.Serious Case Reviews

Explain when and why inquiries and serious case reviews are required and how the sharing of the findings informs practice
Serious case reviews take place after a child dies and abuse is alleged to be a contributing factor in their death. The review is carried out to try and establish whether anything went wrong in the care of the CYP, that support given was appropriate and whether or not there could have been any intervention to prevent the grave outcome. Any findings are scrutinised to ensure practitioners are following correct procedures and any untoward findings or areas of neglect are dealt with so that necessary measures can be put in place to avoid any future occurrences.   In some cases it may be necessary to start disciplinary action as a matter of urgency to safeguard and promote the welfare of other children.

If a child dies or is seriously injured and abuse or neglect is identified or suspected, the main concern is to identify whether there are other children, including siblings, who could also be placed in the same situation.

Serious case reviews are crucial as they examine all agencies involved to ensure that they are actively involved and working together as they should be.   When professionals are found to be negligent in their involvement or procedures, the review is able to highlight where the mistakes were made.   A recent example of this is the case of Victoria Climbie. Intervention or actions should have been taken that could have avoided her death if the professionals involved had worked together and if findings had been acted on in the correct way. As a result of this high profile case, measures were put into action to prevent the same mistakes being made in the future. These were as follows:

• Improve the way risks are assessed in child protection cases so dangers are fully appreciated
• Improve the way agencies work together and having more consistent sharing of information
• Giving parents access to parenting programmes if their...