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.
Regulation 5 of the Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) Regulations 2006 sets out the functions of LSCBs to undertake Serious Case Reviews, in accordance with the statutory guidance laid out in ‘Working Together to safeguard Children 2006 and updated 2015.
Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015 provides clear criteria in Chapter 4 about when LSCBs should conduct a Serious Case Review (SCR).
The West Berkshire LSCB should consider whether to conduct a SCR where
- abuse of neglect of a child is known or suspected; and
- either (i) the child has died 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
(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.
Chapter 4 of Working Together 2015 also recommends:
- “there should be a culture of continuous learning and improvement across the organisations that work together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, identifying opportunities to draw on what works and promote good practice;
- the approach taken to reviews should be proportionate according to the scale and level of complexity of the issues being examined;
Serious Case Reviews in West Berkshire are part of West of Berkshire Case Review Group
The purpose of a West of Berkshire Case Review Group is to:
- Establish whether there are lessons to be learned from the case about the way in which local professionals and agencies 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
- As a consequence, improve inter-agency working and better safeguard and promote the welfare of children
Some cases may meet the statutory criteria to be reviewed as a Serious Case Review (SCR), whilst other cases that may be below this threshold will benefit from being reviewed as a Multi-agency or single agency partnership review. All these reviews give insight into how agencies work together to safeguard children, and are a focus for driving improvements and providing transparency about the issues that may arise.
Alongside these criteria is a framework to audit trail the decision to, or not to, undertake a review. This audit trail will provide evidence to the each Board as to how and why review decisions are made. It will also provide evidence to the National Panel of Independent Experts on Serious Case Reviews as outlined in Working Together 2015.
WoB CRG Learning Review Practice Guidance and Tool Kit
Learning from a recent West Berkshire Serious Case Review
- Letter to West Berkshire Headteachers about DBS checks
- LADO referral process
- Presentations from the SCR Conference held 22 March 2017
Other Serious Case Review information: