Child Death Notifications and Serious Incidents - Initial Process

The following Practice Directive has been issued following a review of the initial notification processes conducted in relation to a child death or serious incident involving harm to a child. Please note that for purposes of this Practice Directive and briefing note below, a serious incident will be defined as on the following:

  • Murder, attempted murder or manslaughter;
  • Rape;
  • Torture;
  • Kidnapping;
  • False imprisonment;
  • Firearms offences;
  • A knife crime or serious assault that has resulted in hospitalisation.

When a child dies a referral outlining the issues should be sent through to the Referral Officers on a Child Death Notification by health. When there is a serious incident a Merlin will be sent through to Triage by police, setting out the nature of the serious incident.

When notification of a child death or serious incident is received and the child is known to Social Care, it is the responsibility of the allocated Team Manager to ensure the information below [1] is gathered and written up in the attached briefing document, within 2 hours of receipt of the Notification of Merlin.

Where a child is not currently open to the department, "On Duty Senior" (CSW) in Safeguarding Assessment Team will complete the briefing document within 48 hours.

  • Child's name, address and date of birth [1];
  • Circumstances of the child's death (if known) [1];
  • Information on whether the child is known to Social Care under which circumstances (if known) [1].

This information should be forwarded immediately to:

James Thomas Director Children's Services

Jaquie Burke, Deputy Director Children's Social Care and Safeguarding

Copy to:

Beverley Halligan, Head of Social Work Improvement Beverley

Maura Cardy Partnerships & Workforce Development Manager

Trix procedures

Only valid for 48hrs