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Serious Case Review: Messages from the triennial analysis

The Triennial Review of Serious Case Reviews 2011-14 aims to 'provide evidence of the key issues and challenges in cases where children have died, or been seriously harmed and there are concerns about how agencies have worked together' (Centre for Research on Children and Families, CRFC). In this webinar, Professor Marian Brandon from CRFC and Dr Peter Sidebotham from Warwick University will share the key findings and learning from this Department for Education funded study. They will focus on how these findings can be applied to practice and multi-agency working to enhance the effectiveness of child protection and safeguarding.

Aimed at: Practitioners engaged in direct work with children, young people and families, across the multi-agency safeguarding workforce

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Serious Case Review: Messages from the triennial analysis

  1. 1. Learning from Serious Case Reviews: Messages from the triennial analysis 1 Peter Sidebotham University of Warwick Marian Brandon University of East Anglia
  2. 2. Agenda Introduction and Background Participant Poll Pathways to harm Understanding the model for systems review Pathways to protection: Managing individual cases Exploring vulnerability and risk Assessment Working with families Pathways to protection: Working together Authoritative practice Balancing support and scrutiny Long-term working Reflection: How does this apply to your learning/ practice? 2
  3. 3. Webinar objectives › To understand the model of pathways to harm and pathways to protection › To recognise the key learning arising from this triennial review in relation to managing individual cases and working together in order to prevent maltreatment and better protect children › To identify some of the agency structures, processes and cultures that help promote better prevention and protection › To be able to reflect on your own practice in light of the key learning for practitioners in different agencies 3
  4. 4. Participant Poll 1 › What is your professional background? 4
  5. 5. Participant Poll 2 › In the past 3 years, how many SCRs have you been involved in? 5
  6. 6. Participant Poll 3 › In what capacity were you involved? 6
  7. 7. Pathways to Harm Child seriously or fatally harmed Context Harmful actions/ omissions by perpetrators or carersPredisposing risk Predisposing vulnerability 7
  8. 8. Pathways to prevention and protection Child seriously or fatally harmed Context Harmful actions / omissions by perpetrators or carersPredisposing risk Predisposing vulnerability Preventive actions by society Protective actions by parents/carers Preventive actions by statutory/other agencies Protective actions by statutory/other agencies Systems and processes to support prevention/protection 8
  9. 9. Serious Case Review Mini-site 9
  10. 10. Pathways to protection: Managing individual cases › Exploring vulnerability and risk › Assessment › Working with families 10
  11. 11. Child vulnerabilities › Innate vulnerability of babies and young children – stress of caring › Disabled children – also stress of caring, and poor care can be left unchallenged or attributed to child’s disability › Adolescents – 88% of older adolescents had mental health problems. Adolescents carry the legacy of long-standing abuse and neglect with them › Get to know children and recognise adolescent vulnerability ‘…there were several consecutive days when [premature baby in hospital for 12 weeks] had no contact with mum or family, the longest being a period of 11 days’ 11
  12. 12. Cumulative and interacting risk of harm: Parents › Domestic abuse, mental health, drug and alcohol misuse (combined or singly) › Adverse childhood experiences › A history of crime (especially for violence) › Patterns of multiple consecutive partners › Acrimonious separation ‘As a result of Father’s arrest… any concerns regarding risk of domestic violence were [thought by professionals to have been] effectively eliminated’ 12
  13. 13. Assessment › Hearing the voice of the family - use family expertise in collaborative working between professionals and families › Families may be unaware of the risks / vulnerability › Families may not know where to go with concerns › Family concerns may not have been heard or acted on › Families may see their role as support not scrutiny ‘Father was not aware of the assessment… His views were never sought, despite him having parental responsibility, and… he had made allegations to court about his concerns regarding Mother’s drinking, mental health and her potential aggression’ 13
  14. 14. Context of managing individual cases › 12% of children had a child protection plan – neglect by far the most common category (a further 12% had been on a CP plan in the past) › 45% of cases were open to children’s services but almost two thirds (64%) had been known to children’s services in the past › Significant role for universal services in protecting children › Debates about thresholds into/out of services, and safe escalation and de-escalation 14
  15. 15. Pathways to protection: Working together › Balancing support and scrutiny › Moving from episodic to long-term models of support and intervention › Managing appropriate information sharing › Authoritative child protection 15
  16. 16. Balancing support and scrutiny › Most child protection work is complex and long-term › Parents need support and to be able to trust professionals › A caring, supportive approach does not compromise professional challenge and scrutiny ‘The first primary school was in a position to know about the struggles Mother had had in her own upbringing and in her relationship with Father. They were child-centred in their concerns, as well as sympathetic towards Mother. The school staff were consistently involved in attending and sharing information at Child in Need, and later CP, meetings.’ 16
  17. 17. Moving from episodic to long-term models of support and intervention › Recognising the ongoing, fluctuating and at times cyclical interplay of vulnerability and risk › Chronologies and systematic review › Promoting resilience › Building in monitoring, review and revision ‘Most incidents were dealt with in isolation and the cumulative effect of domestic abuse was not sufficiently recognised by any of the involved agencies. The interventions which did take place appeared to do nothing to cease the pattern of alcohol abuse and domestic abuse continuing.’ 17
  18. 18. Appropriate information sharing › Recognising the centrality of communication › 65/66 SCRs specifically identified information sharing › All national guidance and legislation supports sharing information to safeguard children and vulnerable people ‘Data protection legislation and concerns about information sharing is leading to anxiety and confusion about when information can be shared, and with whom, with or without consent. The culture of patient confidentiality in some organisations, such as those working within “health”, means that the focus tends to be on protecting this right rather than on the safety of children.’ 18
  19. 19. Authoritative child protection › Developing models and cultures of working that mitigate the complexity and ambiguity › Providing effective supervision and support Authority Involves both confidence and competence; enables professionals to adopt a stance of professional curiosity and challenge from a supportive base Humility Enables practitioners to recognise their limitations, to acknowledge and use their skills and strengths, and to seek to improve their practice Empathy Grounded in the centrality of the rights and needs of the child, while being sensitive but not colluding with the needs and views of the parents 19
  20. 20. Reflection: How does this apply to your learning/practice › Identify 2-3 key learning points that you will take away from today › Is there any aspect of this webinar that you would like to explore further? › Can you commit to building in any change to your practice? 20
  21. 21. Questions and comments SCR Mini-site: − Introductory films − PowerPoint with audio on systems methodology − Practice briefings and video introductions − Links to other resources on SCRs › › Watch out for BASPCAN regional seminars at 21
  22. 22. Create an online account › You can access all of our learning resources by creating an online account at: account/ With an account you can: › Download resources › Book places at webinars and workshops › Subscribe to RPU / bulletins 22
  23. 23. Contact details 23