1. 4 – Explain when and why inquiries and serious case reviews are required and how the sharing of the findings informs practice. Serious cases of child abuse are when the child is physically injured repeatedly or neglected, which then results in their untimely death. An inquiry into the case is carried out to find out how the child or young person died and how the system failed to protect and prevent this. Serious cases are also recorded and reviewed to give agencies examples of failures to which they can improve on.
As stated by Tassoni et al (2010) pg 113, ‘Society has a duty to protect children and young people’ and should be able to do this by having effective communication between all the organisations involved in the protection of children and young people. These organisations such as local authorities, police, education welfare, hospitals etc, are supported by legislation, policies and procedures to help them in their duty of protecting children.
Organisations fail in the protection of children when they do not follow the legislation and guidelines set out for them. In the inquiry of Victoria Climbie’s case, the failure to follow proper procedure to protect her led to high-profile media attention because the people involved did not do their duty to keep her safe from the abuse she received from her guardians. The lack of communication between her social workers, doctors, nurses and the police was the reason why her guardians were allowed to continue abusing her till she died.
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When a serious case is reviewed, agencies such as the local safeguarding authorities or the NSPCC aim to find out what failings the case had and how to make recommendations on how to improve legislation and guidelines, and also how to prevent future serious cases of child abuse. Communication and co-operation between all the agencies involved in the protection of children and young people is important because this helps to ensure their welfare and to promote their well-being.
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