MASTERCLASS: Learning from case reviews


The good practice guide Learning from Case Reviews is based on a UK wide study of 52 case reviews concerning 98 children who had experienced serious harm while living with foster carers, adopters or special guardians.

The study spans 12 years and is the first to focus exclusively on reviews of cases of children in alternative family care. It shines a spotlight on those issues particular to these children – selection and assessment of carers; support for children and carers; and the supervision and management of arrangements.

This study identifies recurring issues of concern in case reviews, including:

  • the assessment and selection of carers: exploring motivations, gaps in information, sensitive issues, carer attitudes, and managing doubt and uncertainty;
  • keeping the child at the heart of practice: improving placement planning, reviewing children’s wellbeing, listening to children, and closely monitoring vulnerable children;
  • supporting carers: the level of supervision and oversight, the impact of organisational pressures, maintaining objectivity;
  • being aware of the assumption of safety in foster care and adoption: reluctance to explore unease, asking questions about an absent child, avoiding manipulation, and maintaining authority;
  • effective communication and collaboration: between agencies, including health, social care and education, and clarity about responsibilities to share information between services and across local authority boundaries.


This event will:

  • Give workers attending an overview of the key points of learning from research
  • Provide an opportunity to reflect on changes to be made, in their own personal practice or within their organisation's, to reduce the risk of significant harm to looked after children, those living with special guardians and adopted children.


This event will be of particular interest to children’s services social workers and managers; Independent Reviewing Officers, adoption agency staff; independent fostering providers; CAFCASS Guardians; adoption and fostering Panel Chairs.


10.20am - Registration
10.30am - Welcome and introduction to the event – Elaine Dibben, Trainer Consultant, CoramBAAF
10.40am - Presentation: Learning from Case Reviews – Hedy Cleaver and Wendy Rose
11.20pm - Q & A
11.45am - Break
12.00pm - Discussion Groups
12.30pm - Final questions
12.45pm - Close


This is a free event for CoramBAAF corporate, full and associate members only. Places are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.


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