The outcome of an investigation and assessment is a decision made at a point in time based on the assessment of information known by the investigating officer at that time and approved by a senior officer, usually a senior team leader.
If a review is conducted on a finalised investigation and assessment and the reviewer decides the outcome was incorrect, it is generally not appropriate to:
- delete the original outcome
- record the outcome decided by the reviewer to be correct
even if the reviewer ensures the original outcome and subsequent decision making is documented.
It is appropriate to leave the outcome as originally recorded and ensure documentation is added to the file (and clearly linked to the original investigation and assessment outcome) that outlines the:
- name and position of the reviewer
- reason for the review
- review process, including whether it was a desk top review or included interviews with the original CSO and senior team leader
- revised investigation and assessment outcome that the reviewer decided was correct, including the rationale for the decision
- name and position of the person who approved or provided oversight to the review process and the revised investigation and assessment outcome.
In exceptional circumstances, the review process may recommend that information recorded in the investigation and assessment event be amended because it is factually incorrect. It may also recommend that the person responsible for the abusive action, or unacceptable risk of significant harm be changed.
Before any changes are made, the CSSC manager must record a case note in the relevant event, documenting their approval for the change, (see above for guidance on what to record). Examples of when this may be considered include when:
- a person profile is incorrectly linked to an investigation and assessment, recording the wrong person as the person responsible or parent responsible, and the investigation and assessment outcome would wrongly influence future assessments of risk and a parent's ability and willingness to protect
- a person recorded as the person responsible for abusive action to a child was not given the opportunity to respond to the alleged concerns and further review has determined that the assessment was incorrect.
Inform the person seeking the review of the outcome
From the outset, advise the person seeking the review that a review will not result in a change of outcome, but additional information will be included on the child’s file.
Once the review is finalised, individuals should be advised that the review report has been completed and attached to the relevant part of the file so it can be read in context with the original investigation and assessment outcome.
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