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Children: Protection

Volume 488: debated on Tuesday 24 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) how many serious case reviews have been conducted into the deaths or serious injuries of children in each local authority area in each of the last five years; (240761)

(2) how many Part 8 reviews into child deaths occurred in each local authority area in each of the last five years.

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many serious case reviews have been conducted into the (a) deaths and (b) serious injuries of children in each of the last five years, broken down by local authority area. (241890)

[holding answer 8 December 2008]: Data currently held by the Department for Children, Schools and Families indicate that, of all notifications received between 1 April 2007 and 31 March 2008 of serious child care incidents, 89 serious case reviews had been initiated where a child died and abuse or neglect was known or suspected to be a factor and 60 were initiated in other circumstances, including where a child sustained a potentially life-threatening injury or serious and permanent impairment of health and development through abuse or neglect. These figures are broken down by local authority in the table, a copy of which has been placed in the Libraries.

Data prior to 1 April 2007 are not available in this form. However, the Department commissions an academic biennial analysis of all serious case reviews to help ensure lessons are clearly identified and disseminated. The latest report for the period 1 April 2003 to 31 March 2005 indicates that of the 161 serious case reviews in that study, two thirds were commissioned after a child had died and a third after a child was seriously injured. Links to these reports are as follows:

Analysing Child Deaths and Serious Injury through Abuse: What can we Learn? A Biennial Analysis of Serious Case Reviews 2003-05 at:

http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/rsgateway/DB/RRP/u014591/index.shtnnl

Improving Safeguarding Practice—Study of Serious Case Reviews 2001-03 at:

http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/rsgateway/DB/RRP/u014711/index.shtml

Learning from Past Experience—A Review of Serious Case Reviews at:

http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/DH_4003094

Information on the number of serious case reviews following the death of a child in each local authority area between 2000 and 2005 has been given in the reply on 24 July 2006, Official Report, columns 837-39W.