Complexity and Challenge: A Triennial Analysis of SCRs 2014-2017
Introduction: The context of complexity and challenge provides an underlying theme in this triennial review of a total of 368 SCRs (SCRs) from the period 1 April 2014 - 31 March 2017. As we looked into the reviews of children affected by serious and fatal child maltreatment over these three years, we were struck by the complexity of the lives of these children and families, and the challenges – at times quite overwhelming – faced by the practitioners seeking to support them in such complexity.
A serious case review (SCR) is carried out by a Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) where abuse or neglect of a child is known or suspected and either a child has died, or 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. The final decision on whether to conduct a serious case review rests with the chair of the LSCB. LSCBs had a statutory function to undertake SCRs and advise the authority and their Board partners on lessons to be learned.
The study’s primary aim was to understand the key issues, themes and challenges from the cases examined and to draw out implications for both policy makers and practitioners. The process for learning from reviews is undergoing change and this analysis provides a timely opportunity to capture rich learning from these serious cases to inform the new local safeguarding arrangements outlined in Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 (HM Government, 2018).