Wales to launch faster serious case review system

Wales is to implement a new system of serious case reviews (SCRs) this year, deputy minister for social services Gwenda Thomas announced today.

The system will slash the time SCRs take to complete. Reviews will cover only the 12 months leading up to the incident, and must be completed within three or six months, depending on the complexity of the case.

“One of the main changes to the system is the decreased timescales,” said Jonathan Corbett, assistant chief inspector for the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales.

“We don’t want to cut corners in terms of thoroughness, but we want to make sure this is an active learning process rather than a slow and costly one. We want to focus on learning lessons that are relevant now rather than spending so much time looking backwards.”

Child protection cases will be handled differently too. Where child abuse or neglect is suspected, the LSCB will organise what is called a multi-agency event to evaluate the case.

The aim is to give practitioners designated time and space to reflect on the next steps to take, existing good practice, and what might be going wrong or could be done better. Corbett said it would also ensure there was no duplication in the support a family receives from the different agencies.

For further details on the new Welsh system, see our feature in this week’s Community Care magazine.

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