When and Why Inquiries and Serious Case Reviews?

February 27, 2017 Health

A Serious Case Reviews are When a child dies (including death by suicide), and abuse or Neglect are known or suspected to be a factor in the death, local organizations should consider immediately whether there are other children at risk of harm who require safeguarding (e.g. siblings, other children in an institution where abuse is alleged). Thereafter, organizations should consider whether there are any lessons to be learnt about the ways in which they work together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. Consequently, when a child dies in such circumstances, the Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) should always conduct a Serious Case Review into the involvement with the child and family of organizations and professionals. Additionally, the LSCB should always consider whether a Serious Case Review should be conducted where: a child sustains a potentially life-threatening injury or serious and permanent impairment of health and development through abuse or neglect; or a child has been subjected to particularly serious Sexual Abuse; or a parent has been murdered and a homicide review is being initiated; or a child has been killed by a parent with a mental illness; or the case gives rise to concerns about inter-agency working to protect children from harm, The purpose of Serious Case Reviews carried out is to establish whether there are lessons to be learnt from the case about the way in which local professionals and organizations 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; and as a consequence, improve inter-agency working and better safeguard and promote the welfare
Where more than one LSCB has knowledge of a child, the LSCB for the area in which the child is / was normally resident should take lead responsibility for conducting any review (the Primary LSCB). Any other LSCBs that have an interest or involvement in the case should be included as partners in jointly planning and undertaking the review. In the case of looked after children, the local authority which has responsibility for the child should take lead responsibility for conducting the review, again involving other LSCBs with an interest or involvement. Any professional may refer such a case to the LSCB if it is believed that there are important lessons for inter-agency working to be learned from the case. It would be the LSCBs responsibility to take note of any referral and make a decision as to what if any action is needed. In addition, the Secretary of State for the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) has powers to demand an inquiry be held under the Inquiries Act 2005.


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