to blame but to learn.

Why are you carrying out a CSPR?

Regulations state that Safeguarding Partnership Boards must carry out a CSPR when a child dies (including death by suspected suicide) and abuse or neglect may be a factor.

What is the purpose of a CSPR?

The purpose of CSPRs is to establish what lessons are to be learned about the way in which professionals and organisations worked together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

What it is not

CSPR’s are NOT inquiries into how a child died or was seriously injured, OR who is to blame. That is for the coroner and criminal court. CSPR’s are not part of disciplinary procedures relating to an individual. If information comes to light which indicates action should be taken, this is for the relevant agency to consider.

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