Improving the quality and use of serious case reviews

We're sharing new resources from our joint project with the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE)

For the past year we've been working to pilot ways to:

  • improve the quality of serious case reviews
  • use the learning to improve practice.

We've analysed published reviews and gathered the knowledge and practice experience of frontline staff, managers and leaders across multiple agencies. All as part of the Learning into Practice Project funded by the Department of Education (DfE).

Today we're publishing a series of reports and resources to share what we've learnt and provide practical tools to help improve the quality and use of serious case reviews.

Download the briefings, Quality Markers and use the online tool

Inter-professional communication and decision making

An overview and set of 14 briefings looking at practice issues identified in an analysis of 38 serious case reviews.
Find out more

Serious Case Review Quality Markers

A set of 18 quality markers and online tool to support LSCBs and reviewers in commissioning and conducting high quality case reviews.
Find out more

Further resources

We have also:

  • produced a suite of masterclasses for lead reviewers to build on their experience and knowledge around specific skills relevant to undertaking serious case reviews
  • published a project report
  • shared slides from the end of project conference (PDF)
  • produced a webinar giving an overview of the quality markers, how the markers have been developed and how they might be used
  • developed an online tool with quick access to the questions that will help you meet the quality markers - will be available soon
  • set up the Alliance of professional and leadership bodies to drive forwards improvements in practice.

Gathering the learning from professionals

Together the NSPCC and the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE):

  • held 3 successful multi-agency summits
  • ran 2 mini-summits
  • delivered an end of project conference.

These were attended by over 400 professionals from a wide range of sectors including children’s social care, health, police, education, adults’ social care, Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs) as well as lead reviewers.

This high level of engagement from professionals working in safeguarding provided invaluable feedback and input into the resources we have produced.

What happens next

We will pass all the learning from this project to the Department for Education (DfE) to support the setting up of the What Works centre and the central commissioning of serious case reviews in England.

The DfE have published an evaluation report of the project (PDF) conducted by OPM.

Got a question?

Our Knowledge and Information Service answer over a thousand enquiries every year helping professionals find the information and resources they need to keep children safe.

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Further help and resources

Case reviews

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

Learning from case reviews

Our series of thematic briefings highlight the learning from case reviews. Each briefing focuses on a different topic and pulls together key risk factors and practice recommendations.
Find out more


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