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Serious Case Reviews

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A Serious Case Review is held when a child has died and abuse or neglect is known or suspected to be a factor in the child's death.

Reviews may also be held when a child has been seriously injured through abuse or neglect and where those who know about the child's circumstances believe that lessons could be learned to avoid a similar situation arising in the future. Serious Case Reviews are not undertaken to apportion blame.

The government provides advice and guidance to all the agencies that work with children, about how to conduct a Serious Case Review.

These are contained in Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015 which defines the purpose of a Serious Case Reviews as follows:

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 together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.
  • Identify clearly what those lessons are, how they will be acted on, and what is expected to change as a result; and...
  • As a consequence, improve inter-agency working and better safeguard and promote the welfare of children.


Local Safeguarding Children Boards are responsible for undertaking Serious Case Reviews.  

The content is anonymised in order to protect the confidentiality of relevant family members and others. The LSCB has a responsibility to provide relevant information to those with a legitimate interest.


NSPCC on SCRs published in January 2016

© St.Helens Council 2018