Serious Case Reviews

Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015 (Chapter 4) sets out the purpose and process of Serious Case Reviews (SCR). SCR's are undertaken when a child dies (including suicide) or is seriously injured, and abuse or neglect is known or suspected to be a factor.
The purposes of SCRs carried out under this guidance are to:
  • Identify and establish what lessons are to be learned from the case about the way in which local professionals and organisations work individually and together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children;
  • Identify clearly within what timescales any improvement and learning will be acted upon, and what is expected to change as a result; and
  • Improve single agency and partnership working to better safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

Publishing of reports

Working Together 2015 states:

 Publication of reports

All reviews of cases meeting the SCR criteria should result in a report which is published and readily accessible on the LSCB’s website for a minimum of 12 months. Thereafter the report should be made available on request. This is important to support national sharing of lessons learnt and good practice in writing and publishing SCRs. From the very start of the SCR the fact that the report will be published should be taken into consideration. SCR reports should be written in such a way that publication will not be likely to harm the welfare of any children or vulnerable adults involved in the case.

The requirement to publish SCR reports has been in force since 2012.  Prior to that reports were confidential.

Download: SCR report: 'Zara' 2014


Learning from National Serious Case Reviews

The NSPCC provides series of at-a-glance briefings highlighting the learning from case reviews that are conducted when a child dies or is seriously injured, and abuse or neglect are suspected.

Each briefing focuses on a different topic, pulling together key risk factors and practice recommendations to help practitioners understand and act upon the learning from case reviews.

You can find these briefings on the NSPCC site

Useful links

Social Care Institute for Excellence

Information on Serious Case Reviews

Safeguarding Children Board

Independent Chair:
Nicky Pace

Business Manager:
Kaied Ghiyatha