A Serious Case Review is carried out by the PSCB when a very serious incident or death of a child occurs in the city. The criteria for carrying out a review are detailed in Chapter 4 of the statutory document, Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015.  The final decision on whether to conduct a Serious Case Review remains rests with the Independent Chair.

Reviews are carried out to determine what lessons, if any, can be learned by the agencies involved. The PSCB will detail any review findings that indicate good or poor practice to the agency concerned, and check that action has been taken to prevent poor practice and in the future improve services to children. Any criminal responsibility indicated by the events surrounding the child remains the remit of the Police and courts, and can sometimes delay the publication of a review.

On completion of a review, the Board recommends changes to local and national procedures and practice based upon the learning from Reviews, with the aim of ensuring safety and better outcomes for the children and young people of Plymouth. Requirements for change and development that come to light in the process of the review will be acted upon in a timely matter and in advance of the publication of the review when appropriate.

The Board also undertakes reviews of significant cases of child abuse where the concerns do not meet the threshold for a Serious Case Review but may highlight concerns about safeguarding systems and practice. These Multi Agency Reviews follow a similar process to the serious case reviews, with learning shared with agencies in the city although not usually published.  The Board will be responsible for determining the best type of review process in each individual case.

All reviews of cases meeting the Serious Case Review Criteria are published and readily available for  a minimum period of 12 months.   Older reviews are available upon request from the Safeguarding Assistant at pscb@plymouth.gov.uk.    The NSPCC  National case review repository holds copies of published reports, making it easier to access and share learning and can be accessed at https://learning.nspcc.org.uk/case-reviews/national-case-review-repository/