The government has confirmed plans to publish, in full, the serious case reviews (SCR’s) into Baby P, Shannon Matthews, the Edlington torture case and Khyra Ishaq.
However no date for publication has yet been set. Executive summaries for two of the SCR’s- those for the Ishaq and Matthews cases- have yet to be published.
It comes as children’s minister, Tim Loughton, said he would write to all chairs of local safeguarding children boards to confirm that the overview report and the executive summary of all new serious case reviews should now be anonymised and published in full, unless it is deemed it would impact negatively on any surviving siblings or children.
Both the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats have been committed to publishing the serious case reviews in full, despite opposition from many within the sector including Sir Paul Ennals, chief executive of the National Children’s Bureau.
However, the British Association of Social Workers changed its stance just before the election to supporting the publication of serious case reviews in full.
Yesterday it released a statement saying: “BASW believes that SCRs should be fully anonymised to protect the identities of the people involved in the cases and to avoid detracting from the real issues.
“They should be published in full so that everyone can understand clearly and transparently the complex situations that many professionals work hard to resolved and support.”
The statement added that social workers had “nothing to fear” from the public “knowing how difficult our job is”.
Last November, David Barnes, BASW policy officer, said the association was split over whether full SCRs should be published and that the organisation’s official position was that executive summaries should be improved.