Serious Case Reviews

May 4, 2016 9:13 pm

If you work with children it will only be a matter of time before you come across the term Serious Case Review (SCR). But what are they and when are they carried out?

A Serious Case Review takes places whenever a child dies or is seriously injured and abuse and/or neglect are thought to be involved. The purpose of the Review is to look at what lessons can be learned to try and prevent similar incidents in the future.

This process is used in England and Wales. It is important to remember that other areas of the U.K. have different processes in place to help them learn from past errors.

A Review should take place if

  • A child has died
  • A child has been seriously injured and
    there are questions about how the organisations working with the family worked together to safeguard the child.
  • A child dies in custody
  • A child dies by way of suspected suicide
  • And a use or neglect is suspect to have contributed to their death or injury

So what is serious injury and how is that decided?

There is no exhaustive list for this. However, serious injury is generally taken to mean that, as a result of abuse or neglect the child has

A potentially life threatening injury

Significant impairment of their physical or mental health in the long term

Significant impairment of their physical, emotional, social, behavioural or intellectual development

If in doubt, consult with your Local Safeguarding Children’s Board.

Who carries out the Review?

The relevant Local Safeguarding Children’s Board will carry out the Review in line with the statutory guidance.

The Review should take place within 1 month of the LSCB receiving notice of the incident. It is the responsibility of the LSCB to notify the national panel of independent experts and Ofsted of the decision on to carry out the Review.

The Review should be led by 1 or more reviewers appointed by the LSCB. The lead reviewer should be independent.

As part of the Review, those organisations working with the child/family may be asked to give written information to the reviewing officer. It is the responsibility of the LSCB to make sure that the different organisations and professionals involved with the family are appropriately represented.

A Serious Case Review should be completed in 6 months.


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