This Child Safeguarding Practice Review (CSPR) has been written on behalf of children and young people, multi-agency services, practitioners, family members, and the community in Croydon. There was a desire to bring these voices to the fore - their voices have been reflected throughout this report. This CSPR has been a long review involving multiple strands which has included extensive information gathering and consultation. Throughout the process, multi-agency services have learnt from what has emerged and services have adapted and evolved in order to make a difference to children and families in real-time.
The CSPR is focused on seven children/young people who were charged in association with the deaths of three children in 2021, these tragic deaths were not linked. The CSPR panel recognised the dynamic interplay between victim and perpetrator and therefore concluded that referring to these children/young people simply as a perpetrator would be misleading. During almost the entire period of multi-agency interventions all but one of the children/young people were under eighteen. The panel recognised that although it is common/preferred practice to refer to adolescents as ‘young people’ the term children/young people will be used throughout in recognition of the legal definition, and unique vulnerabilities, of a child.
There has been active and committed involvement of multi-agency services and community representatives including over sixty front-line practitioners. On behalf of Croydon Safeguarding Children Partnership (CSCP), the Independent Reviewer was privileged to meet with four parents and a child. These meetings were a humble reminder of the trauma and immense grief that follows from serious youth violence both from the perspectives of parents who lost their son and from the perspective of parents whose son was charged in association with the death of another child. All were open and frank about what is needed to change and were grateful for the opportunity to tell their story and be heard. Their perspectives have been included in this report.
The 6 Key Lines of Enquiry (KLE) were agreed at the start of this CSPR.
KLE 1 - Review the support provided
KLE 2 - Identify where/why support ceased and any learning outcomes.
KLE 3 - Include the voice of the child, understand his daily life, and consider reasons why support may not have been accessed or effective.
KLE 4 - Review current community support provision, especially where it may be possible to empower parents of young people.
KLE 5 - Learn from the families (including the families of the children who died)
KLE 6 - Learn from the experiences of front-line practitioners in terms of what works well and what more may be needed locally and nationally to improve outcomes for young people affected by SYV.
Thematic Review - Serious Youth Violence (Full report)