Where a child’s safety or wellbeing has been (or may have been) jeopardised in an organisation, you may need an expert opinion and independent examination of how your organisation responded, and even first identified the incident.
Such expert input can strengthen existing internal investigation processes, while providing reassurance to Boards, staff, children and families that incidents have been rigorously reviewed.
When should a critical incident review be undertaken?
Critical incident reviews may be undertaken when there are: breaches of child safeguarding policy and procedure; allegations against employees or volunteers; or multiple incidents which may be indicative of particular themes, trends or systemic weaknesses. Child Wise’s team of safeguarding experts can lead reviews of critical safeguarding incidents to holistically assess organisational responses and identify learning opportunities which can strengthen practice going forward.
How is a critical incident review conducted?
Child Wise approaches critical incident reviews from a children’s rights perspective, meaning the voices and experiences of children are centralised in the process. Our reviews are systemic, meaning we consider the organisational response from multiple, contextual angles including governance, culture, staffing, resourcing, legislation and the experience of children and families.
How is the incident response examined?
Critical incident reviews examine how the incident was responded to, including:
- Effectiveness of safeguarding action;
- Effectiveness of risk management processes;
- Effectiveness of policies and procedures, and the extent they were adhered to;
- The extent to which children and families were empowered as active participants in safeguarding processes;
- Adherence to legislative requirements, including effectiveness of communication with statutory authorities;
- The approach to communication with stakeholders and support to those impacted.
What is the process of a critical incident review?
A critical incident review is generally undertaken in three parts:
- A desktop review of relevant documentation;
- Stakeholder engagement (interviews, focus groups, surveys) with those involved and affected including leaders, staff/volunteers, children/young people, parents/carers.
- Conducting a site visit.
- Presentation of findings and recommendations.
Note that in undertaking Critical Incident Reviews, Child Wise will ensure its involvement does not compromise any statutory investigations which are underway or due to commence. Child Wise will seek assurance that clearance from relevant statutory authorities has been obtained before commencing any reviews.
Contact us to arrange a critical incident review
Has your organisation recently responded to a critical incident or emergency regarding child safety and wellbeing? Contact us to arrange a critical incident review, or to learn more about our child safeguarding services.