Northern Irish case management reviews could be made public

Northern Irish case management reviews (CMRs) could be published after a children’s services redesign.

Currently, not even the executive summaries of CMRs – Northern Ireland’s version of England’s serious case reviews – are published. But pressure is mounting for this to change with the recent launch of the Safeguarding Board for Northern Ireland.

It comes as the BBC obtained figures under the Freedom of Information Act showing that 10 children known to social services had died in Northern Ireland since 2003 but the details of the CMRs in most of the cases had been blacked out.

“What the sector is looking at with the new safeguarding board is the development of executive summaries, which I assume will be made available to the public online,” said Colin Reid, NSPCC policy and public affairs manager for Northern Ireland.

“At the moment, the summaries have been done to different standards, so part of this process will be standardising them for publication.”

Reid said the NSPCC did not support full publication, which was recently approved for serious case reviews in England because issues resulting from possible identification were too great.

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