The Liberal Democrats have joined the Conservatives in proposing publication of serious case reviews in full, in a paper setting out policy on safeguarding children.
The paper, which will be debated at the party’s annual conference next month, backed extending publication beyond the current requirement to produce the executive summary alone, to improve the transparency of the child protection system.
It said “as much of a serious case review should be published as possible in an anonymised form, without names and identifiers in all cases, except those with special circumstances”, when a detailed executive summary should be issued.
Lib Dem position in line with Tories’
This reflects the Tory position, while others, including Community Care, have called for publication of anonymised SCRs in full, to ensure lessons are learned from them.
Labour remains opposed to publishing full SCRs and draft revised guidance, published for consultation this month, stated that local safeguarding children boards “should publish only the executive summary”.
Call to scrap ContactPoint
The Lib Dems also reiterated calls for the ContactPoint database of all children in England to be scrapped, another position the party shares with the Tories.
The paper said annual savings should be channelled into providing social workers with “more administrative and technical support, freeing them to spend more time with families”.
Reform social work pay
Echoing the recent report on social work training by the children, schools and families select committee, the paper called for reforms to social worker pay to ensure practitioners did not have to become managers to achieve significant raises.
They also want to improve communication between agencies by introducing secondments between different agencies, such as the police or health workers, which should be undertaken at least every three years as part of mandatory continuing professional development.