Serious Case Reviews
The prime purpose of a Serious Case Review (SCR) is for agencies and individuals to learn lessons to improve the way in which they work both individually and collectively to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. It is not an inquiry into how a child died or was seriously harmed, or into who is culpable. These are matters for coroners and criminal courts, respectively, to determine as appropriate.
Under Regulation 5 of the Local Safeguarding Children Boards Regulations 2006 an LSCB is required to undertake a Serious Case Review where;
- abuse or neglect of a child is known or suspected; and
- either (i) the child has died, or (ii) the child has been seriously harmed and there is cause for concern as to the way in which the authority, their Board partners or other relevant persons have worked together to safeguard the child.
A Serious Case Review is led by an individual who is independent of the case under review and of the organisations whose actions are being reviewed and it is expected to be conducted in a way that;
- recognises the complex circumstances in which professionals work together to safeguard children;
- seeks to understand precisely who did what and the underlying reasons that led individuals and organisations to act as they did;
- seeks to understand practice from the viewpoint of the individuals and organisations involved at the time rather than using hindsight;
- is transparent about the way data is collected and analysed; and
- makes use of relevant research and case evidence to inform the findings.
2013 sees the establishing of a national panel of independent experts to advise LSCBs about the initiation and publication of Serious Case Reviews. The panel will support LSCBs in ensuring that appropriate action is taken to learn from serious incidents in all cases where the statutory SCR criteria are met. It will ensure that those lessons are shared through publication of final SCR reports and it will also report to the Government its views of how the SCR system is working.
For further information about Serious Case Reviews please see Chapter 4 of:
‘Working Together to Safeguard Children — 2018’
Serious Case Reviews Archive
Camden Serious Case Reviews