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Safeguarding Practice Reviews

A Child Safeguarding Practice Review (previously known as a Serious Case Review (SCR)) is undertaken when a child dies or the child has been seriously harmed and there is cause for concern as to the way organisations worked together. The purpose of a child safeguarding practice review is for agencies and individuals to learn lessons that improve the way in which they work, both individually and collectively, to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

The trigger for this is a notifiable incident –

“There is a Duty on local authorities to notify incidents to the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel (this is a National Panel). Working Together 2018 states that where a local authority in England knows or suspects that a child has been abused or neglected, the local authority must notify the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel if:

  • the child dies or is seriously harmed in the local authority’s area, or
  • while normally resident in the local authority’s area, the child dies or is seriously harmed outside England.”

Initially a rapid review will be undertaken in order to ascertain whether a local child safeguarding practice review is appropriate, or whether the case may raise issues which are complex or of national importance such that a national review may be appropriate.  The Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel has published practice guidance for those involved in local reviews.

The Hull Safeguarding Children’s Partnership (HCSP) has a sub committee which oversees and quality assures all the child safeguarding practice reviews undertaken locally, and provides advice on whether the criteria for conducting a review have been met.

In addition to child safeguarding practice reviews, the HSCP will also undertake multi-agency learning reviews which do not meet the criteria for a child safeguarding practice review, but are considered to offer good opportunities to identify lessons for learning and ways in which multi-agency practice to safeguard children and young people can be improved locally.

Local Cases

Statutory guidance Working Together says ‘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.’

Please see below Local Child Safeguarding Practice Reviews (and Serious Case Reviews)  published by the HSCP in the past 12 months:

National Cases

The Department for Education (DfE) has published a series of reports analysing the learning from serious case reviews that were published between 2003-2017. The most recent of these is Complexity and challenge: a triennial analysis of SCRs 2014 to 2017 (Department for Education, 2020).

The National Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel have published their first Annual Report 2018 to 2019, which analyses 538 rapid reviews received between July 2018 and December 2019 (Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel, 2020a).

The National Panel have also committed to producing thematic reports, sharing the learning from rapid reviews about a particular topic. The first of these is about safeguarding children at risk from criminal exploitation (Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel, 2020b).