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3.6.1 Death or Serious Injury to a Looked After Child

Contents

  1. Death of a Looked After Child
  2. Serious Injury to a Looked After Child


1. Death of a Looked After Child

Where information comes to notice of the death of a Child in Care, the following tasks are required.

The child’s social worker will:

  1. Immediately inform his or her line manager;
  2. Notify the parent(s) immediately and in person, if possible;
  3. Discuss with the parent(s) and reach agreement regarding the arrangements for the funeral (in the event of sudden, unexplained deaths arrangements for the funeral may need to be delayed);
  4. Obtain as much information as possible on the circumstances surrounding the cause of death and pass this to their line manager; and
  5. Discuss with the manager any necessary expenditure including reasonable travel expenses to assist the family in attending the funeral where it appears there is financial hardship;
  6. Following discussion with their Team Manager, contact the Police.

The social worker’s line manager will:

  1. Immediately inform the Service Manager and contact the Head of Service by telephone and provide follow up information in writing as soon as possible afterwards;
  2. Advise Legal Services initially by telephone, then confirm details in writing; and
  3. Contact the Insurance Section of the Finance Department, initially by telephone and then in writing.

The Head of Service will:

  1. Inform the Corporate Director for Children and Learning;
  2. Consider the appropriate manager to conduct a Management Review;
  3. Consider whether a Serious Case Review is required under the Lincolnshire Safeguarding Children Board Procedure, Serious Case Reviews; and
  4. Inform the Department for Education and the Regulatory Authority;

For guidance in relation to Management Reviews, see Incidents Guidance.

The report to the Department for Education and the Regulatory Authority will include the following information in the order shown:

  • Local Authority;
  • Child’s Name;
  • Date of Birth;
  • Date of Death;
  • Child’s Legal Status;
  • Type of Placement (if residential, the name and type of Children’s Home should be included);
  • Address of Placement;
  • Cause of Death as on Death Certificate;
  • Dates if any when child was the subject of a Child Protection Plan;
  • The date and findings of the Inquest and any criminal proceedings initiated. It may be necessary to notify these details at a later date;
  • Policy and practice issues raised and intended local authority action (to follow later if necessary).

Foster Carers/Residential Staff must take the following action:-

  • Take immediate action and contact the emergency service;
  • Take First Aid action;
  • Ensure the other children in the home are safe and reassure them;
  • If necessary arrange for someone else to look after the other children in the home;
  • If carers are sure the child is dead they should not move the child's body and should contact the child's GP;
  • The foster carer/residential staff must ensure that they inform the child's social worker, duty officer or social worker's line manager;
  • If the death occurs outside of office hours, the Emergency Duty Team should be informed;
  • Inform the social worker if there are any suspicious circumstances.

The GP or hospital doctor will write out a medical certificate showing the cause of death. This is in a sealed envelope addressed to the Registrar.

Another notice informing how to register the death will also be given.

The GP will make arrangements to have the child’s body collected.

The social worker should discuss with the foster carer or residential worker whether they wish to be involved with informing the child’s parents.

Care must be taken not talk about the situation until the parent has been informed.


2. Serious Injury to a Looked After Child

Where information comes to notice of serious injury to a Child in Care, the following tasks are required.

The child’s social worker will:

  1. Immediately inform his or her line manager;
  2. Notify the parent(s) immediately and in person, if possible;
  3. Arrange with the parent(s) to visit the child in hospital;
  4. Obtain as much information as possible on the circumstances surrounding the injury and pass this to their line manager; and
  5. Discuss with the manager any necessary expenditure including reasonable travel expenses to assist the family in visiting the child where it appears there is financial hardship;
  6. Following discussion with their manager, contact the Police.

The social worker’s line manager will:

  1. Immediately inform the Head of Service by telephone and provide follow up information in writing as soon as possible afterwards;
  2. Advise Legal Services initially by telephone, then confirm details in writing;
  3. Contact the Insurance Section of the Finance Department, initially by telephone and then in writing; and
  4. Where the child was placed in foster care or residential care, advise the Regulatory Authority, initially by telephone followed with written information. Ofsted Notification form is located on the Ofsted website.

The Head of Service will:

  1. Inform the Corporate Director for Children and Learning;
  2. Consider the appropriate manager to conduct a Management Review;
  3. Consider whether a Serious Case Review is required under the Lincolnshire Safeguarding Children Board Procedures, Serious Case Reviews;
  4. Inform the Regulatory Authority, if not already done.

For Guidance in relation to Management Reviews, see Incidents Guidance.

End