Child Safeguarding Practice Reviews (CSPRs)

What are Child Safeguarding Practice Reviews (CSPRs)?

Child Safeguarding Practice Reviews (CSPRs), previously referred to as Serious Case Reviews (SCRs), is undertaken when a child dies or has been seriously harmed and there is cause for concern as to the way organisations worked together.

The purpose of a CSPR is to:

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

A CSPR is undertaken by a CSPR Panel, chaired by a person independent of the different agencies involved.

Learning Lessons from Reviews

CSPRs often find a combination of good service provision and practice, alongside lessons to be learned about how these can be improved to help ensure that such events do not happen again.   Members of the Safeguarding Children Partnership (SCP) are enabled to take these lessons back to their agencies to disseminate the learning.  This learning is also cascaded through single and interagency training and development, as well as through the implementation of the action plans, briefing notes etc.

Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel

The CSPR Panel, created under the Children and Social Work Act 2017, is an independent panel, the responsibilities of which are to commission and supervise national case reviews, support the quality of CSPRs and identify improvements that should be made by safeguarding partners.  More information on the role and responsibilities of the Panel can be found on the Government website.  The statutory guidance on Working Together to Safeguard Children sets out how the Panel operates and works with Safeguarding Children Partnerships.

Publication of CSPRs

Safeguarding Children Partnerships are required to publish the reports from any CSPRs conducted.  These can be found on individual Partnership websites and on the  NSPCC Serious Case Review National Repository.

The final Serious Case Review (SCR) was undertaken in 2019 and the report was published on 14 January 2020:

A slide deck has been prepared, as a learning resource, to accompany the above Report.

As at August 2021, the Redbridge SCP has not undertaken any CSPRs.

Learning from Other SCPs Reviews

The publication of reports means that the learning from SCRs held in other parts of the country can be shared more effectively.  The NSPCC have developed a portal of all published SCR Reports.  The NSPCC has also produced a series of thematic briefings which highlight 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 (e.g. CSE, Neglect, Mental Health), pulling together key risk factors and practice recommendations to help practitioners understand and act upon the learning from SCRs.

In 2014, the Department for Education (DfE) published “Pathways to Harm, Pathways to Protection: The Triennial Analysis of Serious Cases Reviews, 2011 – 2014”.  Research in Practice (RiP), in partnership with the University of East Anglia and Warwick University, has developed an open-access website which includes a number of resources to support the sharing of the findings from the report.  These include an introductory video and individual films for LSCBs, social workers and early help practitioners,  police and criminal justice agencies, health and education.

A further report, covering SCRs undertaken between 2014 – 2017, was published in March 2020 – Complexity and Challenge:  a triennial analysis of SCRs 2014 – 2017.

The RSCP Learning and Improvement Sub Group developed a template to capture the outline of nationally published SCRs to enable dissemination of findings, lessons etc. The template can be used by all partners.  The Sub Group will from time to time share learning via this format.