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5.5.4 Death or Serious Injury of a Looked After Child


This chapter applies to all Children in Need, including Children Looked After.

See also Knowsley Safeguarding Children Board Procedures, Child Death Procedures.

In the event of a death, serious injury, serious accident or illness (e.g. the outbreak of any infectious of Notifiable Diseases) of a Child in Need, including a Looked After child, the following people must be notified: 

  • The child’s Social Worker and his/her Line Manager;
  • If the Child is Looked After, the Manager of the Home or Supervising Social Worker and his/her Line Manager;
  • Designated Manager (Death or Serious Injury).

In consultation with relevant Line Manager(s), Designated Manager (Death or Serious Injury) will decide what actions to take e.g.

  • Obtain advice from Legal Services;
  • Notify/consult the Insurance Section of the Finance Department;
  • Notify/consult the Press Office e.g. if the nature of the death is such that it might warrant public attention;
  • Following advice from the Press Office and Legal Services, inform/consult the Parents and siblings/relatives;
  • Notify/consult the child’s school and other agencies/professionals known to the child;
  • In consultation with the Parent(s)/Carers, make arrangements for the funeral if the child is looked after (in the event of sudden, unexplained deaths arrangements for the funeral may need to be delayed);
  • Where there is financial hardship, agree any necessary expenditure including reasonable travel expenses to assist the family in attending the funeral;
  • Whether a Serious Case Review is required (See Knowsley Safeguarding Children Board Procedures, Serious Incident Review Group (SIRG) Procedures); or whether it is necessary to conduct a Management Review;
  • The Health and Safety Executive Incident Contact Centre & Health Authority in the area where the incident occurs;
  • If the Child is known to the Youth Offending Service/Team, the Youth Justice Board (go to the Justice website and follow links to 'Serious Incidents - Guidance on Serious Incident Reporting Procedures (B319);
  • If the Child is Looked After, report the death to:
  1. OFSTED using the Ofsted 'Serious Childcare Incident Form', available from the Ofsted Website (and follow link to 'Notification of Serious Incident);
  2. The Children in Care Division of the DCSF will require a report - headings listed below.
  1. The name of the Local Authority;
  2. Child’s Name;
  3. Date of Birth;
  4. Date of Death;
  5. Child’s Legal Status;
  6. Type of Placement (if residential, the name and type of Children’s Home should be included);
  7. Address of Placement;
  8. Cause of Death as on Death Certificate;
  9. Dates if any when child was on the Child Protection Register or was the subject of a Child Protection Plan;
  10. The date and findings of the Inquest and any criminal proceedings initiated. It may be necessary to notify these details at a later date;
  11. Brief details of the case including care history, and action being taken including funeral arrangements. Please indicate if parents have been notified of the death and the support being made available to them.