SUII Child Death Review

Each year in the UK around 260 children die or are seriously harmed and £5 million is spent “learning the lessons”. The same “lessons” have been emerging since the first UK child death inquiry in 1945 without noticeable impact on child fatalities.

Child Death Review (CDR) processes in the UK have evolved almost exclusively from social work. The Scottish Universities Insight Institute hosted a knowledge transfer event headed by Alyson Leslie, Linda Walker and Professor Sue Black from the University of Dundee. The aim was to think about child death review processes differently, bringing together expertise from the fields of forensic investigation, psychology, education, design, statistics, policing, law, social work and health.

There were four CDR events held in October and November 2013 at the Lighthouse in Glasgow. Recent Master of Design graduates Sara Nevay and Angela Tulloch worked with me to enable participants to use  design techniques to understand the roles of the forty national and international co-participants, mapping their relationship to the child at the centre of the Child Death Review and exploring the information that they collect pertaining to the life and death of a child. The next stages for us as designers is to work with key agencies to map the current journey and blueprint the future process to Serious Case Reviews in Scotland.

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