Serious & Significant Case Reviews

What is a Significant or Serious Case Review (SCR)?

Significant Case Reviews (Scotland) and Serious Case Reviews (England) take place after a child dies or is seriously injured and abuse or neglect is known or suspected. The purpose is to help agencies learn lessons about how better to protect children and young people from serious abuse.

To view published SCRs and discussion papers, please scroll further down this page

Is there a similar Significant Case Review process for Adult Support and Protection?  

While there is currently no agreed National SCR Framework for Adult Protection Committees in Scotland, this is currently being looked at by a Short Life Working Group, reporting to Scottish Government. 

Helpful Resources

SCR practice briefing - March 2016 

National Guidance for Child Protection Committees for Conducting a Significant Case Review - Published April 2015.  This is guidance for Child Protection Committees when conducting a Significant Case Review (SCR). 

Code of practice for the review of Significant Case Reviews of children and young people in Scotland. The Scottish Government requested that the Care Inspectorate take on the role as a central collation point for Significant Case Reviews (SCR) and to review and disseminate learning nationally. The responsibility for the decision to carry out an SCR and for conducting the review lies with local Child Protection Committees (CPC) and Chief Officers Groups (COG).

First Annual Report - National Panel of Independent Experts on Serious Case Reviews -Working Together to Safeguard Children 2013, the Government’s guide to inter-agency working which was published in March 2013, announced that a national panel of independent experts would be established ‘to support Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs) in ensuring that appropriate action is taken to learn from serious incidents in all cases where the statutory criteria are met and to ensure that those lessons are shared through publication of final SCR reports.

NSPCC – National SCR Repository - This repository provides a single place for published case reviews to make it easier to access and share learning at a local, regional and national level.

Significant Case Reviews – How Can WithScotland Help?

Child Protection Committees can contact WithScotland and we can help to source support for situations warranting a Case Review / SCR, as Lead Reviewers, Critical Friends or for advice and support. This help is sourced via the WithScotland Community of Expertise - who hold a wealth of knowledge, skills and experience in child well being and protection, from a variety of disciplines.  Download our How Can WithScotland Help? leaflet for further information.  

To coincide with the publication of the refreshed National Guidance for Child Protection Committees for Conducting a Significant Case Reviews – WithScotland recently held a further Foundation Course for a cohort of current and potential SCR Chairs, Lead / Case Reviewers. 

The course, which took place in May 2015,  was delivered by Sarah Peel, Deputy Head of Learning Together, (SCIE), and Fiona Johnston (SCIE Accredited Lead Reviewer). It provided the foundations to understanding systems thinking and its application in the conduct of a “Learning Together” case review. 

For more information please email 

Child Protection

Published Significant Case Reviews

Serious Case Reviews -WithScotland Disussion Papers

Issues and Resources for Practice 

Adult Support and Protection

Published Significant Case Reviews and other useful reports

Serious Case Reviews