Only five serious case reviews (SCRs) of 66 done by local safegauarding children boards in the first half of 2010 have been deemed inadequate, while one has been marked outstanding for the first time, Ofsted figures show.
This is compared to 21 out of a total of 49 completed in the first half of 2008 and 30 out of 116 for the same period in 2009.
Manchester safeguarding children board was awarded an outstanding rating for an SCR into the case of two young boys killed by their mother in November 2008 after she suffered an acute, psychotic episode. The SCR was evaluated by Ofsted in April of this year.
Ian Rush, chair of Manchester Safeguarding Children Board said: “This SCR was the culmination of months of work by many agencies in Manchester pulled together by an excellent chair and author. The agencies in Manchester have demonstrated a willingness to reflect and to learn from this tragedy.”
However, Ofsted has also been critical of SCR’s that have taken a long time to complete. In its interim report of SCR’s for 2009-10, published earlier this year, Ofsted found that almost half had been completed outside the statutory six month timescale.
The watchdog noted, however, that often the SCR process was hindered by a lack of good case chronologies, the difficulties social workers faced in identifying chronic neglect and the high eligibility thresholds for services.