When a child dies in circumstances where abuse or neglect are known or suspected, Local Safeguarding Children Boards are required to conduct a serious case review into the involvement of organisations and professionals with the child and family.
The purpose of each review 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 upon, and what is expected to change as a result; and
As a consequence, to improve inter-agency working and better safeguard and promote the welfare of children.
Serious Case Reviews are learning exercises and not investigations to find out who is to blame for things going wrong.
The ESCB will conduct its Serious Case Reviews following the strategy and methodology in the SCR Toolkit.
There is also the ESCB Rapid Review Process for Case Reviews, July 2018.
Making a referral for a serious case review
If you become aware of a case which you believe fits the criteria for a serious case review you should discuss this with your manager or senior officer and ESCB agency representative. If following this discussion it is agreed to make a referral you should contact the ESCB Office who will provide a referral form and explain the next steps. Having made the referral it will be considered by the serious case review sub committee who will make a recommendation to the Chair of the ESCB as to whether the serious case review should go ahead. Further details are shown on the Guidelines for Decision Making flow chart which is included at appendix 1 of the SCR Toolkit.
The NSPCC have a list of published Serious Case Reviews here.
ESCB Serious Case Review Learning Briefing (July 2017) - learning from Essex SCRs