Under Working Together 2018, Serious Case Reviews (SCRs) were replaced by Child Safeguarding Practice Reviews. The guidance and criteria for carrying out reviews 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:
- Identify improvements to be made to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.
- Seek to prevent or reduce the risk of recurrence of similar incidents.
- Establish whether there are lessons to be learned from the case about the way in which local professionals and organisations work together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children;
- Identify clearly what those lessons are, how they will be acted upon, and what is expected to change as a result; and
- As a consequence, to improve inter-agency working and better safeguard and promote the welfare of children.
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. The ESCB publishes Essex Child Safeguarding Practice Reviews and other resources and information. Child Safeguarding Practice Reviews from other Local Authorities are published on the NSPCC website.