Subjectschild law/legal processes
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AbstractConcern 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’.
CitationPreston-Shoot M (2018) 'What is really wrong with serious case reviews?', Child Abuse Review, 27 (1), pp.11-23.
PublisherJohn Wiley and Sons Ltd
JournalChild Abuse Review