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Serious Case Reviews

​In some instances where a child has suffered harm a serious case review (SCR) is carried out. Lessons can be learnt about how local professionals and organisations worked together and to make recommendations so that the welfare of children is better protected in future.

SCRs must be undertaken by local safeguarding children boards (LCSBs) where –

  • abuse or neglect of a child is known or suspected; and
  • either (i) the child has died;  or (ii) the child has been seriously harmed and there is cause for concern as to the way in which the authority, the LSCB partners or other relevant persons have worked together to safeguard the child.

In addition, an SCR should always be carried out when a child dies in custody, in police custody, on remand or following sentencing, in a young offender institution, in a secure training centre or a secure children’s home, or where the child was detained under the Mental Health Act 2005. SCRs should also be carried out in cases where a child died by suspected suicide.

LSCBs should also conduct reviews of cases which do not meet the criteria for an SCR, but which can provide valuable lessons about how organisations are working together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

The final decision on whether to conduct the SCR rests with the LSCB Chair.

Source: Department for Education website: Serious Case Reviews

Case reviews

Family A: serious case review

Statement 23 November 2015

Chair of the Merton Safeguarding Children Board, Keith Makin said:

“Although Merton’s involvement in the care of the family was several years ago, we continue to be shocked and saddened by the events that happened last year. We welcome the recommendations in the report, which will help us in working collaboratively with a range of families with complex needs to ensure they maintain the best quality of life.”

More information about Family A serious case review (Kingston LSCB website)

Briefings October 2014

Lessons and messages from serious case reviews, case reviews and case audits (PDF)

Tia Sharp: Serious case review briefing session information

Serious case review statement 15 July 2013

Chair of the Merton Safeguarding Children Board, Kevin Crompton said:

“Our deepest sympathy goes to Tia’s family, friends and the wider community who knew her.

“Following Tia’s tragic death, the Merton Safeguarding Children Board set up the Serious Case Review (SCR) to establish if lessons could be learned by the agencies that had contact with Tia and her family.

“The Serious Case Review established that there was no information known to any agency to suggest Tia’s life would end as it did, or that she was at risk of physical harm.

The Serious Case Review has been an independent and thorough process. All of the agencies involved have participated fully, resulting in a number of learning points identified to improve services”.

Tia Sharp SCR executive summary July 2013 (PDF)

Tia Sharp Final Overview Report July 2013 full report (PDF)