Child Safeguarding Panel’s review on SUDI

Commenting on the National Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel’s thematic review into sudden unexpected deaths in infants Charlotte Ramsden, ADCS Vice President, said:

“We welcome this report which focuses on sudden unexpected deaths of infants in families where children are considered at risk of significant harm. The report’s emphasis on drawing together learning from cases, together with research and evidence to improve the way we work with families to reduce the risk of sudden unexpected deaths in infants is helpful. I’m sure this will lead to the development of practice models that make a difference. The Panel found some examples of good local practice but there is much more we can do to work with parents, particularly the most vulnerable, to prevent these tragedies from happening in the first place, and to address a wider range of risks to children’s health and safety. Between June 2018 and August 2019, 40 serious incidents notified to the panel involved infants who had died suddenly and unexpectedly, most involved babies under three months old. Almost all incidents involved parents co-sleeping with infants and parental drug use and substance misuse were common factors, behind each of these cases is a family left devastated by the tragic loss of their child. The report reveals that children from families who are facing a range of challenges, such as domestic abuse, poor parental mental health and overcrowded conditions at home, appear to be at greater risk of dying in this way. We welcome the emphasis on the importance of differentiated and responsive multi-agency practice as this is the core of all effective safeguarding work. We know that the impact of Covid-19 is exacerbating many of these risk factors for families which makes the report’s findings even more important. Therefore, alongside improving how we work with families locally and nationally to address the issues of safe sleeping and the wider related risk factors, we need greater government investment in services that support parents with the challenges they face. This would be a good thing for children and has never been more important in these challenging times.”

ENDS



Related Articles