Practice issues from Serious Case Reviews – learning into practice

National themes from Serious Case Reviews can help to guide local improvement activities. As part of the Learning into Practice Project, a partnership between NSPCC and SCIE, we analysed learning about inter-professional communication and decision making from  recent Serious Case Reviews. We have produced an overview map of the results of the analysis.

We have used this analysis to produce a series of briefings. These are intended to support managers, senior managers and practitioners to consider whether similar issues may be occurring for them locally, and how they might tackle them. Each briefing contains a set of self-assessment questions to support this process.

The briefings are based on an analysis of 38 Serious Case Reviews (SCRs) published between May 2015 and April 2016, with added information gathered from multi-agency ‘summits’ attended by nearly 200 practitioners and managers from across children’s social care, health, education, police, probation and LSCBs.

Practice issues from Serious Case Reviews: inter-professional communication and decision-making

To access the overview map, see the downloads section.

  1. Disagreement about use of early help assessment
  2. Confusion about ‘referrals’ and ‘contacts’ in children’s social care (CSC)
  3. Not making a referral after bruising to non-mobile babies
  4. Not making a referral when young people disclose sexual activity
  5. Unresolved disagreement about the need for children's social care involvement
  6. Not convening strategy discussions
  7. Confusion about interpretation of medical information on cause of injury
  8. Incomplete information sharing by schools in child protection
  9. Misinterpretation of Police decisions not to pursue a prosecution
  10. Unequal weight given to views of different agencies in Child Protection Conferences
  11. Unfocused discussion in Child Protection Conferences
  12. Reluctance to share all information in presence of families at child protection conferences
  13. Euphemistic language in reports and written records
  14. Lack of communication between children’s and adults’ social care