A Child Safeguarding Practice Review (previously known as a Serious Case Review (SCR)) is undertaken when a child dies or the child has been seriously harmed and there is cause for concern as to the way organisations worked together. The purpose of a child safeguarding practice review is for agencies and individuals to learn lessons that improve the way in which they work, both individually and collectively, to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.
The trigger for this is a notifiable incident –
There is a Duty on local authorities to notify incidents to the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel (this is a National Panel). Working Together 2018 states that a local authority in England knows or suspects that a child has been abused or neglected, the local authority must notify the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel if
- the child dies or is seriously harmed in the local authority’s area, or
- while normally resident in the local authority’s area, the child dies or is seriously harmed outside England.
Initially a rapid review will be undertaken in order to ascertain whether a local child safeguarding practice review is appropriate , or whether the case may raise issues which are complex or of national importance such that a national review may be appropriate.
The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Safeguarding Children Board (CPSCB) has a sub-committee which oversees and quality assures all the child safeguarding practice reviews undertaken by the Board, and provides advice on whether the criteria for conducting a review have been met. Any professional or agency may refer a case for consideration using the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Referral Form (updated February 2021)
Upon completion of a child safeguarding practice review, there is an expectation that the final report is published in full and will be available on the website for a minimum of 12 months. The report will include
– a summary of any recommended improvements to be made by persons in the area to safeguard and promote the welfare of children
-an analysis of any systemic or underlying reasons why actions were taken or not in respect of matters covered by the report.
Any recommendations will be clear on what is required of relevant agencies and others collectively and individually, and by when , and focussed on improving outcomes for children. Additional information and guidance in relation to child safeguarding practice reviews can be found in the statutory guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018.
In addition to child safeguarding practice reviews, the Safeguarding Children Board will also undertake Multi-Agency Case Reviews / Partnership Reviews which do not meet the criteria for a child safeguarding practice review, but are considered to offer good opportunities to identify lessons for learning and ways in which multi-agency practice to safeguard children and young people can be improved locally.
Published Case Reviews
Statutory guidance Working Together says ‘Reviews are about promoting and sharing information about improvements, both within the area and potentially beyond, so safeguarding partners must publish the report, unless they consider it inappropriate to do so. In such a circumstance, they must publish any information about the improvements that should be made following the review that they consider it appropriate to publish. The name of the reviewer(s) should be included. Published reports or information must be publicly available for at least one year.’
Please see below every Child Safeguarding Practice Review published by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Safeguarding Children Board in the past 12 months
NSPCC SCR Repository
The national repository of published case reviews is a collaboration between the NSPCC and the Association of Independent LSCB Chairs. The aim is to hold all case reviews in a central location, so the learning contained within them is easier to access.