Explain when and why inquiries and serious case reviews are required and how the sharing of the findings informs practice.
Serious Case Reviews (SCR’s) are undertaken when a child dies (including death by suspected suicide), by a local authority (and more often than not by the Local Children’s Safeguarding Board) if abuse or neglect is known or suspected to be a factor in the death. SCR’s are not enquiries into how a child died or who was responsible; that is a matter for the Coroner's and Criminal Courts to determine. Instead the purpose of Serious Case Reviews is to:
• Establish whether there are lessons to be learned from the case about the way in which local professionals and organisations work together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.
• Identify clearly what those lessons are, how they will be acted on and what is expected to change as a result.
• Improve inter-agency working and better safeguard and promote the welfare of children.
Additionally, LSCB’s may decide to conduct a SCR whenever a child has been seriously harmed in any of the following situations and the case gives rise to concerns about the way in which local professionals and services worked together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children (including inter-agency and inter-disciplinary working).
The two most popular deaths in recent years to be highlighted by the media which highlighted public concern about safeguarding concerns within the children are undoubtedly the deaths of Victoria Climbie and Peter Connelly (Baby P). In both of these cases there was public outrage, especially at the magnitude of Peter's injuries, and partly because Peter had lived in the London Borough of Haringey, North London, under the same child care authorities that had already failed ten years earlier in the case of Victoria Climbié. Her tragic...