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10.1 Improving Child Protection and Safeguarding Practice Overview

This chapter was added to the manual in September 2019.


Contents

  1. Lincolnshire's Significant Incident Review Group
  2. Statutory Guidance
  3. Rapid Review
  4. National Reviews
  5. Transition Arrangements

    Appendix 1: Child Safeguarding Practice Reviews

    Appendix 2: Process to Decide Whether a Child Safeguarding Practice Review or Alternative Learning Review is Required (Stages 1-4 from Overview Process)

    Appendix 3: Serious Incident Notification Form


1. Lincolnshire's Significant Incident Review Group

Professionals and organisations in Lincolnshire with a role in protecting children, need to reflect on the quality of services and learn from their own practice and that of others. Good practice should be shared so that there is a growing understanding of what works well. Equally, when things go wrong, there needs to be a robust and objective analyis of what happened and why, so that lessons can be learnt and services improved to reduce the risk of future harm to children.

The purpose of the group would be to oversee all open serious incident cases (including serious case reviews commissioned under Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015), the associated action plans and consider examples of good multi-agency practice.

The three safeguarding partners will determine whether a case meets the criteria to be referred to the National Panel, or an alternative form of case review such as a multi-agency learning review, or single agency learning review.

The Group has a fixed core membership drawn from organisations across the safeguarding partnershp with the flexibility to co-opt other relevant professionals to discuss certain cases as and when appropriate.


2. Statutory Guidance

Working Together to Safeguard Children (chapter 4) provides the partnership with the statutory guidance for reviews of local practice, and recommendations for national reviews.

Notification

There is a duty on local authorities to notify incidents to the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel (national):

  • 16C(1) of the Children Act 2004 (as amended by the Children and Socal Work Act 2017) states:
    • Where a local authority (LA) in England knows or suspects that a child has been abused or neglected, the local authority must notify the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel if:
      1. The child dies or is seriously harmed in the local authority's area; or
      2. While normally resident in the local authority's area, the child dies or is seriously harmed outside England.
  • 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. [1]
  • The LA must notify any event that meets the above criteria to the Panel, using the online form;
  • They should do so within 5 working days of becoming aware of that the incident has occurred;
  • The LA should also report the event to the safeguarding partners in their area (and in other areas if appropriate) within 5 working days;
  • The duty to notify events to the Panel rests with the LA;
  • Others who have functions relating to children should inform the three safeguarding partners of any incident which they think should be considered for a child safeguarding practice review.

[1] Child perpetrators may also be the subject of a review, if the definition of 'serious child safeguarding case' is met.

Decisions on local and national reviews

Safeguarding partners must make arrangement to identify serious child safeguarding cases which raise issues of importance in relation to the area, and commission and oversee the review of those cases, where they consider it appropriate for a review to be undertaken. When a serious incident becomes known to the safeguarding partners, they must consider whether the case meets the criteria for a local review. This does not mean that the safeguarding partners must automatically carry out a local child safeguarding practice review.

Criteria to take into account, must 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 partners should also have regard to the following circumstances:

  • 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 safeguarding partners may choose to undertake a local child safeguarding practice review.


3. Rapid Review

Safeguarding partners should promptly undertake a rapid review of the case with the aim being to enable partners to:

  • Gather 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.

When the Rapid Review is complete, the safeguarding partners should send a copy to the Panel, sharing the decision on whether a local child safeguarding practice review is appropriate, or, whether they think the case may raise issues which are complex or of national importance, and so a national review is appropriate. This may also occur during the course of a local child safeguarding practice review if new information comes to light that suggest a national review may be appropriate. When a local review is agreed, the Panel, Ofsted and DfE, shouuld be informed, naming the reviewer.


4. National Reviews

The Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel will make a decision as to whether it is appropriate to commission a national review of a case or cases.


5. Transition Arrangements

From 29 June 2018, LAs should notify the Panel of incidents where they know or suspect that a child has been abused or neglected and the child has died or been seriously harmed. LSCBs must continue to carry out all statutory functions, including commissioning SCRs where the criteria are met, until the safeguarding partner arrangements begin to operate. Latest date and completion and publication of an SCR is 29 September 2020. From point when new arrangements are published and operational:

  • LSCBs have 12 months to complete and publish current SCRs;
  • LSCBs may not commission new SCRs;
  • Decision should be passed to the safeguarding partners;
  • If an SCR is incomplete or not published by the end of the grace period (12 months), this should all be passed to the safeguarding partners, the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel and the DfE.


Appendices

Appendix 1: Child Safeguarding Practice Reviews

Appendix 2: Process to Decide Whether a Child Safeguarding Practice Review or Alternative Learning Review is Required (Stages 1-4 from Overview Process)

Appendix 3: Serious Incident Notification Form

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