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 safeguarding children boards follow statutory guidance for conducting a CPR, Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014: working together to safeguard people: volume 2: child practice reviews (PDF). Chapters 1-7 of this guidance are issued under section 139 of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014.

There are 2 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 6 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 2 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. The team will identify lessons that could be learnt from the case and will put forward recommendations.

A learning event for practitioners and line managers, conducted by an independent reviewer, is a key element of the review. The event provides an opportunity for practitioners to:

  • contribute directly to the review
  • hear the perspectives of the family and other practitioners who worked with the family
  • reflect on what happened
  • identify learning for future practice.

A draft anonymised child practice review report 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 6 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

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