May 13

Child Q SCR Published

Child Q – “Where were you when I was six?” – SCR published May 2019

Croydon Safeguarding Children Board has today published the Serious Case Review of Child Q which was commissioned in September 2017.

Child Q, 16, suffered fatal injuries in a road traffic collision between a moped and a police car in the early hours of 16 July 2017. Tragically, he died in Croydon University Hospital the following day. At the time of his death, he was looked after by Croydon Council, living with extended family in the Midlands.

Child Q was known to social care agencies from a young age. During his childhood he experienced many moves, living with different family members and foster carers. He attended numerous schools, and ultimately, pupil referral units.

Child Q was deeply loved by his family, and well-liked by professionals. He excelled at football and was a likeable engaging boy.  At age 13 he was a victim of crime after which he committed his first offence.

As he grew older, he regularly came into contact with the police and was subject to criminal convictions. Agencies assessed him as a gang member. It became a significant challenge to keep him safe within the community.

The aim of this serious case review was to understand the factors that led to such devastating consequences for Child Q and also to identify important lessons that will help services in Croydon keep children and young people safe. Whilst Child Q is the sole subject of this serious case review, his whole life experience is reflected in the CSCB-commissioned Vulnerable Adolescents Review published in February 2019. The findings and recommendations of the Vulnerable Adolescents Review are relevant to him and are referenced within this review.

Di Smith, Independent Chair of Croydon Safeguarding Children Board, said:

“This was the tragic death of a child, who was deeply loved by his family, and well-liked by professionals. This review asks; ‘could more have been done to keep him safe?’

Child Q’s childhood experiences shaped his pathway and services were unable to provide the support to address or change this trajectory.

By the time Child Q reached adolescence, his behaviour was high-risk and challenging and the situation changed constantly, leaving agencies struggling to keep pace.

Whilst the professional network had a wealth of experience, skills, knowledge and expertise, they were frequently not equipped with the tools they needed to keep him safe, at the time they needed them. For example, there was a particular challenge in obtaining secure placements for highly vulnerable children like Child Q.

This review questions whether more could have been done to support and divert Child Q at an earlier age, and there were times during his early years, and his education, when his needs were not met. As a young child he did not experience stability at home or in education; during his primary school years he did not receive the mental health support he needed. During his adolescence he did not receive the treatment and care he needed.

It is not possible for us to say what difference this would have made to Child Q. However, both the case of the Child Q and the vulnerable adolescents review clearly highlight the importance of strengthening families, building their resilience at an early stage – and the pivotal importance of education in children’s lives.

The learning from both will be invaluable as we go forward, as a strong and cohesive partnership determined to take a preventative approach by strengthening families and helping our young people to make positive choices.”

Download here: Child Q SCR Summary (published May 2019)

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