10.1 Child Safeguarding Practice Reviews
The purpose of reviews of serious child safeguarding cases, at both local and national level, is to identify improvements to be made to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. Learning is relevant locally, but it has a wider importance for all practitioners working with children and families and for the government and policy-makers. Understanding whether there are systemic issues, and whether and how policy and practice need to change, is critical to the system being dynamic and self-improving.
Reviews should seek to prevent or reduce the risk of recurrence of similar incidents. They are not conducted to hold individuals, organisations or agencies to account, as there are other processes for that purpose, including through employment law and disciplinary procedures, professional regulation and, in exceptional cases, criminal proceedings. These processes may be carried out alongside reviews or at a later stage. Employers should consider whether any disciplinary action should be taken against practitioners whose conduct and/or practice falls below acceptable standards and should refer to their regulatory body as appropriate.
Local Arrangements - UNDER REVIEW
Brighton & Hove
Serious child safeguarding cases are those in which:
- abuse or neglect of a child is known or suspected and
- the child has died or been seriously harmed
Serious harm includes (but is not limited to) serious and/or long-term impairment of a child’s mental health or intellectual, emotional, social or behavioural development. It should also cover impairment of physical health. This is not an exhaustive list. When making decisions, judgment should be exercised in cases where impairment is likely to be long-term, even if this is not immediately certain. Even if a child recovers, including from a one-off incident, serious harm may still have occurred.
The criteria which the local safeguarding partners must take into account include whether the case
Safeguarding Partnerships should also have regard to the following:
Some cases may not meet the definition of a ‘serious child safeguarding case’, but nevertheless raise issues of importance to the local area. That might, for example, include where there has been good practice, poor practice or where there have been ‘near miss’ events. Safeguarding partners may choose to undertake a local child safeguarding practice review in these or other circumstances
Safeguarding partners should promptly undertake a rapid review of any case referred. The aim of this rapid review is to enable safeguarding partners to:
- gather the facts about the case, as far as they can be readily established at the time
- discuss whether there is any immediate action needed to ensure children’s safety and share any learning appropriately
- consider the potential for identifying improvements to safeguard and promote the welfare of children
- decide what steps they should take next, including whether or not to undertake a child safeguarding practice review
Arrangements are in place across Sussex to undertake Rapid Reviews.