Child protection in Wales Child practice reviews

A child practice review (CPR) takes place after a child dies or is seriously injured and abuse or neglect is thought to be involved. It looks at lessons than can help prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.

Other parts of the UK have their own systems in place to learn from cases. In England they are called serious case reviews; in Northern Ireland, case management reviews and in Scotland, significant case reviews.

A CPR should take place if child abuse is known or suspected and a child has:

  • died
  • sustained potentially life threatening injury
  • sustained serious and permanent impairment of health or development.

Carrying out a child practice review

The regional safeguarding children board follows statutory guidance for conducting a CPR, Protecting children in Wales: guidance for arrangements for multi-agency child practice reviews (PDF) and Protecting children in Wales: child practice reviews: guide for organising and facilitating learning events (PDF).

There are two types of review:

This should take place if the child was not on the child protection register nor in care at any point in the 6 months running up to the incident.

This must take place if the child was on the child protection register and/or was in care at any point during the six months running up to the incident.

Each child practice review is managed by a review panel and a reviewer is appointed to work with the panel. For an extended child practice review, the review is undertaken by two reviewers working closely together, appointed by the Review Panel. They will have responsibility for examining how the statutory duties of all relevant agencies were fulfilled, and reporting on this to the Review Panel and the safeguarding children board.

The review will focus on the practice during the previous 12 months. This should involve speaking to the family and the professionals who worked with them.  The team will identify lessons that could be learnt from the case and will put forward recommendations.

A planned and facilitated practitioner-focused learning event is a key element of the review, conducted by a reviewer independent of the case management, to examine current case practice within a limited timeline and using a systems approach. 

A draft anonymised child practice review report that is succinct and focused on improving practice and an outline action plan are produced and presented to the safeguarding children board. The safeguarding children board consider, challenge and contribute to the conclusions of the review and identify the strategic implications for improving practice and systems to be included in the action plan. 

The process will be completed as soon as possible but no more than six months from the date of a referral from the safeguarding children board to the Review Sub-Group.

Publishing child practice reviews

The final report is approved by the safeguarding children board and submitted to the Welsh Government and then published by the safeguarding children board. It must appear on the safeguarding children board website for a minimum of 12 weeks.

Published case reviews in the UK

Case reviews published in 2016

A chronological list of the executive summaries or full overview reports of serious case reviews, significant case reviews or multi-agency child practice reviews published in 2016.
View the list

Case reviews published in 2015

A chronological list of the executive summaries or full overview reports of serious case reviews, significant case reviews or multi-agency child practice reviews published in 2015.
View the list

Case reviews published in 2014

A chronological list of the executive summaries or full overview reports of serious case reviews, significant case reviews or multi-agency child practice reviews published in 2014.
View the list

National case review repository

In collaboration with the Association of Independent LSCB Chairs, we store published case reviews from 2013 - 2015 in our library catalogue.

Search case reviews

Case reviews published in 2013

A chronological list of the executive summaries or full overview reports of serious case reviews, significant case reviews or multi-agency child practice reviews published in 2013.
View the list

How lessons are learnt

The action plan is finalised within four weeks of the final report, approved by the safeguarding children board, and submitted to the Welsh Government. The implementation of the action plan is regularly reviewed and progress reported to the safeguarding children board.

Action plans should lead to improvements in child protection practice and the safeguarding children board needs to ensure they are carefully audited to see whether actions are being carried out and with what effect, and whether they are making a difference. The safeguarding children board must submit a report to the Safeguarding Team of the Welsh Government on the differences the actions have made to practice.

Case reviews

Find out how to find published reports and what learning comes from case reviews around safeguarding children.
Find out more

Support our research

Research like this helps keep children safe from abuse – but we can’t do it without our generous supporters. 

Donate now

Information Service

Our free service for people who work with children can help you find the latest policy, practice, research and news on child protection and related subjects.

For more information, call us or email help@nspcc.org.uk.

0808 800 5000

Submit an enquiry