- Safeguarding Information
- Professional Resources
- Case Reviews
- Youth Hub
On Monday 7 February 2022, Herefordshire Safeguarding Children Partnership published Serious Case Review Matthew. The Serious Case Review was commissioned by its predecessor body Herefordshire Safeguarding Children Board, in respect of the circumstances leading to child Matthew* being seriously harmed and needing intensive care in hospital.
Local Safeguarding Children Boards are required to undertake a Serious Case Review when a child dies or is seriously injured and abuse or neglect is known or suspected. The purpose of a Serious Case Review is to establish whether there are any lessons to be learned about the way in which local organisations worked together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, to make recommendations in response to these findings and, as a result, to improve inter-agency working and the safeguarding of children and young people.
Serious Case Review Matthew was undertaken in accordance with the guidance in Working Together 2015, which is the statutory guidance that was in place at the time Matthew was harmed. The guidance relates to inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.
The Serious Case Review was carried out by Jonathan Chapman (Independent Author). It looked into the complex circumstances around Matthew’s life and events leading up to the incident, to understand whether there is any learning for the local multi-agency safeguarding children system so we can make changes and improve practice within local services. There had been significant previous agency involvement with Matthew’s family. A criminal investigation was undertaken and as a result a man was convicted of child neglect.
The three statutory Safeguarding Children Partners of the Herefordshire Safeguarding Children Partnership are Herefordshire Council, West Mercia Police and NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire Clinical Commissioning Group. The findings and recommendations from the review have been endorsed by Herefordshire Safeguarding Children Partnership.
An action plan is in place, which is monitored through the Joint Case Review Group which consists of senior representatives from statutory and other agencies from across Herefordshire.
Herefordshire Safeguarding Children Partnership said:
“The partnership is fully committed to keeping children and young people safe and improvements are already underway in our local children’s services based on the recommendations within the Serious Case Review Matthew report.
We are working together as a partnership to respond to the lessons learnt from this review and others. We have considered the information carefully and are working together to ensure that practices are improved to achieve effective safeguarding and improved outcomes for children.”SCR Matthew - Overview Report
*Matthew is not the real name of the child involved, which has been changed to protect their identity.
At the request of the Herefordshire Safeguarding Children Partnership all media enquiries regarding this Serious Case Review will be co-ordinated by Herefordshire Council and should be emailed to email@example.com
Herefordshire Council Children’s Services Improvement Plan
A Children and Families Strategic Improvement Plan has been created to transform Herefordshire’s Children’s Social Care services over the next four years.
Further information can be found at: www.herefordshire.gov.uk/social-care-support/childrens-services-improvements. The Children Improvement Board, which has oversight of the Improvement Plan, is Independently Chaired and has senior representatives from the Police and CCG.