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Last month we hosted our first webinar to speak with safeguarding partners and partnerships across the country. We were thrilled that over 200 people could join us and contributed to an interactive discussion about Local Child Safeguarding Practice Reviews (LCSPRs).
This newsletter provides you with information arising from the webinar, including links to the recordings and slides from the event. We hope this helps clarify information about conducting LCSPRs and helps you to make improvements to safeguarding practice in your area.

In This Issue

  • Key messages, feedback and outcomes from our webinar
    • Conducting Rapid Reviews
    • Conducting LCSPRs
    • LCSPR authors
    • Sharing learning 
  • Updates on our national thematic reviews
    • Safeguarding adolescents at risk of criminal exploitation
    • Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy
  • Expanding our pool of reviewers
Key Messages, Feedback and Outcomes from our Webinar
Thank you for the positive feedback about our first webinar.
We are very keen to develop a dialogue with Safeguarding Partners and see webinars as a key part of that work.

The full recording of the webinar is available online here and we have made a shorter recording of the LCSPR presentation and discussion available here.

Download the PDF slides from the event here.
Rapid Reviews 

There were a series of questions that related to rapid reviews (RRs) and the process by which they are completed. As a reminder, RRs are a requirement for all cases that have been notified to us (and to Ofsted) – it is an automatic and non-negotiable next step.

Whilst we have relaxed our approach to timescales during the pandemic, we are committed to the importance of RRs being held in a timely manner. Many of you have adapted well to the virtual completion of rapid reviews and many are completed within the required timescales. The early identification and dissemination of learning remains of central importance to us so it is not our intention to relax the 15-day expectation in the future.

We have had questions about family involvement in RRs. Our view is that it is entirely right that families should be told about the RR process and, where appropriate, any identified learning can be shared with them. If there is scope to seek their views prior to the review then that should be pursued.

However, it is primarily a professionals meeting that is created to take an early view about what has happened and what immediate learning might emanate from it that can be shared locally across the system.

Local Child Safeguarding Practice Reviews 

There are several key messages about LCSPRs, which arose during our discussion:
  • Don’t get completely hung up on whether criteria are or are not met – if the rapid review has indicated there is more learning to be gained, move to an LCSPR
  • There are no other review types needed or allowed for within Working Together
  • If you do an LCSPR, don’t commission it as if it were an Serious Case Review (SCR) –  focus on identifying the areas that need further exploration and agree a methodology most likely to get at the issues involved in the most timely fashion. An LCSPR is not an SCR by any other name
  • Build on the work you have already done in the rapid review – don’t repeat it
  • Think in advance about how the learning gained can be best disseminated across your system and how you can get the biggest impact to improve practice
  • Independent views and challenges should be evident within the review – that’s different from them being independently authored and you can explore your own networks for those independent contributions 
  • Reviews should be finalised within six months and should capture the views of service leaders, frontline practitioners, and the family
  • The final product should be focussed on the issues that have been looked at and the learning that has been identified, and it should then be published
  • Publication means the learning is available to us and to others both locally and nationally
Local Child Safeguarding Practice Review Authors

Many of you raised issues about authors and quality of reports. It is not our intention, nor within our powers, to set up a process for accreditation of LCSPR authors. However, we feel it is important that there is a rich pool of experienced and skilled reviewers reflecting the diverse context of safeguarding.

We are aware that not all reports have adequately covered issues relating to race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexuality, disability and poverty, and we would encourage you – as we are expecting of ourselves – to ensure final reports properly analyse the impact of often multiple disadvantages that children and families might face and that will form important contextual background to their circumstances and to the incidents being reviewed. 

Where you have externally commissioned a report author, it is our view that the completed report is yours, not theirs, and as commissioners you are entitled to ensure it is written to the standard you require.

