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Death or Serious Injury to a Child Cross Service Agreement Local Authority
SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER
This chapter outlines the steps to be taken in the event of the suspicious death of/serious injury to a child living in the community or the death of/serious injury to any child in care (Looked After).
These steps are in addition to the carrying out of the Local Safeguarding Children Board Procedures in relation to the need to hold a Serious Case Review and the work of the Child Death Overview Panel.
This chapter uses the expression Designated Manager (Death or Serious Injury to a Child). This person should also be notified in circumstances where there is a serious injury to a child.
1. Death of or Serious Injury of a Child in the Community
Where information comes to notice of the suspicious death or serious injury to a child living in the community, the following tasks are required.
The child's social worker or, if unallocated, the duty worker receiving the information will:
Immediately inform his or her line manager;
Obtain as much information as possible on the circumstances surrounding the cause of death/serious injury and pass this to the line manager including the details of the social care team involved and their head of service;
The Designated Manager (Death or Serious Injury to a Child) will:
Inform the Director of Children's Services, who will notify members as necessary;
Inform the deputy chief executive and ADs and agree a lead manager for the case if necessary;
Ascertain as full details as possible from the Police and any other source;
Request his or her administrative staff to check Children's Services records on the child and family and print out any information held;
Collect any files held on the child and family and secure them at his or her office;
Arrange through his or her administrative staff to inform the other relevant agencies including the designated paediatrician and nurse about the death/serious injury and remind them to secure their files;
Arrange to consider the circumstances of the death/serious injury, in accordance with the Local Safeguarding Children Board Procedures, including the need to hold a Serious Case Review or referral to the Child Death Overview Panel;
Following notification to health services there may be a rapid response meeting called by the designated doctor. Any held information presented to this meeting should be:
Chronology of involvement from relevant services. If the child has a disability or SEN, or other multiagency involvement relevant reports and care plans must be sought from the professionals involved with the child;
Exact description of incident with outline of the sequence of events.
The report to the Secretary of State will include the following information and must be approved by the Designated Manager (Death of a Child) Head of Safeguarding before it is sent:
If a decision is made not to hold a Serious Case Review by the Chair of the Local Safeguarding Children Board, this will be notified to Ofsted and the National Panel of Independent Experts on Serious Case Reviews in accordance with the Local Safeguarding Children Board Procedures.
If a serious case review is not held, the incident should be reported to the health and safety manager who will assist the lead officer in any subsequent investigations and communication of lessons learnt or follow up actions.
2. Death of or Serious Injury to a Child in Care
Where information comes to notice of the death of or serious injury to a child in care, the following tasks are required.
The child's social worker will:
Immediately inform his or her line manager;
Discuss the liaison arrangements with the Police;
Ensure the parent(s) have been notified immediately and in person, if possible;
In the event of a serious injury to the child, arrange with the parent(s) to visit the child in hospital;
Obtain as much information as possible on the circumstances surrounding the cause of death/serious injury and pass this to their line manager; and
Discuss with the line manager any necessary expenditure including reasonable travel expenses to assist the family in attending the funeral or visiting the child in hospital where it appears there is financial hardship;
Where the child was in a long term foster placement, discuss with the line manager any arrangements for the child's funeral taking into account the parent's wishes.
The responsible Head of Service will:
Advise Legal Services initially by telephone, then confirm details in writing; and
Contact the Insurance Section of the Finance Department, initially by telephone and then in writing.