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Learning from Serious Case Reviews

Research in Practice have recently released Complexity and challenge: A triennial analysis of serious case reviews 2014-2017 with resources to support the application of learning into practice.


Analysing 368 serious case reviews relating to incidents between 1 April 2014 and 31 March 2017, this is the sixth consecutive analysis of serious case reviews by this research team; together these reports cover 14 years from 2003-2017.


Developed in collaboration with Research in Practice, University of East Anglia Centre for Research on Children and Families, and the University of Warwick, the resources support the application of learning from the Department for Education report.

The resources are designed to support safeguarding partnerships, social work and early help, police and criminal justice, health and education practitioners to apply learning from serious case reviews into practice. The open access website includes practice briefings, presentations, reports and videos.


There are a number of common themes in previous and current serious case reviews. Two particularly noticeable emerging themes in this review were:

  • The complex and cumulative nature of neglect, often in a context of poverty.

  • New and emerging threats of harm to adolescents.


The learning from these serious case reviews remains vitally important for everyone concerned in preventing and protecting children and young people from maltreatment. 

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