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Rapid review of child protection arrangements

The review looked at to what extent the current structures and processes in Wales ensure children's names are appropriately placed on, and removed from, the child protection register (CPR) when sufficient evidence indicates it is safe to do.


In October 2022, Welsh Government invited us to lead a multi-agency rapid review of decision-making around child protection, in response to a number of tragic child deaths across Wales and England. Working alongside Healthcare Inspectorate Wales and Estyn, we published the initial findings in June 2023.

The information in this report is based on research and consultation involving various partners in child protection. This includes feedback from schools, healthcare professionals, and a survey shared with children who are or have been on the child protection register, and their families.

We looked at:

  • whether children receive the right help and protection because of the application of appropriate thresholds to implement the Wales Safeguarding Procedures, and effective information sharing.
  • whether children are protected through effective multi-agency arrangements.
  • whether professionals ensure that children’s lived experiences and individual needs (including linguistic needs and rights to advocacy) are understood and included in decision-making about safety.
  • whether leaders and managers understand the experiences of children and families who need help and protection.
  • whether decision making about registration or deregistration of children's names is clear and evidence based.
  • whether practitioners establish if a child is at risk and/or has experienced significant harm and remain focused on assessing whether there are changes, whilst supporting a child and their family.


The report identifies many areas of excellent practice. However, there are also areas for improvement and consistency across Wales. The report found that:

  • Overall, information sharing between agencies needs improving. The lack of a central information sharing IT platform is compounding this.
  • Workforce instability and vacancy gaps across a range of organisations that are involved in child protection can lead to instability for children and their families as they experience numerous changes in social workers. This is despite great efforts locally and nationally to address the workforce shortfall.
  • The child’s voice is an integral part of safeguarding decision making and there should be a consistent approach across Wales to ensure the voice of the child is heard.
  • Regular multi-agency training is needed to ensure there is a consistent approach and shared vision on safeguarding procedures and the threshold for significant harm across Wales.

Read the full report and all the key findings and recommendations below.