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Social workers discouraged from carrying out serious case reviews

Social workers are increasingly reluctant to undertake serious case reviews (SCRs), according to new research.

The Department for Education asked researchers from the University of East Anglia to interview senior childcare professionals on their experiences of conducting SCRs.

These are held in a particular area when a vulnerable child dies or comes to serious harm as a result of abuse or neglect.

The interviewees reported an increasingly reluctance by professionals to undertake such reviews. They fear producing a “bad” report and attracting criticism from the government, the research claims.

The researchers’ report cities “anxieties about adverse publicity” and the potential “damage [to] future careers”, Children & Young People Now reports.

“Public statements from ministers…were perceived to be more about blame than learning”, the report adds.

It continues:

“The implication here is that there may be a reducing pool of individuals willing to take on the work and a consequent detrimental impact on the quality of SCRs produced.”

Earlier this year, a Department for Education report called for the simplification of serious case reviews.

Photo by Bart via Flickr

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