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Consultation launched on serious case review guidance

Date:3 SEP 2009

The Department for Children, Schools and Families has launched a consultation on guidance on serious case reviews (SCR) in order to improve their quality, consistency and impact.

The guidance is aimed at Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCB) who by law undertake an SCR whenever a child dies or is seriously injured and abuse or neglect is known or suspected to be a factor.

In his recent progress report, Lord Laming made a number of recommendations to strengthen and clarify the serious case review process. His recommendations were accepted in full by Government with an undertaking to update statutory guidance set out in Chapter 8 of Working Together to Safeguard Children.

Changes proposed to the guidance include extending the suggested timescale for completing an SCR from four to six months.

Children's Minister Delyth Morgan said: "Serious case reviews are a critically important part of our child protection arrangements, enabling lessons to be learnt and to be action taken to prevent deaths and serious injuries in the future.

"We know that in many areas, serious case reviews do result in changes to improve policy, professional practice and inter-agency working. But there is also evidence that steps can be taken to improve their quality, consistency and overall impact.

"Sadly, there will always be situations where nothing could have been done to prevent the death of a young person but it is our first duty in Government and as a society to make sure we are doing all we can to keep our children safe."

Serious Case Reviews: Revised Chapter 8 of Working Together to Safeguard Children, is aimed at members of Local Safeguarding Children Boards and anyone who may play a part in a Serious Case Review and will close on 23 October 2009.