Serious Case Reviews

A serious case review is a multi-agency case review  by the local safeguarding children board (LSCB) of the circumstances of a child who dies or sustains serious harm.

The authority to conduct a serious case review is described in Government guidance. For reference see Working Together to Safeguard Children, HM Government 2015.

“When a child dies (including death by suspected suicide) and abuse or neglect is known or suspected to be a factor in the death, the LSCB should always conduct a serious case review... LSCBs should consider whether to conduct a serious case review whenever a child has been seriously harmed...".

The purpose of a serious case review is to:

  • establish what lessons are to be learnt from the case about the way in which local professionals and organisations work individually and together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children;
  • identify clearly what those lessons are both within and between agencies, how and within what timescales they will be acted upon, and what is expected to change as result, and;
  • improve intra- and inter-agency working and better safeguard and promote the welfare of children.


Request for Serious Case Review

All requests for a serious case review should be made using our request a serious case review form. You can also use this form to request Child Protection Incident Reviews where appropriate.

Request for SCR form

It is essential that those requesting that a serious case review be undertaken are able to indicate how the criteria for a serious case review have been met.


Request for Child Protection Incident Review

There are some circumstances in which a child has experienced abuse or neglect that do not meet the criteria for SCR but would still benefit from a multi-agency review. In these cases a Child Protection Incident Review (CPIR) may be conducted, although on a non-statutory footing.

The BSCB may consider undertaking a CPIR in cases where:

  • A child has experienced known or suspected abuse or neglect
  • The key incidents of abuse or neglect have taken place within the past 12 months, reflecting current practice
  • There is a clear benefit to conducting a multi-agency review over another type of review
  • There is a clear opportunity for potential learning that has not been covered by other reviews

As CPIRs are discretionary the final decision to undertake a CPIR will be made on a case by case basis.

Request for CPIR form

Before submitting the referral please discuss with your agency representative on the Serious Case Review sub-group or your agency Board member. Once completed, please send this form to

Our Partners:

Bristol City Council
Avon & Somerset Police