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10.1 Child Safeguarding Practice Reviews

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Last reviewed in Jan 2020

Next review Jan 2022


Serious Incident Notifications (statutory requirement) – timescale of 5 working days remains

Rapid Reviews (non-statutory requirement) – timescale of 15 working days relaxed – Government expectation is that local safeguarding partnerships should make decisions locally on how quickly they can undertake a rapid review in the current circumstances, and inform the panel of any delays at: The Government ask that the rapid review is expedited where is a child death or serious in jury in the context of abuse or neglect and coronavirus (COVID-19) is a strongly related factor.

Serious Case Reviews/Child Safeguarding Practice Reviews – initiation and pre-publication/publication  timings relaxed – but the Government expectation remains that in-depth practice reviews should be completed within 6 months wherever possible. 



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

West Sussex

East Sussex


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

  • highlights or may highlight improvements needed to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, including where those improvements have been previously identified
  • highlights or may highlight recurrent themes in the safeguarding and promotion of the welfare of children
  • highlights or may highlight concerns regarding two or more organisations or agencies working together effectively to safeguard and promote the welfare of children
  • is one which the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel have considered and concluded a local review may be more appropriate

Safeguarding Partnerships should also have regard to the following:

  • where the safeguarding partners have cause for concern about the actions of a single agency
  • where there has been no agency involvement and this gives the safeguarding partners cause for concern
  • where more than one local authority, police area or clinical commissioning group is involved, including in cases where families have moved around
  • where the case may raise issues relating to safeguarding or promoting the welfare of children in institutional settings

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

Rapid Reviews

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.

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This page is correct as printed on Saturday 17th of April 2021 06:10:46 PM please refer back to this website ( for updates.