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Learning from audits / reviews

Learning and Improving Frontline Practice

Serious Case Review / Multi-agency Learning Reviews

Learning from Stoke-on-Trent serious case reviews (click on the link)

Learning and Improvement Framework
The Stoke-on-Trent SCBs Learning and Improvement Framework (click on the link to view the document) was revised in September 2016. Working Together 2015 requires that 'Local Safeguarding Children Boards' (LSCBs) should maintain a local learning and improvement framework which is shared across local organisations who work with children and families. This framework should enable agencies to be clear about their responsibilities, to learn from experience and improve services as a result".
Due to the implementation of Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 and changes to existing local safeguarding arrangements it is likely that in the foreseeable future, further revision to the above document will be required. Until such time however, the Learning and Improvement Framework will remain in place and the processes outlined in the document will still be followed.
The document outlines how each local framework should support the work of the LSCB and their partners so that:

  •  reviews are conducted regularly, not only on cases which meet the statutory criteria, but also on other cases which can provide useful insights into the way partner agencies are working together to safeguard and protect the welfare of children;
  • reviews look at what happened in a case, and why, and what action will be taken to learn from the review findings;
  • action results in lasting improvements to services and processes which safeguard and promote the welfare of children and help protect them from harm; and
  • there is transparency about the issues arising from individual cases and the actions which partner agencies are taking in response to them
  • This cycle of reviewing, will help practitioners to understand what has happened and why, what action needs to be taken to learn from the review and how we can embed the learning into frontline practice

Learning from local case reviews
The SCB carries out a number of multi-agency case file reviews and learning reviews, particularly on those cases that link to child protection, Child in Need and Early Help and Intervention cases. Activities such as this should not be seen as one off events but as part of the continuous cycle of planning, learning and seeking assurance about the robustness of frontline practice.
The purpose of our review process is to provide a stringent and consistent approach to assessing work undertaken on a multi-agency or single agency basis with a child/young person and their family through a review of case records and discussions with those practitioners who are or have been involved with each case. We, particularly focus on the voice and journey of the child, the safeguarding role of both specialist and non-specialist practitioners, and timeliness of intervention, the robustness of the decision making and the outcome that has been achieved..

During the review process we aim to:

  • Identify learning points from areas that are working well and those which need improvement.
  • Focus on the outcomes that have been achieved through practitioner / agency involvements.
  • Carry out the SCB function of monitoring the effectiveness of what is done to protect children and promote their welfare.
  • Promote service improvement through identification of key practice issues so that recommendations can be drawn together and action plans implemented.
  • Feed into policies and procedures, the content of multi-agency training, practice protocols and learning and development activity for out frontline practitioners.

It is also important to note that learning from good practice identified through the reviews and how this can be consistently achieved in order to make a difference for children is as important as learning from areas of practice which need to be improved.

Latest Findings From National Case File reviews March 2017 (click on the link)

A one minute guide is available by clicking on this link.

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