The serious case review of Danielle Pelka revealed that four separate social work assessments were undertaken and each failed to identify risk to Daniel. In the light of these findings critically evaluated the serious case review (SCR) in relation to the assessments undertaken.
Guidance to be covered:-
- Critically examine the purpose and process of social work assessment within the current procedural, policy and statutory context.
- Critically consider how effective the assessment process should be when analysing risk, need and ongoing intervention.
- Critically examine the importance of applying theory and research to inform the ongoing analysis of risk, need and intervention. Consider these concepts both generally and in relation to the SCR
- The SCR concluded that “No assessment of risk within a family or to a particular child can ever be effective without direct engagement of that child as an integral part of the professional interventions, and in working hard to gain an understanding of their experiences, wishes and feelings”. Critically consider these comments and the relevance of any cultural issues.
- The essay has to be analytical and not just a description of the serious case review.
- The issues need to be examined from different perspectives as this will help you under the issues in more depth.
- It is easy to criticise professionals who were involved with Daniel but the essay is about exploring possible explanations for failures and how this links to a much broader context and how theory and research can be applied to aid understanding and analysis.
- It is about raising the questions that help you understand the complexity, not simply saying that this or that should have been done.
- Need to critically examine why the assessments were deemed to be ineffective. What were the different factors?
- The expectation is that there will be a broad range of reading undertaken for this essay. Journal articles need to be used as well as other material.
- Research and theoretical concepts that enable you to underpin and evidence the points that you make throughout the essay.
- Purpose and process within the current legal and policy framework. How important is assessment when working with children and families?
- How has it evolved?
- How does this link to the current legal and policy context ?
- What are the advantages of SCR. Do they promote critical thinking and understanding?
- What are the limitations of SCR’s Wider influences?
- Are there any social and political influences on the process? Explore the role of the media when become high profile?
- What is the role of OFSTED in SCR?
- What impact can they have on public opinion?
- Can this process influence societies attitudes?, shape our practice? Shape how as a society we view children and childhood? How we view women? How we view men as fathers?
- Do they influence what we think about certain families? Are families labelled?
- Do they reinforce moral panics?
- How do these issues link to Daniel Pelka’s SCR? Did the criminal trial make any difference to the process?
- Consider theories that help us to understand these concepts.
Critically consider how effective the assessment process should be when analysing risk, need and ongoing intervention
- How effective is assessment when analysing risk need and ongoing intervention?
- What models/theories help us to analyse risk, need and ongoing intervention?
- Does the electronic system promote greater efficiency or influence the way that assessment is shaped
- What influence has Munro had in the a assessment process as well as how we analyse risk
- Other theoretical perspectives/research that help us to critical consider assessment and outcomes
Critical perspectives – barriers to effective assessments in a broader context.
- What does the literature say about the influence of the organisational context in the assessment process?
- How far does policy and legislation impact on the function and structures of organisations?
- Are there any other factors that provide organisational barriers?
- How effective are bureaucratic systems in protecting children?
- How do these issues link with Daniel?
Do resources impact on systems
The SCR concluded that “No assessment of risk within a family or to a particular child can ever be effective without direct engagement of that child as an integral part of the professional interventions, and in working hard to gain an understanding of their experiences, wishes and feelings”. Critically consider these comments and the relevance of any cultural issues
- Where are these concepts enshrined in policy and legislation.
- What were the barriers?
- Is this a reflection on how we see children within this culture?
- What were the possible reasons for this.
- Is this a wider more complex issue?
- What theories and concepts help us to understand why this is a recurring theme?
- How easy is it to obtain the child’s wishes and feelings?
- How meaningful is this within the current context?
Inter professional context
- What does the literature/research say about inter professional working? Is it largely successful?
- What models are effective in these circumstances?
- How is it enshrined in legislation and policy?
- Are there any difficulties? How complex is this?
- What are the factors that make inter professional working difficult?
- Are there other examples when things have gone wrong?
- How do these issues link with Daniels experiences?
- Direct engagement of children within the social work context How important is this? Is it enshrined in policy and legislation?
- Has this been a feature of SCRs? What does the literature say?
- How can social workers ensure that children have a voice?
- Are there any factors that militate against this?
- Can cultural issues affect communication? If so how this could be addressed.
- Can learning disabilities be a barrier to effective communication? If so how this could be addressed. Are there other barriers that can affect engagement?
- What part can observation play in this process? What part can other agencies play in this process?
- Does our knowledge of child development help us within the assessment process?
- How do these issues link with Daniel?
- How influential can adults be in the engagement process?
- What are the main issues that need to be considered in the conclusion?
- Has this essay enabled you to understand what went wrong?
- What lessons have you learned about the assessment process?
Look at alternative theories and different perspectives, use of theory is important. Can look at historical framework.
What barriers was there when communicating with Daniel, why was he ignored etc.
You need to lokk at the Coventry safeguarding children board serious case review for the document as well as other materials