2 Norfolk Serious Case Reviews published today

29th September 2020

Safeguarding reviews highlight challenges of working with families to prevent neglect

Two safeguarding reviews have been published today that focus on the neglect of two young children in the Great Yarmouth area.

AG and AI both suffered serious injuries as a result of neglectful parenting – AG was severely malnourished and had arm fractures, while AI was hospitalised with significant burns. The incidents that led to the reviews happened almost a year apart in September 2018 and August 2019.

The Norfolk Safeguarding Children Board (now the Norfolk Safeguarding Children Partnership) commissioned the reviews to look at the multi-agency support provided to both families and to identify any learning from the cases.

Chris Robson, Chairman of Norfolk Safeguarding Children Partnership said:
“Our thoughts are with these children, who thankfully are now safe and receiving the care and support that they need.

Although there is much we can learn from these cases, it is important to recognise that there was some really good practice. For example, the decision to hold a child protection medical in the case of AG no doubt prevented further suffering and may even have saved his life.

Neglect is a particularly difficult area because everyone has a different perception of what it is and when to intervene. Professionals want to build on family’s strengths and give them opportunities to make positive changes for their children, recognising that there is a lasting impact on children when they are removed from their families and come into care.

As a partnership, making further improvements to how we identify, prevent and tackle neglect is one of our top priorities and we are working on a new strategy to further strengthen practice. There is no doubt that the current pandemic has increased pressure on families, which means it is more important than ever we are all alive to the signs and risks of neglect – not just professionals but families and communities. If anyone has concerns about the safety of a child, please call us on 0344 800 8020.

There are a range of measures taking place to further strengthen safeguarding practice and help professionals to better understand the risks and challenges facing children and families.

In social care, professionals are now exploring wider family networks to build on the support and strengths that exist within families. There is also a new intensive and specialist support service which frontline staff can call on to provide extra help to families on issues such as domestic abuse and substance misuse. Work is also taking place to strengthen family support attached to schools, promoting attendance and preventing exclusion.”

The full reports are available here

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