Serious case review

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A serious case review (SCR) in England is held after a child or vulnerable adult dies or is seriously injured under circumstances where abuse or neglect are thought to have been involved.[1] Its purpose is to learn lessons to help prevent future similar incidents. Similar procedures in other countries of the UK are called child practice reviews in Wales, case management reviews in Northern Ireland, and significant case reviews in Scotland. An SCR should be held if abuse or neglect is suspected to have been involved, a child has died or been seriously harmed and if there are concerns about the way organisations or professionals worked together to safeguard the child.


The Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCB) follow statutory guidance [2] for conducting a serious case review in which the different professionals and organisations involved and the family are represented. The SCR should be completed within six months.

An SCR may also be commissioned following the death or injury of a vulnerable adult. For example, in 2010 Warwickshire County Council commissioned an SCR following the death of 27-year old Gemma Hayter, because "a vulnerable adult had died and abuse or neglect is known or suspected to be a factor in the death; and the case gives rise to concerns about the way in which local professionals and/or services work together to safeguard vulnerable adults".[3]


  1. ^ NSPCC (2015). "Child protection in England - Serious case reviews". Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  2. ^ Working together to safeguard children: a guide to inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, Department for Education (DfE), HM Government, London, 2015
  3. ^ Warwickshire Safeguarding Adults Partnership, Serious Care Review: the Murder of Gemma Hayter, accessed 4 January 2016