Appendix F: Multi-Agency Child Practice Reviews in Wales
Introduced in 2013, the ' Multi-Agency Child Practice Reviews' were developed as a new framework to replace Serious Case Reviews to improve the culture of learning from child protection cases across Wales. The main aspects of the new framework are:
- It involves agencies, staff and families in a collective endeavour to reflect and learn from what has happened in order to improve practice in the future, with a focus on accountability and not on culpability;
- It has the potential to develop more competent and confident multi-agency practice in the long term, where staff have a better understanding of the knowledge base and perspective of different professionals with whom they work;
- It strengthens the accountability of managers to take responsibility for the context and culture in which their staff are working and to see that they have the support and resources they need;
- It recognises the impact of the tragic circumstances of non-accidental child deaths or serious harm on families and on staff, and provides opportunities for serious incidents to be reviewed in a culture that is fair and just;
- It takes a more streamlined, flexible and proportionate approach to reviewing and learning from what are inevitably complex cases;
- It allows a more constructive and appropriate use of resources than in the previous system and works to shorter timescales;
- It draws on learning from other related review processes and increases compatibility with different review systems;
- It focuses on key learning identified through the review process which results in relevant recommendations and action to improve future practice, recorded in anonymised reports which are published by Local Safeguarding Children's Boards.
The new Learning and Reviewing framework involves a three tiered approach for Local Safeguarding Children's Boards ( LSCBs):
|Multi-Agency Professional Forums||A continuous programme for learning together of multi-professional facilitated events for practitioners and managers, primarily to examine case practice and provide opportunity for consultation, supervision and reflection, and to disseminate findings from child protection audits, inspections and reviews, in order to improve local knowledge and practice and to inform the Board's future audit and training priorities.|
|Concise Reviews||A Board must undertake a concise child practice review in any of the following cases where, within the area of the Board, abuse or neglect of a child is known or suspected and the child has -died; or sustained potentially life threatening injury; or sustained serious and permanent impairment of health or development; and the child was neither on the child protection register nor a looked after child on any date during the 6 months preceding - the date of the event referred to above; or the date on which a local authority or relevant partner identifies that a child has sustained serious and permanent impairment of health and development.
The purpose of a review is to identify learning for future practice and involves practitioners, managers and senior officers in exploring the detail and context of agencies' work with a child and family. The output of a review is intended to generate professional and organisational learning and promote improvement in future inter-agency child protection practice.
A concise review is made up of a number of interconnected activities described below, all of which contribute to the rigour of the process and to the learning drawn from the case being reviewed.
|Extended Reviews||A Board must undertake an extended child practice review in any of the following cases where, within the area of the Board, abuse or neglect of a child is known or suspected and the child has - died; or sustained potentially life threatening injury; or sustained serious and permanent impairment of health or development; and the child was on the child protection register and/or was a looked after child (including a care leaver under the age of 18) on any date during the 6 months preceding - the date of the event referred to above; or the date on which a local authority or relevant partner6 identifies that a child has sustained serious and permanent impairment of health and development.
The review follows the same process and timescale as a concise review, engaging directly with children and families, in so far as they wish and is appropriate, and involving practitioners, managers and senior officers throughout. There is an additional level of scrutiny of the work of the statutory agencies and the statutory plan(s) which were in place for the child or young person.
|Welsh Government (2012) Protecting Children in Wales: Guidance for Arrangements for Multi-Agency Child Practice Reviews , Cardiff: Welsh Government (Pages 5-7).|
Email: Judith Ainsley
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