The report

Serious Case Review Quality Markers 

Quality statement

The report clearly identifies the analysis and findings of the Serious Case Review (SCR) that are key to making improvements, while keeping details of the family to a minimum. Findings reflect the explanations for professional practice that the analysis has evidenced.


The main function of the report is to make accessible the SCR analysis, in order that it can support necessary improvement work. Descriptions of practice problems are not therefore sufficient. Instead, findings/recommendations need to reflect the explanations of professional practice that the analysis has identified, if learning and improvement are to result. These need to be easily identifiable so others can use them. Making the working-out process transparent helps in evidencing the findings so their validity does not need to be taken on trust. Such a presentation can also increase public accountability and supports public trust.

The Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) also has the statutory responsibility for publishing the report in a format, without redaction, that will not be likely to cause harm to any child or vulnerable adult involved in the case. A key part of this is protecting their privacy. There is often other information on the case in the public arena, for example media coverage and anonymised family court reports.

The information is usually readily accessible via the internet. This makes it difficult to include in the SCR report any personal data or precise identifiers, such as the exact chronic health condition, without the risk that it makes the family identifiable, or reveals personal or sensitive information about them to those who can already identify them. Consequently, personal and sensitive information about family members should not be included and precise details about the case should be minimised. This does not prevent detailed descriptions of professional actions and contexts that are often needed to explain practice problems and evidence findings.

How might you know if you are meeting this quality marker?

  1. Does the structure of the report make it straightforward to identify relevant analysis and findings, so as to assist other local areas to identify learning that is pertinent to them and to assist the collation of learning at a national level?
  2. Does the amount of information provided in the report satisfy the need for privacy of family members and individual staff while providing sufficient information to make accessible the SCR analysis, in order that it can support necessary improvement work?
  3. Does the report contain findings and/or recommendations that reflect the areas deemed as priority for improvement?
  4. Do these findings and/or recommendations address explanations of practice or remain only descriptive of issues identified in how professionals handled the case?
  5. Is there transparency in how conclusions have been reached?
  6. Does the report adequately manage accessibility and explaining complex professional and organisational issues?
  7. Is the tone and choice of words appropriate to the review?

Knowledge base

Equality & diversity

Link to statutory guidance & inspection criteria

Tackling some common obstacles