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5g Serious case review sub group

Purpose of the group

The Serious Case Review (SCR) sub group is a sub group of SGSCB and part of the learning and improvement framework, with the responsibility to ensure that the requirements of the relevant statutory guidance (Working Together 2013) are met where a case meets the criteria for a serious case review.

Functions

The sub group receives requests for SCRs which they consider and then make recommendations as to whether the criteria is met to the independent chair of the safeguarding board.

Referrals are also received for case reviews; those cases that sit below the threshold for a SCR but reviewing them could provide valuable lessons about how organisations within the SGSCB area are working together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

The sub group maintains responsibility for the oversight of the implementation of any action plans resulting from SCRs and case reviews.

The sub group is also responsible for reviewing published reports from serious case reviews nationally and considering if recommendations are relevant for South Gloucestershire.

Membership 

  • Children’s Social Care
  • Health
  • Police
  • Voluntary Sector
  • Education
  • Other agencies are co-opted to provide specialist information

Frequency

The sub group meets quarterly but can be convened to consider a Serious Case Review request if necessary.

Performance and effectiveness/impact of work undertaken

Work undertaken during the last year includes:

  • Monitor and sign off of actions from previous Serious Case Reviews/Case Reviews for Child L and Child C
  • Review and update of the Terms of Reference
  • Development of a clear process for making and managing requests for a SCR
  • Serious Case Review request reviewed and recommendations made to the independent chair of the board. Agreement to progress this case via a case review
  • Hot debrief model of case review for “Mya” and monitoring the subsequent action plan
  • Preparation of police debrief model of “Jake” to take place in June 2015
  • Development of a case review threshold document/guidance
  • In-depth consideration of 3 individual children and whether they met the criteria for a case review
  • A briefing on the SCIE systems methodology for conducting SCRs was given to the sub group
  • The group identified a weakness in its ability to measure the impact of actions from SCRs/Case Reviews on practice and identified the need for closer links to the Quality Assurance sub group and the Workforce Development and Training sub group. The Quality Assurance sub group has consequently undertaken multi-agency audits to assess whether changes identified by both Child C SCR and Child L case review have become imbedded. The training and development sub group has commissioned training in direct response to identified learning needs
  • An application to court by a father of a child subject to a SCR some years ago, applying to have the SCR published, was dismissed by the judge involved

Areas for improvement and future development

  • Processes for reviewing all nationally published reports from SCRs have been developed. However they now need implementing. This may be a joint venture with colleagues in Bristol
  • The need to review the policy of waiting for the conclusion of care proceedings before undertaking a case review will be reviewed as this can result in “missing the boat” for learning
  • Ongoing development of the “debrief model” of conducting case reviews

Catherine Boyce, Head of Safeguarding, Chair of sub group