Death or Serious Injury to a Child
SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER
This chapter outlines the immediate steps to be taken in the event of the suspicious death of/serious injury to a child living in the community or the death of/serious injury to any child in care (Looked After).
These steps are in addition to the carrying out of the Local Safeguarding Children Partnership Procedures in relation to the need to hold a Serious Case Review and the work of the Child Death Overview Panel, and the procedures and regulations relevant to any provider e.g. Children's Homes, Fostering Service, Residential Schools.
AMENDMENTThis chapter was updated in September 2017 in line with the requirement to notify Ofsted of any serious childcare incident using the Ofsted online notification form.
1. Death of or Serious Injury of a Child in the Community
Where information about the suspicious death of a child, or serious injury to a child living in the community, the following tasks are required.
The child's social worker or, if unallocated, the duty worker receiving the information will:
|1.2||The line manager will immediately inform the Head of Service by telephone and provide follow up information in writing as soon as possible afterwards as a Need To Know Notification (CSF3645).|
The Head of Service will:
|1.4||Where a Serious Case Review or Partnership Case Review or other form of review is to be undertaken by the HSCP, this will be conducted in accordance with Chapter 4: Working Together to Safeguard Children and the Local Safeguarding Children Partnership Procedures.|
|1.5||If the Serious Case Review Sub-Group decide not to hold a Serious Case Review this will be notified to Ofsted and the National Panel of Independent Experts on Serious Case Reviews in accordance with the Local Safeguarding Children Partnership Procedures.|
2. Death of or Serious Injury to a Child in Care
Where information comes to notice of the death of or serious injury to a child in care, the following tasks are required, in addition to a Need To Know Notification (CSF3645).
The child's social worker will:
The line manager will:
The Head of Service will:
|2.4||In the event of a Serious Case being required, the steps outlined in Section 3, Needs of Social Worker/Team/Manager/Carer should be followed.|
3. Needs of Social Worker / Team / Managers / Carer
During the implementation of this procedure consideration must be given to the needs of those staff and carers involved in the case.
The impact of a child death on social worker/team/manager/carer needs to be addressed in terms of:
- The need for counselling for those involved;
- The manner in which such support is offered;
- The provision of access to legal and professional advice about the ongoing conduct of the case;
- The provision of a clear explanation of the process of a Serious Case Review;
- Support for staff in the event of Police investigation/interviews;
- The need to inform and keep informed any relevant Trades Unions;
- The need for team debriefing whilst observing confidentiality. This must be discussed with the Service Manager;
- The need to acknowledge that a child death can impact on the productivity of any team and its ability to function; and the need to agree strategies to manage workloads.