Authors: Raman S, Maiese M, Vasquez V, Gordon P, Jones JM
Child Abuse Negl. 2017 Jun 26;70:283-291
Child abuse and neglect (CAN) cases presenting to health-services may be complex; when things go seriously wrong such as a child death or near miss, cases are reviewed and health-services and professionals subject to intense scrutiny. While there are a variety of mechanisms to review critical incidents in health-services no formal process for the review of cases where child protection is the primary concern exists in Australia. We aimed to develop a systematic process to review serious events in cases of suspected CAN across two health districts in Sydney, so that shared learnings could fuel system change. Drawing upon mapping, case review, literature findings and using quality improvement methodology, we developed a model named Review of Serious Events (RoSE), in suspected cases of CAN. The RoSE model has the key features of: being child focused; seeking to examine care over a period of time; using child protection staff as lead reviewers; involving health professionals/services in the review who have been involved with the child; and actioning systems change at local levels. The RoSE model was trialled through 2014-2015. Eight cases were reviewed using RoSE; cases were similar to those reviewed prior to having a model. Participant feedback from RoSE group processes was overwhelmingly positive; outputs were transparent and accessible to key stakeholders, there was mixed progress with implementation. The RoSE model is a serious case review process that is strongly child-focused, is both investigative and reflective, led by child protection experts; and can be adapted to other settings and systems.