Learning from Serious Case Review George

George (published 15 May 2020)

Cumbria LSCB commissioned a Serious Case Review (SCR) regarding George in 2018.  Due to ongoing parallel criminal proceedings, which have now concluded it has not been possible to publish the SCR report until now.

A Serious Case Review takes place "where abuse of a child is known or suspected; and either - (I) the child has died; or (ii) the child has been seriously harmed and there is cause for concern as to the way in which the authority, their Board partners or other relevant persons have worked together to safeguard the child".

George's Story

George suffered extensive injuries while in the care of his mother and her partner, at the time of the injuries occurring George was two years old.  George was the subject of a child in need plan that was about to be closed. He had twice previously been the subject of a child protection plan with the category of neglect. Mother’s partner had lived with George and his mother for around six-months, initially part time.  The response to his injuries resulted in George being appropriately safeguarded and he is currently doing well in care. 

If you work with children and families in Cumbria, there may be additional specific actions and lessons for your agency and your role. Please ask your manager, or contact your representative on the Cumbria Local Safeguarding Children Board, to find out more.  

Lessons to be learned from George

  1. Information held about parents and those living with or having extensive contact with a child, including historic information, needs to be analysed by all agencies and considered in respect of the risks and on-going impact on the child at all relevant points of the case. 
  2. Any new information emerging requires thorough consideration, which may lead to a change in the plan for the child.  
  3. Families like this one should be made aware that they are likely to require on-going involvement with support services due to the challenges they will face because of their own history.
  4. Professionals working in safeguarding need to exercise respectful uncertainty, healthy scepticism and be supported to always consider if they have the whole picture.
  5. Good information sharing is key, as is professional curiosity. However there are a number of barriers such as time, staffing, data systems, protocols and concern about consent.  
  6. Not all practitioners are aware of, or use, the CSCP escalation policy.
  7. Professionals need encouragement, support and confidence to reconsider their position when new information is shared during a meeting.

Dissemination of Learning

Sharing learning from serious case reviews in order to improve safeguarding practices is vital.  We use the recommendations from case reviews to improve safeguarding of children and young people.

If you would like to discuss this briefing or any of its contents then please speak to your line manager, your representative on the CSCP or contact the CSCP Office, 2nd Floor Cumbria House, 117 Botchergate, Carlisle, CA1 1RD. Email CSCP@cumbria.gov.uk

George- SCR Reportthis external link will open in a new window

CSCP Response to George Reportthis external link will open in a new window

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