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Queen's and NSPCC publish Northern Ireland's first child death and serious injury review
Date:1/23/2013

The first ever review of abuse cases related to child death or serious injury in Northern Ireland will be launched at Queen's University today (24 January 2013). The review, Translating Learning into Action, was commissioned by the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS) and was carried out by researchers at Queen's University and the NSPCC.

The Case Management Review (CMR) report the first to be produced in Northern Ireland - analysed 24 case reviews relating to 45 children which resulted in death or serious injury in the period between 2003 2008. While the rate of non-accidental child deaths in Northern Ireland continues to fall as a consequence of having a strong child protection system, the findings from the review offer important opportunities for strengthening the system.

Of the 24 cases reviewed, 18 dealt with the death of a child four children who died as a result of a physical or sexual assault; six infants who died unexpectedly, for which there was no cause established; and eight young people who died by suicide or accident. The remaining six case reviews involved a range of issues, including the serious injury of a child, the standard of care of children by their carers, and how professionals worked together.

As of 31 March 2012, 2,127 children were listed on child protection registers in Northern Ireland, a decrease of 11% (274) from 2011 (2,401) but an increase of 18% (322) since 2007.

The report drew a number of conclusions:

  • The rate of non-accidental child deaths in Northern Ireland continues to fall as a consequence of having a strong child protection system;
  • The majority of the 24 case reviews commented positively on the dedication and professionalism of individual staff working with the families subject to review;
  • The children in these reports were amongst hundreds living in very similar circumstances and who were known to professionals, and the reviews concluded that it was
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Contact: Claire O'Callaghan
c.ocallaghan@qub.ac.uk
07-772-649-694
Queen's University Belfast
Source:Eurekalert

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