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Towards a new means of inquiry into child abuse cases

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This article explores the possibility of developing new ways of inquiring into child abuse deaths and other serious child abuse incidents where public authorities have been involved. Current arrangements seem to have many weaknesses. Large-scale public inquiries lead to adverse publicity and, arguably, to defensive child protection systems and practices. Serious Case Reviews are, for the most part, conducted in private and their findings are not made available to inform professional learning and development. Proposals are made for developing a system which avoids the worst effects of public inquiries but ensures greater openness and better learning opportunities than are currently provided by the serious case review system.

Keywords: child protection; public inquiries; serious case reviews; social work

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Social Work University of Central Lancashire

Publication date: September 1, 2003

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