Serious case learning and reviews

What is a serious case review (SCR)

A Serious Case Review (SCR) is an investigation carried out for every case where there is child abuse or neglect, known or suspected. This in done in particular if: 

  • a child dies
  • a child is seriously harmed

In particular, if there are concerns about how organisations or professionals could have worked together to better protect a child, an SCR will be carried out. 

The Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) may also carry out other learning reviews if deemed necessary. 

Chapter four of the Working Together to Safeguard Children statutory guidance defines the criteria needed for a serious case review. 

Cross-border report - peer-on-peer abuse and child criminal exploitation

Working jointly with the Keeping Bristol Safe Partnership and South Gloucestershire Children’s Partnership, we have recently completed our cross border report on peer-on-peer abuse and child criminal exploitation. 

Our statement on the outcomes of the report and the report itself are now available for review. 

Serious case review subgroup

North Somerset LSCB have a Serious Case Review subgroup. They will consider how to review a case using our SCR and Learning Review Procedure and Guidance.

At the end of each Serious Case Review, the LSCB agree on the final report and it is then published.

Past reviews

A selection of past reports can be found on our Learning and improvement webpage.

Local Learning reviews

If a case does not reach the threshold to conduct an SCR, the LSCB can commission a multi-agency Learning Review. This is done to assess if there are any lessons to be learned that could improve local safeguarding practice.

We do this to ensure that the review approach taken is proportionate in scale and complexity to the issues presented.

Whenever possible, we will include frontline staff and managers, parents, carers and young people in these reviews.

Action plans developed from these reviews receive the same rigorous monitoring and follow up as Serious Case Reviews. Using the learning from these reviews to improve our safeguarding practice is vital and will make a real impact on improving outcomes for children. 

Learning Together briefings

The below Learning Together Briefings summarise the findings and key messages from some of our recent SCRs and learning reviews. 

SCR and learning review library

The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) has an SCR and learning review depository available on their website. You can also sign up to alerts when new case reviews are added.