Discredited’ serious case review model to be scrapped (England)

Community Care | 31 May 2016

The government will overhaul the way child deaths are investigated after an independent review found the Serious Case Review process was “discredited” and unfit for purpose. Under the current system, Local Safeguarding Children’s Boards are required to undertake Serious Case Reviews when a child dies or is seriously injured and abuse or neglect is thought to be involved. The government will replace this locally-commissioned system with a new centralised framework based on a mixture of national and local reviews. Ministers believe the new system will bring greater consistency, speed and quality to investigations.

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Wood Review 

Liam Fee: Mother and partner guilty of murdering two-year-old boy

BBC Scotland | 31 May 2016

Mother Rachel Fee and her partner Nyomi have been found guilty of murdering her two-year-old son Liam Fee in Fife. The couple were found guilty of assaulting and killing the young child at his home near Glenrothes in March 2014. They were also convicted of a catalogue of abuse against two other children. The guilty verdicts were delivered after a seven-week trial at the High Court in Livingston. The couple had blamed another boy for the murder. However, the jury found that Rachel and Nyomi Fee had subjected the toddler to an escalating pattern of cruelty during his short life.

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Don’t let ‘ordinary’ child sexual abuse fall back into the shadows

The Guardian | 30 May 2016

By Peter Wanless, Chief Executive of the NSPCC:

Three years ago we were suddenly plunged into a world of celebrity and VIP sex offenders following revelations of the deeply disturbing crimes committed by Jimmy Savile. Since then the British public has been deluged with lurid accusations – some specific, some suggestive, against high-profile people. Rolf Harris, Max Clifford and Stuart Hall are among those who have been jailed as a consequence despite their persistent protestations of innocence.

While VIP-related allegations dominate the headlines, a significant shift in confidence and understanding of child sexual abuse has been taking place in our society. For too long victims remained quiet, fearful of the consequences of speaking up, lacking the belief that anything positive would come of it if they did. Now they can be a little more confident that not only will they be heard but that also no one is above the law.

High-profile cases have helped keep child abuse under a spotlight and at the forefront of people’s minds but we must not allow it to distract from the reality that VIP child abuse is not typical. Around 90% of sex offences against children are committed by someone they know – a relative, family friend, an acquaintance of some sort. And the vast majority of these offenders are from what you might term “ordinary” backgrounds.

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