• What is really wrong with serious case reviews?

      Preston-Shoot, Michael (John Wiley and Sons Ltd, 2017-07-20)
      Concern about the effectiveness of Serious Case Reviews for generating improvements in child protection in England led to proposals in the Wood review to replace the current system with rapid local learning inquiries and a national system of learning from significant incidents. This article challenges both the analysis in the Wood review and the proposals themselves. Whilst not uncritical of Serious Case Reviews, this article addresses five criticisms of the current review system. It explores how systemic the focus of reviews has been, and argues that findings and recommendations have become repetitive and lessons not fully appreciated because of an overly simplistic approach to change management. It suggests that there are methodologies that can effectively engage practitioners and managers in case reviews and that criticism of the review process itself can be addressed with refinements rather than wholesale change. The article concludes by questioning the assumptions upon which proposals for changing the current Serious Case Review are based. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. ‘Challenges both the analysis in the Wood review and the proposals themselves’. Key Practitioner Messages A systemic approach to Serious Case Reviews must engage legislative, social policy and societal systems as well as local policy and practice. A linear approach to learning and service development, often reflected in recommendations for training and policy refinements, is a less effective change management approach than engaging with single and multiagency contexts. Safeguarding children involves practice which is inherently social and relational, full of complexity and complicated truths; so too is the practice of reviewing cases. ‘Safeguarding children involves practice which is inherently social and relational, full of complexity and complicated truths’.
    • 'What's going on' to safeguard children and young people from child sexual exploitation: a review of local safeguarding children boards' work to protect children from sexual exploitation

      Pearce, Jenny J. (John Wiley and Sons Ltd, 2013-06-21)
      This article draws on findings from research into the implementation by local safeguarding children boards (local government multi-agency panels responsible for child protection in England) of national guidance on safeguarding children from child sexual exploitation (CSE). Despite there being some excellent examples of practice, a lack of awareness of the issues faced by sexually exploited children or a lack of resources to address them meant that only a quarter were implementing the dual aim of the guidance: protecting children and prosecuting abusers. The research developed a data monitoring tool, its use showing that children experiencing CSE had multiple problems, many already receiving support from a range of service providers for other related problems. This suggests that there might be scope for better early identification and prevention of CSE. The research showed new forms of CSE, including peer-on-peer sexual exploitation, raising important questions about engaging with children who were both perpetrators and victims of abuse. Finally, research findings identified methods of disrupting and prosecuting abusers, giving insight into some of the complexities involved in achieving both. In the main, safeguarding children was best facilitated through co-located multi-agency teams where child protection and law enforcement practitioners worked together. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.