21 Investigate Why Inquiries And Serious

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2.1 - Investigate why inquiries and serious case reviews are required and how sharing of findings affects practice

Serious case reviews and inquiries are required to identify how, when and why a child has died from abuse or neglect. These reviews identify the way in which organisations and local professionals have worked both together and separately to safeguard, protect and promote the welfare of children and young people. These reviews also help to identify how these organisations could have worked better to ensure that this doesn’t happen again to another child.

Victoria Climbie was born 2nd November 1991. She was brought to the UK in 1999 by her aunty, who the authorities thought was her mother, when she was 8 years old. She suffered 128 injuries from being beaten with sharp and blunt instruments and after Victoria’s post mortem was carried out, her cause of death was found to be hypothermia brought on by malnourishment and living in a damp environment with restricted movement. Victoria’s Aunty was arrested at the hospital on 25th February 2000 on suspicion of neglect.

Victoria had been a part of multi agency child protection plan and had visited and been visited by multiple hospitals, social services teams, police and churches before her death on 25th February 2000 at just 8 years and 3 months old. All agencies involved were too willing to listen to her Aunties stories of incontinence, possession and behavioural problems. The social services teams didn’t even follow up a disclosure of sexual abuse towards Victoria with an investigation after her Aunty retracted the allegations she had made towards her partner. All agencies seemed very trusting of Victoria’s Aunty who was reinforced by her presentation and behaviour. She co-operated with meetings and visits from professionals, initiated communication with professionals and even responded positively to offers of help.

After Victoria’s death all agencies that were a part of her short life...