Nottingham City Safeguarding Children’s Board Procedures Manual
Nottingham City Safeguarding Children’s Board Procedures Manual Nottingham City Safeguarding Children’s Board Procedures Manual

1.5.1 Unexpected Death or Serious Injury to a Child

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

This chapter outlines the immediate 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.

AMENDMENT

This chapter was entirely revised and updated in November 2017 to reflect current management arrangements and Ofsted’s online reporting arrangements.


Contents

  1. Death of or Serious Injury to a Child in the Community
  2. Death of or Serious Injury to a Child in Care
  3. Needs of Social Worker / Team / Manager / Carer


1. Death of or Serious Injury of a Child in the Community

Where information about an unexpected death of a child, or serious injury to a child, living in the community, the following tasks are required:

1.1

The child's social worker or, if unallocated, the duty worker receiving the information will:

  1. Immediately inform their line manager;
  2. Obtain as much information as possible on the circumstances surrounding the cause of death/serious injury and pass this to the line manager.
1.2 The line manager will immediately inform the Designated Manager (Death or Serious Injury to a Child) by telephone and provide follow up information in writing as soon as possible afterwards.
1.3

The Designated Manager (Death or Serious Injury to a Child) will:

  1. Inform the Director of Children's Services, who will notify local authority members as necessary; using a notifiable incident briefing form;
  2. Ascertain as full details as possible from the Police and any other source;
  3. Check Children's Services records on the child and family and collate any information held;
  4. Where appropriate secure the electronic case record held in liquid logic, via the IT self-service portal request;
  5. Inform the other relevant agencies about the death/serious injury and remind them to secure their files; ensure electronic case management system liquid logic is updated re the death;
  6. Ensure communication and engagement with the multi-agency Child Death Rapid Response Procedure and the child death team at the QMC Hospital. This will include arranging an initial child death Strategy Meeting for children know to Children’s Social Care; or arranging appropriate attendance at an initial case discussion (ICD) in cases where the family are not previously known;
  7. Inform Ofsted using the Notification Form for Serious Childcare Incidents. Assistance with this can be sought from the NCSCB Children's Officer.
1.4

The report to Ofsted is submitted online. The contents entered must be reviewed by the Designated Manager before it is submitted. The form requires a range of information and is set out clearly in sections. A copy of the completed form should be saved as a PDF prior to submitting the notification, the electronic referral allows you to do this.

In urgent situations, the Deputy Director or Director of Children’s Services should telephone Ofsted on 0300 123 1231 and then complete the form.
1.5 A decision to hold a Serious Case Review (SCR) will be made through the SCR subgroup of the local safeguarding children Board, in consultation with the Independent Chair. Where a Serious Case Review is to be held, this must be conducted in accordance with Chapter 4: Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015 and the Nottingham City Safeguarding Children Board Procedures.
1.6 If a decision is made not to hold a Serious Case Review by the Chair of the Nottingham City Safeguarding Children Board, this will be notified to Ofsted and the National Panel of Independent Experts on Serious Case Reviews in accordance with the Nottingham City Safeguarding Children Board Procedures.


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.

2.1

The child's social worker will:

  1. Immediately inform their line manager;
  2. Notify the parent(s) immediately and in person, if possible;
  3. In the event of a child's death, discuss with the parent(s) and reach agreement regarding the arrangements for the funeral (in the event of sudden, unexplained deaths arrangements for the funeral may need to be delayed);
  4. In the event of a serious injury to the child, arrange with the parent(s) to visit the child in hospital;
  5. Obtain as much information as possible on the circumstances surrounding the cause of death/serious injury and pass this to their line manager; and
  6. 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;
  7. Where the child was in a long term foster placement, discuss with the line manager any possible conflict between the carers and the parents regarding arrangements for the child's funeral.

    Work with the safeguarding boards locally agreed rapid response procedures and the child death team at the QMC Hospital, this will include arranging an initial child death Strategy Meeting.
2.2

The line manager will:

  1. Immediately inform the Designated Manager (Death of a Child) by telephone and provide follow up information in writing as soon as possible afterwards;
  2. Advise Legal Services initially by telephone, then confirm details in writing; and
  3. Contact the Insurance Section of the Finance Department, initially by telephone and then in writing.
2.3 The Designated Manager (Death or Serious Injury to a Child) will:
  1. Inform the Director of Children's Integrated Services and Corporate Director for Children and Adults, who will come to a decision about whether to notify local authority Members;
  2. Ensure that the parents' wishes concerning the funeral are discussed (by the social worker or the team manager), that any possible conflict with the wishes of the carers are also ascertained and addressed, and that any appropriate associated costs are met;
  3. Arrange, in consultation with the Safeguarding Manager, appropriate meetings under the Nottingham City Safeguarding Children Board Procedures, including the need to hold a Serious Case Review;
  4. Inform Ofsted using the Notification Form for Serious Childcare Incidents.
2.4

The report to Ofsted is the same as the previously outlined online report above.

In the event of a Serious Case being required, the steps outlined in Section 3, Needs of Social Worker/Team/Manager/Carer should be followed.


3. Needs of Social Worker / Team / Managers / Carer

During the implementation of this procedure consideration must be given to the needs of those staff and carers involved in the case.

The impact of a child death on social worker/team/manager/carer needs to be addressed in terms of:

  • The need for counselling for those involved;
  • The manner in which such support is offered;
  • The provision of access to legal and professional advice about the ongoing conduct of the case;
  • The provision of a clear explanation of the process of a Serious Case Review;
  • Support for staff in the event of Police investigation/interviews;
  • The need to inform and keep informed any relevant Trades Unions;
  • The need for team debriefing whilst observing confidentiality. This must be discussed with the Service Manager;
  • The need to acknowledge that a child death can impact on the productivity of any team and its ability to function; and the need to agree strategies to manage workloads.

End