Serious case reviews: The lived experience of Black children

Bernard, Claudia A. and Harris, Perlita. 2019. Serious case reviews: The lived experience of Black children. Child and Family Social Work, 24(2), pp. 256-263. ISSN 1356-7500 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Despite the many high‐profile Black child deaths in England, race as a factor remains a largely underexplored factor of serious case reviews (SCRs). Evidence from analysis of SCRs indicates that race receives limited attention, or is virtually absent. Given that the main function of SCRs is to provide opportunities for learning lessons to improve practice, the way in which issues of race and culture may influence child protection processes for Black children is therefore of critical importance. In this article, we employ content analysis to examine the extent that race and cultural factors are considered in SCRs involving Black children. It is argued that race is often an important factor influencing Black children's experiences of abuse and neglect, as well as their encounters in the child protection system. This article therefore poses two key questions: (a) What questions are asked about race, ethnicity, and culture in SCRs concerning Black children? (b) How did the SCRs extract lessons to be learnt for improving practice to safeguard Black children? By extending the analysis of race and ethnicity in SCRs, this article furthers our understandings of the needs of Black children in the child protection system.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):


Black children, child protection, race and cultural factors, serious case reviews

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Social, Therapeutic & Community Engagement (STaCS)
Social, Therapeutic & Community Engagement (STaCS) > Centre for Community Engagement Research
Social, Therapeutic & Community Engagement (STaCS) > Social Work
Social, Therapeutic & Community Engagement (STaCS) > Unit for Psychotherapeutic Studies


25 July 2018Accepted
3 September 2018Published Online
May 2019Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

10 Oct 2018 15:29

Last Modified:

24 Mar 2021 14:59

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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