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Analysing child deaths and serious injury through abuse and neglect: what can we learn?

A biennial analysis of serious case reviews 2003–2005

Serious case reviews are carried out when abuse and neglect are known or suspected factors when a child dies (or is seriously injured or harmed), and there are lessons to be learnt about inter-agency working to protect children (HM Government 2006a). The review should establish what improvements can be made to the way in which professionals and agencies work together to safeguard children and identify how these will be acted upon.

At least every two years, an overview analysis of serious case reviews in England is commissioned to draw out themes and trends, so that lessons learnt from these cases as a whole can inform both policy and practice. This is the third such overview analysis. The 161 reviews studied were notified during the period April 2003 – March 2005.