Nearly half the children who were subjects of serious case reviews over the past two years were children in need, according to Ofsted’s latest report.
Of the 194 children, 90 were receiving services as children in need compared with 49 who were the subject of child protection plans. Of the 90 children who had died, 31 were receiving children-in-need services.
The most common characteristics of the deaths and incidents of serious harm were physical abuse and long-term neglect.
However, the quality of serious case reviews has continued to improve, with 42% judged good, 42% adequate and just 16% judged inadequate over the past two years.
“There is a positive trend in how serious case reviews are being conducted and it is encouraging to see that more reviews are being judged good with fewer reviews inadequate,” said Ofsted chief inspector Christine Gilbert. “The case studies highlight the complexities of the situations which social workers and others are responding to.”
A consistent finding from the reviews was that many councils failed to implement and ensure good practice despite the availability of established frameworks and guidance.
Most identified information sources that could have contributed to a better understanding of the children involved. In many cases social workers failed to focus on the child’s views and needs and statements from parents or other family members were not challenged sufficiently.
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