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New government study finds poverty to be a major factor in serious case reviews

The government has published a report which cites poverty as a key factor leading to the abuse or death of a child in a third of serious case reviews.

The analysis, commissioned by the Department for Education, reviewed 386 serious case reviews carried out by local safeguarding children’s boards between April 2014 and March 2017. Of these, 206 were undertaken after the death of a child and the remaining 162 after serious harm had been inflicted on a child. In 35% per cent of the sample poverty or economic depression was noted as a feature.

The report claims “The majority of children living in poverty do not experience neglect, but where poverty and neglect co-exist, the adverse outcomes for children will, inevitably, be escalated.” It then adds “Practitioners need to understand how poverty affects children and, through hearing their voices, seek to safeguard and improve the quality of their lives”.

Read the full report here.