Under Working Together 2018, Serious Case Reviews have been replaced by Child Safeguarding Practice Reviews. The guidance and criteria for carrying out reviews has also changed.
When a child dies or is seriously harmed* in circumstances where abuse or neglect are known or suspected (i.e. is a serious child safeguarding case), Local Safeguarding Children Partnerships/Boards are required to consider if a Child Safeguarding Practice Review (CSPR) is appropriate to consider the involvement of organisations and professionals with the child and family. In order to do this, a rapid review must be carried out within 15 days of the notification of the serious child safeguarding case to the National Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel (see guidance below).
*Serious harm is defined as serious or long-term impairment of a child’s mental health or intellectual, emotional social or behavioural development, as well as impairment of physical health.
The purpose of each review is to:
Child Safeguarding Practice Reviews are learning exercises and not investigations to find out who is to blame for things going wrong, with the overall purpose being that of improving practice.
If you become aware of a case which you believe fits the criteria for a Child Safeguarding Practice 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, email ESCB (firstname.lastname@example.org) who will provide a referral form and explain the next steps. Having made the referral and following the rapid review, the ESCB Child Safeguarding Practice Review sub-committee will make a recommendation to the three statutory partners (i.e. Health (CCG), Local Authority and Police) as to whether the review should go ahead.
The ESCB Serious Case Review toolkit still applies and is being updated.
The NSPCC have a list of published Serious Case Reviews here.
ESCB Serious Case Review Learning Briefing (July 2017) - learning from Essex SCRs