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A Serious Case Review (SCR) is held when a child has died (including suicide) or seriously injured and abuse or neglect is known or suspected to be a factor.

Reviews may also be held in other circumstances: 

  • a child has been subjected to particularly serious sexual abuse; or
  • a parent has been murdered and a homicide review is being initiated; or
  • a child has been killed by a parent with a mental illness; or
  • a case gives rise to concerns about inter-agency working to protect children form harm.

Serious Case Reviews are not undertaken to apportion blame. Advice and guidance is available to all the agencies working with children, about how to conduct a Serious Case Review.

Chapter 4 of Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015 provides some guidance to the purpose and process of serious case reviews.

The purpose of Serious Case Reviews carried out under this guidance is to:

  • establish whether there are lessons to be learnt from the case about the way in which local professionals and organisations work both individually and together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.
  • identify clearly what those lessons are, how they will be shared and acted on effectively, and what is expected to change as a result;
  • improve inter-agency working and better safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

Hartlepool Safeguarding Children Board SCR Panel is responsible for considering and undertaking any Serious Case Reviews.

An anonymised executive summary of each serious case review is made available online as HSCB has a responsibility to provide relevant information to those with a legitimate interest.

Learning the lessons nationally

The lessons identified by serious case reviews nationally are published. 


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