Death or Serious Injury of a Looked After Child
SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER
This chapter applies to all Children in Need, including Children Looked After.
AMENDMENTThis chapter has been amended in December 2018. From 29 June 2018 local authorities in England must notify the national Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel within 5 working days of becoming aware of a serious incident. The chapter reflects the amendments of Working Together to safeguard Children and included the update reporting form to Ofsted.
Local authorities in England must notify the national Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel (the Panel) within 5 working days of becoming aware of a serious incident.
Incidents should be reported where the local authority knows or suspects that a child has been abused or neglected and:
- The child dies (including suspected suicide) or is seriously harmed in the local authority's area;
- While normally resident in the local authority's area, the child dies or is seriously harmed outside England.
The process for reporting a serious incident to the Panel are set out on GOV.UK website.
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 Child Looked After, 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 Child Safeguarding Practice Review is required (see Knowsley Safeguarding Children Partnership 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, inform the national Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel using the Notification Form for Serious Childcare Incidents. Notifications made through this route will go to the Panel, Ofsted and the DfE. The local authority must also notify the Secretary of State and Ofsted where a Child Looked After has died, whether or not abuse or neglect is known or suspected.