Child Safeguarding Practice Reviews

Conducting Child Safeguarding Practice Reviews (CSPR) is one of the statutory duties of DSCP, as detailed in Chapter 4 of Working Together 2018:  Improving child protection and safeguarding practice.

Sometimes a child suffers a serious injury or death as a result of child abuse or neglect. Understanding not only what happened but also why things happened as they did can help to improve our response in the future. Understanding the impact that the actions of different organisations and agencies had on the child’s life, and on the lives of his or her family, and whether or not different approaches or actions may have resulted in a different outcome, is essential to improve our collective knowledge.

The purpose of reviews of serious child safeguarding cases, at both local and national level, is to identify improvements to be made to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. Learning is relevant locally, but it has a wider importance for all practitioners working with children and families and for the government and policy-makers. Understanding whether there are systemic issues, and whether and how policy and practice need to change, is critical to the system being dynamic and self-improving.

Serious child safeguarding cases are those in which:

  • Abuse or neglect of a child is known or suspected
  • The child has died or been seriously harmed

Reviews seek to prevent or reduce the risk of recurrence of similar incidents. They are not conducted to hold individuals, organisations or agencies to account, as there are other processes for that purpose, including through employment law and disciplinary procedures, professional regulation and, in exceptional cases, criminal proceedings.

CSPR reports must be published, unless it is inappropriate to do so.

Within the Resources section on this page are some learning materials form Serious Case Reviews

  • 2 Minute Briefing - Professional Curiosity
  • 2 Minute Briefing - P and A Review
  • 2 minute Briefing - C Review
  • 2 minute Briefing - TS Review
  • Pathways to harm, pathways to protection: analysis of Serious Case Reviews 2011 to 2014
  • An independent review of South Yorkshire Police’s handling of child sexual exploitation 1997 – 2016