One of the roles of the Essex Safeguarding Children Board (ESCB), through its Serious Case Review Sub-committee, is to identify key learning points from reviews to inform multi-agency safeguarding practice when working with vulnerable children and their families. It is recognised that multi-agency safeguarding and child protection practice can be highly complex. It is understandable that on occasions professionals will not necessarily make the right judgement, may be overly-optimistic because they clearly want vulnerable parents to succeed, may make flawed assessments, may not share information appropriately, or not be curious enough. This happens within the context of forming meaningful working relationships with families (and with other professionals) to help and support families effect change within their family functioning and improve the outcomes for their children. Agencies must work together to address the complexities, uncertainties and changes in circumstances when working with families. There is a need for professionals to raise questions to discuss differences of views with each other and to reflect upon multi-agency practice in relation to safeguarding children and young people.
As safeguarding is everyone's business, it is vital that any learning from serious case reviews is shared so that agencies and individuals can learn lessons to improve the way in which we work together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in Essex. The NSPCC publishes serious case reviews on its website.