Reviews and Annual Reports
Local Child Safeguarding Practice Reviews
Working Together 2018 states that a Local Child Safeguarding Practice Review (LCSPR) must be undertaken by Local Safeguarding Children Partnerships (LSCPs) 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, their Board partners or other relevant persons have worked together to safeguard the child.
View the Buckinghamshire Serious Incident/Case Review Process here.
Buckinghamshire Serious Case Reviews
A statement from Independent Chair of the Buckinghamshire Safeguarding Children Partnership, Sir Francis Habgood QPM regarding the Serious Case Review for Baby N.
This is a tragic and complex case that occurred in December 2018. The report concludes that the loss cannot be attributed to the actions of any one agency or the parents. The case involved a number of organisations across three counties, moves by the family and the challenge of working with a family who were living in one area and accessing services across local authority borders.
The report highlighted the need to ensure that any decisions about home visits were based on timely and evidence based risk assessments and that effective supervision is in place.
The Serious Case Review makes a number of recommendations in the report. These include better understanding about the housing needs of vulnerable families who live on borders, supporting the wider partnership in understanding the impact of neglect on a child’s lived experience and endorsing the planned Healthcare Trust training on professional curiosity and unconscious bias. The report has also been shared with the neighbouring Safeguarding Children’s Partnership to ensure that lessons are shared.
The Partnership will now monitor the implementation of the recommendations and ensure that lessons are embedded. Our thoughts and sympathies are with baby N’s family.
Sir Francis Habgood
Independent Chair, Buckinghamshire Safeguarding Children PartnershipBSCP Baby N 2021
A statement from Independent Chair of the Buckinghamshire Safeguarding Children Partnership, Sir Francis Habgood QPM regarding the Serious Case Review for Child V.
In January 2019 the Buckinghamshire Safeguarding Children’s Board (BSCB) commissioned a Child Safeguarding Review in respect of the death of a two year, seven month old child, referred to as Child V. She and her older siblings were subject to Child Protection plans at the time of her death. The review covered the period from Child V’s mother’s early pregnancy in November 2015 to December 2018 when she sadly died due to a cardiac arrest likely to be caused by a natural but undetermined cause.
During the two years and seven months of her life Child V experienced neglect and delayed development. Information provided to the review evidenced that the social, emotional and developmental needs of Child V and her three siblings were not met. The review found that the response of agencies was fragmented and there was a lack of effective multi agency assessment. The impact of long term neglect on Child V and siblings was not adequately recognised and intervention to improve their life experience had limited impact.
The review also found that practitioners cared about Child V and Siblings and wanted their lives to improve. School and health worked particularly hard to ensure that records were kept and the children seen as often as possible. However, without a clear multi-agency plan to respond to emerging concerns any change was not sustained.
All of the organisations that had contact with Child V and her family were asked to provide chronologies and professionals met to explore issues relating to multi agency practice and opportunities for learning. These formed the basis of the review and enabled a fuller understanding of the circumstances of the case.
At the time of this review Buckinghamshire County Council (as was then) were developing an improvement plan for Children’s Social Care in response to their latest inspection by Ofsted. The findings and learning from this review helped to inform the improvement plan and progress has been updated to the Improvement Board on a regular basis.
The report identifies a number of key learning points and makes ten recommendations about wider partnership arrangements. The recommendations form part of an action plan which is now owned by the Buckinghamshire Safeguarding Children’s Partnership (which replaced the BSCB in summer 2019). All of the recommendations have been accepted and some actions have already been completed. Work continues to implement the outstanding actions. The new Partnership has a robust process in place to ensure that learning is embedded.
Reading this report highlights the challenges that are faced by some families and the need for agencies to place the voice of the child and family at the centre of everything they do, not just at an individual level but also at a system level. I am confident that the learning from this review will help to improve the safeguarding of children in the future and embed effective multi-agency working.
Sir Francis Habgood QPMChild V SCR Report
Independent Chair of the Buckinghamshire Safeguarding Children Partnership, Sir Francis Habgood said:
“The Serious Youth Violence: Thematic Serious Case Review makes 11 recommendations for a number of agencies across the County.
“Serious youth violence and knife crime has become a feature of many urban environments. It was important for Buckinghamshire to have undertaken this Thematic Serious Case Review to ensure that our practices and policies are robust enough to manage future challenges.
“I am pleased that work has already begun on recognising opportunities to reduce the early risks highlighted in the report. This will enable us to better support young people and families.”
“This does require a better multiagency approach and all partners are committed to ensuring that happens by supporting agencies to deliver on these recommendations and providing strong scrutiny.”Serious Youth Violence: Thematic Serious Case Review
A statement from Independent Chair of the Buckinghamshire Safeguarding Children Partnership, Sir Francis Habgood QPM:
“The investigation following the tragic death of Baby S in April 2016 found no cause for blame in this case.
“However, there is always valuable learning to be gained from any Serious Case Review, allowing organisations to continually improve their service design and practice.
“Following this Review, I will be writing to agencies to remind them of the importance of maintaining detailed information records. This will help to ensure we have the fullest understanding possible of details and context surrounding future cases.
“Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with the family of Baby S for their terrible loss.”Overview Report for Baby S
Working Together 2018 provides clear criteria in Chapter 4 about when the Buckinghamshire Safeguarding Children Partnership (BSCP) should conduct a Local Child Safeguarding Practice Review (LCSPR).
BSCP partner agencies should ensure that Serious Incidents which may meet the criteria for an LCSPR are also brought to the attention of the BSCP LCSPR Sub Group using this form.
For cases that do not meet the criteria for a LCSPR, the Sub Group will consider where another form of partnership or learning review may be appropriate to ensure lessons are learned.
Where partners feel a serious incident does not meet the definition for a LCSPR, but cannot be dealt with internally by the referring agency alone, then the Sub Group can consider making a recommendation on whether there should be a wider review involving more than one agency. This form should also be used for referring such cases.
Anyone wishing to refer a case to the LCSPR Sub Group should discuss the case, and their reasons for referring it, with their agency’s Designated Safeguarding Lead/Officer before making the referral. They should then notify the BSCP as soon as possible.
For further information on Local Safeguarding Practice Reviews, please see the LCSPR Information Leaflet
The BSCP have produced LCSPR Learning Leaflets for all practitioners to refer to on the following topics
- Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)
- Disguised Compliance
- Domestic Abuse
- Health Sector including Paediatrics and Accident and Emergency
The NSPCC have put together a series of themed briefing documents highlighting the learning from serious case reviews. Each briefing focuses on a different topic, pulling together key risk factors and practice recommendations to help practitioners understand and act upon the learning. View the NSPCC Learning from Case Reviews here.