When and why are serious case reviews required and how does this affect practice?
Serious case reviews are undertaken when a child or young person dies where abuse or neglect is known or suspected to be a factor in the death. Serious care reviews are set up to see what lessons can be learnt from the death about the way in which local professionals and organisations work separately and together to help safeguard and promote the welfare of the children and young people. It is also set up to improve how they can work better together to ensure nothing like that happened again.
In my setting data protection and information handling with regards to safeguarding children is taken very seriously. Although we need to keep information on pupils so that we can support their teaching and learning and so we can report on their progress, all this information is kept on locked computers in which all teachers have their own passwords to access this. The main computer can be accessed to see what times the teachers have logged on and the exact pages they have looked at. Regular meetings are held at the school regarding data protection and any new ways in which we can achieve this. All contact details for children and staff are kept in the office in a locked cupboard and only the persons who have access to the key can access this data. Also all the staff sign a confidentiality form when they start their employment with the school to say they will not discuss any information regarding a child or other staff member with people who it does not concern. For example if a member of staff was talking about a child on the bus saying that this particular child wasn’t doing well at school because you thought they were having problems at home, someone who knows the child and his family may be on the bus listening. This could then have devastating effects on the child and his family.
Baby Peter was born on the 1st March 2006; he suffered severe injuries which were inflicted whilst he was in his mothers care. His mother pleaded guilty to causing the death of a child and she and her lodger were found guilty on the 11th November 2008. Peter was part of a multi- agency child protection plan and was known to have been seen more than 60 occasions by professionals before his death on August 3rd 2007 aged just 17 months.
The agencies involved were too willing to believe Peters’ mothers account of events. They seemed to be very trusting of Peter’s mother who was reinforced by her presentation and behaviour such as; co-operating with professionals and appointments, positive response to offers of help, initiation of communications with professionals, relaying information between them. After the Baby P incident there were many things which were looked into and the agency were found to be; lacking urgency, lacking thoroughness, insufficiently challenging to the parent, lacking action in response to reasonable interface, insufficiently focussed on the child’s welfare, based on too high a threshold for intervention and based on expectations that were too low.
Overall the result of the Baby P incident meant a review on the child protection plan.
What are your roles and responsibilities for reporting information on possible abuse to a senior colleague or external agency and how and to whom should you pass on information from a child or young person’s allegations of abuse.
If any member of staff is concerned about a child he or she must inform the designated senior person (in my case it would be my mentor, who is also the deputy manager). Any information regarding the concerns must be recorded by the member of staff on the same day on a ‘cause for concern’ sheet, this has an outline of a body on and any marks need to be recorded accurately. It must be a factual account of the observations and must be kept in the manager’s office in a locked cupboard. My mentor will then decide if this should be referred to the Children’s Schools and Families, this may be done without the consent from the parents. All staff including me needs to be updated on policies so that everyone is up to date on the awareness of abuse.
This is what i put and i've had it signed off! hope this helps x