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Ofsted details councils' SCR failings

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More than 10% of councils’ serious case reviews into child deaths or major injuries were considered “inadequate”, research from Ofsted has revealed.

The watchdog said that 16 of the 147 serious case reviews (SCRs) submitted to it during the 2009-10 financial year were considered not good enough by inspectors. Forty-two percent were considered “adequate” and the same percentage “good”.

Blackburn with Darwen Council, East Sussex CC, Sutton LBC, all had the highest number of “inadequate” reports with two each.

The reports related to 90 children who died, 31 of whom were receiving children-in-need services at the time they lost their lives. Fifteen of those children were either murdered by a parent or lost their lives because of their actions.

A further 104 children were covered by the reports because some dealt with more than one child.

Ofsted chief inspector Christine Gilbert, left, said the statistics on the quality of the reports showed “a positive trend” in how SCRs were conducted.

“It is encouraging to see that more reviews are being judged good with fewer reviews inadequate,” she said.

“The case studies highlight the complexities of the situations which social workers and others are responding to.

“In undertaking these reviews, agencies have been able to reflect on what happened and learn from their experience.

“They have identified gaps in their approach and most important, have agreed actions to improve the protection of children and so reduce the chances of such serious incidents from happening again.”

The report also found most of the reviews identified sources of information that could have contributed to a better understanding of children and their families.

Some parents within the reviews were receiving support from adult social care, adult mental health, substance misuse, housing and probation.

However, inspectors said that too often agencies involved did not share this information early enough.

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