Sandwell Safeguarding Children Board (SSCB) has responsibility for reviewing the deaths of all children who live in Sandwell, other than still births or planned terminations that are within the law, through the arrangements of a Child Death Overview Panel (CDOP) (Working Together 2018).
The Panel has a fixed core membership drawn from organisations represented on the SSCB with flexibility to co-opt other relevant professionals to discuss certain types of death as and when appropriate.
The purpose of the child death review process is to collect and analyse information about the death of each child who normally resides in Sandwell with a view to identifying any matters of concern affecting the health, safety, or welfare of children, or any wider public health concerns. The overall purpose of the child death review process is to understand why children die, put in place interventions to protect other children, prevent future deaths and to support families.
In order to fulfil its responsibilities CDOP should be informed of all deaths of children, normally resident in the geographical area.
Notification of a child death
CDOP must be notified within 24 hours of a child’s death. As soon as a professional becomes aware of a child death they should notify the SSCB Child Death Coordinator
When a child dies unexpectedly, a Rapid Response procedure is initiated by key professionals. This is a coordinated response to accurately investigate the circumstances regarding the child’s death and ensure the family is supported. An unexpected death is defined as the death of an infant or child (less than 18 years old) which was not anticipated as a significant possibility 24 hours before the death or where there was a similarly unexpected collapse or incident leading to or precipitating the events which led to the death.
Please see the 2017-18 CDOP annual report for a summary of the work undertaken between 1 April 2016 – 31 March 2017