Multi-Agency Safeguarding Reviews - Practitioner Learning Events

Practitioner Guide

The reviewing of practice in relation to individual circumstances is an integral part of the LSCP Learning and Improvement Framework (LIF) which demonstrates how learning will be identified, disseminated and implemented in practice within a multi-agency context in order to improve outcomes for children and young people and their families within Leeds.

Looking at practice, and understanding not only what happened but also why things happened as they did can help to identify and build on good practice and potentially identify lessons which can enhance future responses.

In order to achieve this the LSCP has adopted a restorative learning culture whereby through high support and high challenge we look at circumstances to understand learning and drive forward practice. Safeguarding reviews are one part of this process and within Leeds can take many different forms.

The LSCP strongly believes that all reviews, and associated processes, are about considering the details of a particular case, looking at how decisions were informed and actioned based on what was known at the time, identifying good practice along with any potential opportunities for practice development. We also acknowledge it is essential that where possible and appropriate practitioners are involved in review processes. The perspectives of practitioners are important to this process and they will always be conducted with the utmost integrity, in a supportive learning environment and without fear of being blamed. The focus will be on learning and supporting change as appropriate moving forward.

Multi-agency Safeguarding Reviews can take many forms, including Child Safeguarding Practice Reviews, Local Learning Reviews and Appreciative Inquiries

It is important that where possible, and appropriate reviews are informed by the views of those involved in the situation that is being reviewed. Therefore the LSCP will always look to undertake conversations with practitioners often through learning days knows as Practitioner Events. These allow practitioners to explore the learning from the review and consider actions or changes in practice based upon their experience as practitioners working directly with children, young people and families.

Safeguarding reviews will often consider a serious incident or the death of a child. Such events are always tragic and can be worrying for all concerned, including front line practitioners and managers who had involvement with the child(ren) and family. This briefing has been prepared to help explain the role of practitioners and the purpose of practitioners’ learning events (PLE) in review process.


Purpose of Reviews

The purpose of a Safeguarding Review is to identify learning and improvements to current safeguarding arrangements so as to prevent, or reduce the chance of similar incidents in the future. Crucially, it is NOT to apportion blame to individuals or organisations involved in the case. They look to analyse why decisions were made and actions taken by professionals and agencies, within the context of the wide range of factors that influenced practitioners’ responses to the circumstances of the case at the time. A key element of the review is the Practitioner Learning Event (PLE).


What is a Practitioner Learning Event (PLE)?

The PLE (usually half/full day) provides a forum for frontline professionals and managers to come together in a respectful, positive and supportive environment to consider the circumstances surrounding the case and the reasons actions were taken.

All front line practitioners and managers who had involvement with the child(ren) or adult and their family will be invited to attend and take part in facilitated discussions which support the key areas of the review. Information from the PLE is incorporated into the review and supports the overall findings and actions.


Important Principles

  • The PLE will provide a supportive environment that encourages reflection

The PLE will be led by the independent lead reviewer who will ensure the PLE provides a respectful and supportive environment. They will intervene if anyone starts discussing blame or focusing on individual practice.

  • It will be capturing good practice as well as what needs to change

A review should be balanced with regards to identifying good practice as well as identifying ways to improve safeguarding practice.

  • All observations and comments will be anonymous

We understand that participants may feel uncertain or anxious about participating in a review. The LSCP would like to assure you that comments made on the day will not be attributable to individuals, and any themes and comments will be anonymised in the final report.


The Structure of the Practitioner Learning Event

The structure of the Practitioner learning Event will vary depending on its focus, however it is likely to follow the following format:

  • Considering the Factual Information

The lead reviewer will give an overview of the key facts and events in respect of the case and participants will be asked to agree / amend and discuss these. This may include querying the factual accuracy, adding to the information, or questioning it. The aim is to reach an understanding of the professional intervention and key events that the child and family experienced.

  • Considering the Child’s Lived Experience

With this knowledge, the PLE will spend a short time exploring the “lived experience of the child/children”. The enables participants to view what happened from the child’s perspective.

  • Identifying Key Issues and Themes

The PLE will identify and discuss the key issues and themes. These will usually be key practice issues (KPEs) that have emerged which can be transposed into working with families more generally; and/or organisational and “systems” factors that shaped/influenced behaviour (such as organisational aims or culture and the level of resources available to deliver services

  • Reflective Analysis

An opportunity will be provided to consider and analyse interventions in a safe, reflective environment that considers the context within which practitioners were working at the time. The PLE will explore what information, activity or circumstances might have influenced decision making; consider recommendations for the Review and provide an opportunity for practitioners to shape future policy and practice. It will be mindful of hindsight, outcome and confirmatory biases.

  • Learning and Practice Improvement and NOT Blame

The final part of the PLE will focus on identifying examples of good practice as well as areas of learning and improvements for professional practice in the future. The PLE will not seek to apportion blame, single out individual practitioners or be critical of specific agencies.

What should I do if I am invited to a Practitioner Learning Event?

Practitioner Learning Events are voluntary, and if you are invited to participate in one this will have been done in conjunction with key managers within your agency. You will receive an invite from the LSCP and requested to confirm whether or not you will be attending.
If you are invited to a Practitioner Learning Event you should discuss this with your line manager and / or the manager in your service who is part of the review. If you have any concerns about participating you should talk these through with your line manager and identify any support you may wish in order to help you fully participate.

You will also be provided with the contact details for the Business Unit if you wish to speak to them directly.


Line Managers Role

If a member of your staff is invited to participate within a learning review you should talk to them about the purpose and process (you could talk through this leaflet) and if they are willing to take part. You may wish to discuss any worries or concerns they may have, any support they feel they need either during or after the session and some of the more practical issues as outlined above or in supporting literature (CSPR Practitioner guidance).

You should make contact with the staff member before and after the event to debrief and identify if any further support is needed.


Further information

For more information on the work of the LSCP contact the LSCP Business Manager;
Telephone: 0113 3786018
or visit the LSCP website: