Joint case review says Bristol agencies need more robust response to child-to-parent or child-to-sibling violence

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13 August, 2018


A serious case review published by Bristol Safeguarding Children Board has stated that agencies working with children and families in the city need to provide a more robust response to child-to-parent or child-to-sibling violence.

The joint serious case review and domestic homicide review was published in partnership with Safer Bristol Partnership after the death of a child (known as ‘Child D’) who died of stab wounds following an altercation with his brother. It considers the involvement which a number of different agencies had with the family.

The review demonstrated that in Bristol the understanding of domestic abuse and violence is too narrow, and that agencies do not properly consider the risks associated with child-to-parent or child-to-sibling violence. This means that safeguarding and domestic abuse processes are not being used effectively to keep children safe from harm, and safe from harming others.

In a joint statement Sally Lewis, Independent Chair of the Bristol Safeguarding Children Board and Andy Bennett, Chair of Bristol Partnership said:

“The circumstances surrounding Child D’s death challenges us all to reconsider how we understand domestic abuse. The review finds that our professional systems are less robust in response to violence that does not involve partners in intimate relationships and highlights the need for more work and greater awareness raising. This requires the engagement of all professionals and members of the public too.”

The review also emphasised the importance of ensuring that the needs of boys and young males are appropriately assessed.

There is a gender gap in outcomes for boys in Bristol in services across education, health, criminal justice and safeguarding. BSCB has identified this as a key strategic area for development across the Safer Bristol Partnership.

Bristol Safeguarding Boards is now asking that agencies with safeguarding responsibility use the review as an opportunity to reassess, review and consider the services they offer for males in the city and how they might be improved in order to better meet the needs of young people.

It has provided a four page practitioner briefing for use in training, team meetings and one-to-one discussions and supervision outlining some of the key points for consideration:

The full review can be accessed at:  

The full board response from Sally Lewis, BSCB Independent Chair, and Andy Bennett, Safer Bristol Partnership Chair can be accessed at:

BSCB will be running two-hour briefings for professionals in September and October on the findings of this case. To book your place go to:



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