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Case Reviews

For details of the CSPR process, methodologies and referral form see here.

What is a Child Safeguarding Practice Review?

When a child dies or is seriously harmed and abuse/neglect is known or suspected, the SCSP may be required to undertake a Child Safeguarding Practice Review (formerly known as Serious Case Reviews/SCRs). This looks at how organisations worked together to provide services to the child and their family and whether any lessons can be learned to prevent similar incidents happening in the future.

The CSPR is not an enquiry into the child’s death/injury and is completely separate to any investigations by the police or coroner.

If a case does not meet the criteria for a CSPR, the SCSP may undertake a different kind of learning review with agencies. Although these aren’t published, the learning is shared with partner agencies and monitored to ensure changes are embedded.

We aim to complete all reviews within 6 months however this is not always possible due to ongoing parallel proceedings. CSPRs can’t be published until all criminal/coroner proceedings are completed so investigations are not compromised. When possible to do so, the published report will be made available on the SCSP website and shared with partner agencies.

The production of CSPRs and all decisions made relating to practice reviews is overseen by the Child Safeguarding Practice Review National Panel, which is chaired by Edward Timpson CBE. The National Panel can choose to commission national case reviews, and also publishes overview reports of issues which represent national challenges such as criminal exploitation. Information on the National Panel and their publications can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/child-safeguarding-practice-review-panel

The NSPCC also maintains a repository of all CSPRs/SCRs which have been published across England as a single point to access and share learning at a local, regional and national level. This can be accessed here: https://learning.nspcc.org.uk/case-reviews/national-case-review-repository

How do we decide to undertake a CSPR?

A decision is undertaken on whether to complete a CSPR at a Rapid Review meeting which is convened after a Serious Incident Referral form is received which meets the criteria for a Rapid Review. This is attended by representatives from statutory partner agencies, such as Sandwell Children’s Trust and the police, who review the available information and make a decision on whether a review of practice is needed, and if so what this review will look like. This decision is then sent off to the National Panel by the Business Unit.

Once a decision has been made to complete a CSPR, an independent author is appointed to oversee the review and write the report. A CSPR panel made up of senior managers from organisations will meet to look at the work all agencies completed with the child and family. Each agency who worked with the child will be asked to provide a report of when and what service they provided. Analysis of the information they give will go into the final report. Agencies who worked with the child will be asked to identify how they can improve services for families in the future.

Where it will not affect parallel proceedings, family members will be asked to contribute to the review process and will be kept up to date on the progress and publication of the report.

If a CSPR is not required because the criteria are not met, SCSP may choose to commission an alternative form of case review.  Whilst these reviews are not published, the learning from them is disseminated to partner agencies.