Serious child abuse inquiries 'inadequate'

Wednesday 18 March 2009 01:00

More than a third of inquiries into the most serious incidents of child abuse are "inadequate", inspectors have warned.

"Serious case reviews" are carried out by the local council after a child dies or is seriously injured through abuse or neglect – as in the Baby P tragedy. But Ofsted said these investigations were frequently sub-standard. A list published by the watchdog yesterday showed that 23 of the 64 serious case reviews it evaluated between December last year and February were "inadequate" – 36 per cent in total. It is understood that this number includes the evaluation of a serious case review into Baby P's death, carried out in December last year. A further 25 reviews (39 per cent) were considered "adequate" and 16 (25 per cent) were considered "good", according to Ofsted. Figures published last year in the 2008 Safeguarding Children joint chief inspectors' report revealed that between April and November, Ofsted judged one in four serious case reviews to be "inadequate". The shadow Children's minister, Tim Loughton, called again for the findings of serious case reviews to be published in full. Under current rules the full findings are confidential, and only a summary is published.

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