This serious case review was undertaken because of a critical incident in September 2011 when a two month old baby, Child S, and his one year old half sibling (Half Sibling 2) were found home alone and Child S was seen to have a bruise on his forehead. He was subsequently found to have serious injuries including fractures and brain injury. Both children and their half sibling age four (Half Sibling 1) were subject of child protection plans at this time. The mother, who lived alone with the children, was charged with Grievous Bodily Harm and Neglect, pleaded guilty to wilful cruelty and three counts under section 20 of grievous bodily harm and in September 2013 received a community sentence.
The review identified a number of areas of practice where lessons could be learned and work with children and families improved. Many of these lessons relate to the need for a better recognition and response to the various factors that indicated potential risk to children. Alongside these there are other lessons relating to the skills and support that practitioners need in order to be able to work effectively in such complex situations.
– recognising risk – recognising the significance of history – the impact of alcohol use on parenting capacity – bruising and injuries in children who are not independently mobile – recognising the interface between child neglect and physical abuse – meaning of the child – assessing the impact of learning disability on parenting capacity – working with fathers – working with resistance – working effectively together within and between organisations – management and supervision – learning lessons from previous SCRs