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Death or Serious Injury to a Child (Looked After and Child In Need)
SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER
This chapter outlines the steps to be taken in the event of the suspicious death of/serious injury to a child living in the community or the death of/serious injury to any child in care (Looked After).
These steps are in addition to the carrying out of the Local Safeguarding Children Board Procedures in relation to the need to hold a Serious Case Review and the work of the Child Death Overview Panel.
This chapter uses the expression Designated Manager (Death or Serious Injury to a Child). This person should also be notified in circumstances where there is a serious injury to a child.
If a decision is made not to hold a Serious Case Review by the Chair of the Local Safeguarding Children Board, this will be notified to Ofsted and the National Panel of Independent Experts on Serious Case Reviews in accordance with the Local Safeguarding Children Board Procedures.
2. Death of or Serious Injury to a Child in Care
Where information comes to notice of the death of or serious injury to a child in care, the following tasks are required.
The child's social worker will:
Immediately inform his or her line manager;
Notify the parent(s) immediately and in person, if possible;
In the event of a child's death, 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);
In the event of a serious injury to the child, arrange with the parent(s) to visit the child in hospital;
Obtain as much information as possible on the circumstances surrounding the cause of death/serious injury and pass this to their line manager; and
Discuss with the line manager any necessary expenditure including reasonable travel expenses to assist the family in attending the funeral or visiting the child in hospital where it appears there is financial hardship;
Where the child was in a long term foster placement, discuss with the line manager any possible conflict between the carers and the parents regarding arrangements for the child's funeral.
The line manager will:
Immediately inform the Designated Manager (Death of a Child) by telephone and provide follow up information in writing as soon as possible afterwards;
Advise Legal Services initially by telephone, then confirm details in writing; and
Contact the Insurance Section of the Finance Department, initially by telephone and then in writing.
Inform the Director of Children's Services, who will come to a decision about whether to notify Members;
Ensure that the parents' wishes concerning the funeral are discussed (by the social worker or the team manager), that any possible conflict with the wishes of the carers are also ascertained and addressed, and that any appropriate associated costs are met;