A strong and positive theme that ran through the webinar was the desire at a national and local level for learning, and an exploration of how learning can be effectively and sustainably embedded into the system. We think there would be merit in devoting a future webinar to this, including further exploring mechanisms for sharing learning across networks from rapid reviews, thematic learning at a local level, effective mechanisms for getting to the heart of learning, and building into current and future safeguarding practice. Many safeguarding partnerships are working on their annual reports during September and October, and we look forward to seeing evidence of learning feeding into good practice.
Additional Questions
Finally, some general points in response to specific questions asked during the event.

We were asked if we would listen to Safeguarding Partners in deciding the topics of future reviews. Our duties as set out in legislation mean we are led by the cases that come to us for consideration. That does not mean we simply will do reviews based on what we are seeing the most of – although that’s a consideration, we are also mindful about small numbers or even individual cases which might help surface some important learning for the system nationally. In that regard we are listening to Safeguarding Partners through the cases you send to us. Additionally, we are open to hear about any local issues which you feel might raise matters of national importance and so please do feel free to share with us.

Some of the questions you have raised sit with the Government to answer, including reviews for care leavers and variation of notification rates. We have passed them on to the relevant departments and will keep you informed of any responses that we receive.

Updates on our National Thematic Reviews
We received a number of questions before and during the webinar about the progress made against the national recommendations in the Panel’s thematic reviews. A short recording of Panel members providing updates about the reviews is available online here.
Safeguarding Adolescents at Risk of Criminal Exploitation
As you will know, shortly after the publication of our first national review into safeguarding adolescents at risk of criminal exploitation in March 2020, the country went into lockdown. However, we have received the Education Secretary’s initial response, which welcomed the report, and subsequently had a roundtable discussion with the officials from the Home Office, Department of Health and Social Care, and Department for Education. These officials have been tasked with considering the report’s recommendations and we will continue to liaise with them to help to inform their implementation and track their progress.
We are also currently in discussions with the What Works Centre for Children’s Social Care about elements of the report’s findings that might benefit from further research.
Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy
Our second national thematic review – ‘Out of Routine’ – was published in July 2020. This was a review of sudden unexpected death in infancy (SUDI) in families where the children are considered at risk of significant harm. Although these deaths are not directly caused by maltreatment, they occur disproportionately in families where there are other risks of harm identified, and form a substantial proportion of the deaths reported to the panel.

The report makes three national recommendations which we are discussing with the Department of Health and Social Care, Public Health England and the National Child Mortality Database, alongside the Department for Education. We have also identified two areas for further research and are exploring how best to commission that research.
It has been encouraging to see how the messages of the review were picked up during the webinar, and also how they are being identified in some of the rapid reviews that have come through since publication. It will be particularly good to see how local safeguarding partnerships manage to embed the learning from this review in local practice over the coming months.

Expanding our Pool of Reviewers
We are looking for a range of researchers, academics and organisations to join our national pool of reviewers. 
When the Panel decides to commission a review, those in the pool will be invited to bid to carry out the following services, including:
•           Undertaking fieldwork and analysis for national reviews of serious child safeguarding incidents which are complex or of national importance. 
•           Undertaking literature reviews on key national review topics. These support and feed into the Panel’s national reviews.
•           Thematic analysis of Serious Incident Notifications and Rapid Reviews received by the Panel to test whether specific issues warrant a national review.
•           Analysis of Local Child Safeguarding Practice Reviews.
•           Producing high quality reports, which can be shared in an accessible way.
If you would like to apply, you will need to register on Redimo to become a member of the Education and Children’s Social Care Dynamic Purchasing System (ECSC DPS) by 28th September 2020.
Guidance on completing these steps is available below:
Redimo2_Supplier_Guidance_-_DFE_Registration_.pdf (Guidance on registration on for Redimo)
Redimo 2 Supplier Guidance ECSC membership (Guidance on registration for the ECSC DPS within Redimo)
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Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel · Sanctuary Buildings · Great Smith Street · London, London SW1P 3BT · United Kingdom

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