Serious Case Reviews

Child Safeguarding Practice Review (CSPR)

A Child Safeguarding Practice Review (previously known as a Serious Case Review(SCR) is undertaken when a child dies or the child has been seriously harmed and there is cause for concern as to the way organisations worked together.The purpose of a child safeguarding practice review is for agencies and individuals to learn lessons that improve the way in which they work, both individually and collectively, to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

The trigger for this is a notifiable incident :

There is a duty on local authorities to notify incidents to the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel, this is also referred to as the National Panel.  Working Together 2018 (chapter 4) states that where a local authority in England knows or suspects that a child has been abused or neglected, the local authority must notify the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel if the child dies or is seriously harmed in the local authority’s area, or while normally resident in the local authority’s area, the child dies or is seriously harmed outside England.

Initially a rapid review will be undertaken in order to ascertain whether a local child safeguarding practice review is appropriate, or whether the case may raise issues which are complex, or they are of national importance, such that a national review may be appropriate.

NTSCP has a standing group, known as the Case Review Group,  which oversees and quality assures all the child safeguarding practice reviews undertaken by the Partnership. The group is made up of senior experienced professionals from all key partner agencies and it provides advice on whether the criteria for conducting a review have been met. 

If the criteria for a CSPR has been met a review will take place.  The review is usually carried out by an independent author. Upon completion of the CSPR, there is an expectation that the final report is published in full and will be available on the website for a minimum of 12 months. The report will include:

  • a summary of any recommended improvements to be made by persons in the area to safeguard and promote the welfare of children;
  • an analysis of any systemic or underlying reasons why actions were taken or not in respect of matters covered by the report.

Any recommendations will be clear on what is required of relevant agencies and others collectively and individually, and by when, and focused on improving outcomes for children. Additional information and guidance in relation to Child Safeguarding Practice Reviews can be found in the statutory guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018.

Previous Serious Case Reviews

Serious Case Review Jasmine  you can access a copy of the report here

Serious Case Review Harry – you can access a copy of the report here

Serious Case Review Claire and Anne – you can access a copy of the report here

For a list of all National Serious Case Review Publications, please visit the NSPCC National repository of case reviews. The NSPCC thematic briefings highlight the learning from case reviews that are conducted when a child dies or is seriously injured and abuse or neglect are suspected. Each briefing focuses on a different topic, pulling together key risk factors and practice recommendations to help

Learning from National Serious Case Reviews for the Voluntary Sector

The NSPCC have put together a useful guide on learning from case reviews for organisations operating within the voluntary sector.  A copy of the guide can be found here