CSPRs should take place if a child abuse or neglect is known or suspected in a case and a child has died or been seriously harmed, and there is cause for concern about how the authority or other organisations or professionals worked together to safeguard the child.
Locally, safeguarding partners must make arrangements to identify and review serious child safeguarding cases which, in their view, raise issues of importance in relation to their area. They must commission and oversee the review of those cases, where they consider it appropriate for a review to be undertaken. In Wandsworth the responsibility for this rests with the Serious Cases Improvement and Learning (SCIL) Group.
The purpose of these reviews at both local and national level is to identify improvements to be made to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. Learning is relevant locally, but it has a wider importance for all practitioners working with children and families. Reviews should seek to prevent or reduce the risk of recurrence of similar incidents.
During the transition period from Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015 (Chapter 4) there will be a number of outstanding Serious Case Reviews that will need to be completed under the 2015 statutory guidance. These will be completed and published in line with that guidance.
Working Together 2018 states:
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.
These short briefings summarise the key findings from CSPRs and identify what is expected to change to prevent similar incidents from happening in future. They are used as a training tool to enable teams to reflect on their practice and systems.
The NSPCC provides series of at-a-glance briefings highlighting the learning from case reviews that are conducted when a child dies or is seriously injured, and abuse or neglect are suspected.
Each briefing focuses on a different topic, pulling together key risk factors and practice recommendations to help practitioners understand and act upon the learning from case reviews.
You can find these briefings on the NSPCC site.
The context of complexity and challenge provides an underlying theme in this triennial review of a total of 368 SCRs (SCRs) from the period 1 April 2014 - 31 March 2017. As we looked into the reviews of children affected by serious and fatal child maltreatment over these three years, we were struck by the complexity of the lives of these children and families, and the challenges – at times quite overwhelming – faced by the practitioners seeking to support them in such complexity.
The study’s primary aim was to understand the key issues, themes and challenges from the cases examined and to draw out implications for both policy makers and practitioners. The process for learning from reviews is undergoing change and this analysis provides a timely opportunity to capture rich learning from these serious cases to inform the new local safeguarding arrangements outlined in Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 (HM Government, 2018).
Read the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel’s national review into sudden unexpected death in infancy (SUDI).
The review examined 14 incidents of SUDI from 12 local areas that were representative of the 40 SUDI cases reported to the Panel between June 2018 and August 2019.
This was a qualitative study, based on interviews with practitioners and families, underpinned by factual details from each case. The key findings combine evidence from casework visits with insights from wider research in relation to SUDI and its incidence in families where children are considered at risk of significant harm.Infants dying suddenly and unexpectedly represent one of the largest groups of cases notified to the Panel, with 40 notifications between June 2018 and August 2019. While these represent only a proportion of all SUDI, they occur in families who are particularly vulnerable and each one is a devastating loss for the family.
Rapid reviews are held to assist the Safeguarding Children Board/Partnership in deciding whether to convene a Serious Case Review or alternative learning review as per the new Working Together 2018.
View full guidance for Rapid Review Process.