Publication - Advice and guidance

National Guidance for Child Protection Committees for Conducting a Significant Case Review

Published: 31 Mar 2015
Children and Families Directorate
Part of:
Communities and third sector

This guidance has been superseded by the 2021 Learning Review guidance, available at

National Guidance for Child Protection Committees for Conducting a Significant Case Review
Annex 5

Annex 5

Exemplar SCR Report

Official - Sensitive-Personal (once completed)

Core data - child

Child's identifier

Age of child


Sexual orientation


Health needs (including mental health and/or learning difficulties


Living circumstances prior to incident

Position in family/number of siblings



Nature of injury/cause of death

Legal status of child

CP registration

Agencies/Services involved

Parent/carer factors


Mental health issues


Health needs (including mental health and/or learning difficulties)

Substance use (if applicable)

Convictions (if applicable)

Relevant information about childhood (if applicable)

Domestic abuse (if applicable)

Antisocial behaviour (if applicable)



Marital/relationship status e.g. co-habitation

Living circumstances

Agencies/Services involved

Environmental factors

Financial problems


Support from extended family/ community

Other relevant factors


This should include the circumstances that led to the review, the purpose and focus of the review, the periods considered and agencies involved, the extent of the family's/carers' involvement. Note how long the report has taken and reasons for any delays.

The facts

This should include the family background and circumstances, including agency involvement. A chronology of significant events, (which should also include when the child was seen and by whom and whether the child's views were sought) should also be included. Where appropriate, the chronology may be presented in a number of distinct phases and should be supplemented by a written account of what happened during each phase. A genogram may be a useful format to map out key relevant person, and families. In the reviewing of the case, a full chronology will be required but for the purpose of the report, the primary aim at this stage is to highlight areas of practice or events that are considered by the review to be particularly relevant, not to provide an overly detailed account of events. As such the full chronology should not be included within the body of the report. Details of all significant adults in the child's life should also be included.


This section should critically assess the key circumstances of the case, the interventions offered, decisions made etc. For example, were the responses appropriate, were key decisions justifiable, was the relevant information sought or considered, were there early, effective and appropriate interventions? Were any concerns about safety and/or wellbeing recognised? Was there a timely and appropriate response? Were the family and child's circumstances sufficiently assessed? Were compulsory/legal measures properly considered and was the child referred to the Children's Reporter? If so, when? It should always be remembered that the review is taking place with the benefit of hindsight and the analysis should consider the actions of services within the context of the circumstances of the time.

Key issues

Following on from the analysis and depending on the circumstances of the case, the review should clearly identify the key areas that impacted on the child and agency responses and then explore these further to understand how they came about. This section should assist readers to understand the 'why' of what happened and a level of root cause analysis should be applied. It would be helpful to explore key areas within a framework of cause and effect factors - for example, resourcing, organisational culture, training, policies etc.

Learning points

This section should highlight the key learning points from the review - again the focus here should not be on 'what happened', but the reasons why it happened as it will be these areas that services and organisations can actively take forward and address. This section should also actively address strengths and good practice identified as well as the learning that has taken place since the case, any changes in practice and policy that have been implemented and the outcome of changes.

Recommendations or if using SCIE model Findings and Issues

These should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timed

Executive summary

This report should provide a brief, anonymised account of the circumstances of the case and agency involvement. Chronologies should not be included. Analysis of the key events has to be sufficient to allow a context for the identification of the key issues and learning points but a balance has to be struck to ensure confidentiality issues are respected. The Learning Points, recommendations and action points should be replicated in full.


These should include, if not already within the body of the report:

  • Review Team membership
  • Remit
  • Chronology[22]
  • Files accessed
  • People interviewed

SCIE Learning Together Model*

An SCIE Learning Together[23] report is structured to a standard format to include an overview of the case, an appraisal of professional practice. It identifies findings rather than listing conclusions and recommended actions. The findings articulate succinctly what the issues have been found and record how this is evidenced through answering five key questions:

  • How did the issue manifest in this case?
  • What makes this an underlying issue rather than an issue particular to the individuals involved?
  • How prevalent is the issue?
  • How widespread is the pattern?
  • What are the implications for the reliability of the system?

Findings are themed together under the following patterns using a systems typology and listed in priority as defined by the review team:

  • Management systems
  • Family-professional interaction
  • Tools (human interaction with)
  • Responses to incidents
  • Longer term work
  • Cognitive/emotional bias

Rather than make recommendations, each finding asks questions of the CPC to help the members come to a decision as to how to resolve the issue and ensure the CPC has measures in place to know when the issue has resolved. The responsibility for implementing change rests within the CPC and its partner agencies.

*Learning Together reviews must be undertaken by accredited Lead Reviewers.