Having a national research database of all child deaths seems to be such a good idea that it is difficult to know why it has not been done already, especially when the data is collected by local Child Death Overview Panels which were set up to investigate the circumstances surrounding child deaths in each local authority area. http://www.cypnow.co.uk/cyp/news/1119106/national-child-death-database-mooted
It also seems bizarre, given the importance attached by the authorities to Serious Case Reviews (SCRs), that there is no routine national collection of statistical information about them. There have been research exercises and some lengthy research reports from academics, and, of course, Ofsted produced some work which sadly failed to inform a great deal. (http://chrismillsblog.blogspot.co.uk/2011/10/is-ofsted-learning-from-serious-case.html)
But what I am talking about are some simple statistics every six months. How many serious case reviews have been completed in the period, how long did they take to prepare, how many are currently being completed, which local authorities are involved, what are their cumulative totals of reports since the monitoring started, what are the ages of the children involved, what type of maltreatment was involved, did the child die etc etc.?
Asking the author of the overview report to fill out a short questionnaire on completion of the report could also provide more information. What factors were involved in the case, what was the family status, in what systems (health, social care, law enforcement etc.) where failings identified?
These are just some examples of what data could be collected. Simple stuff but it would be informative.