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‘Missed Opportunity’ Identified In Child Y Serious Case Review

Oxfordshire Safeguarding Children Board Releases New Report


A serious case review into the death of a 22-month-old boy in Oxfordshire has suggested there was a missed opportunity to help the youngster.

Oxfordshire Safeguarding Children Board’s review related to the case of Child Y, who died of a fractured skull in November 2010. His father was jailed for 15 months earlier this year after he admitted child neglect.

The report has revealed there was anonymous referral to social care related to concerns the child had shown developmental delay and also possible bruising.

However, it was found that the referral was not handled in accordance with procedures, with the Children’s Social Care service reporting staffing issues in the department. The review has described this particular incident as “missed opportunity”.

The report also made several recommendations, including the need for the Children’s Social Care service to be reminded of the importance of recording anonymous referrals and the need for all agencies involved in such investigations to review and assess new information as it emerges.

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Expert Opinion
This is another worrying scenario where opportunities to help a child have been missed, as a result of issues which could and should have been avoided.

"This serious case review has identified a range of issues which need to be examined and addressed as soon as possible, and it is our hope that steps will be taken to improve standards once and for all.

"Through our work we see numerous cases where children have suffered significant psychological and physical problems as a result of abuse and neglect. It is absolutely vital that social care services work to a high standard to ensure everything possible can be done to protect those identified as at-risk."
Luke Daniels, Partner