Find a case from the past 5 years that you wish to examine in more detail. Strongly recommend looking at executive summaries or overview reports. This should help you avoid being side tracked by lengthy narratives of the original case and descriptions of how the review was carried out.
Your essay will analyse (i.e. break down into key parts and show how these relate to each other) the issue(s) in the case. For example, where a review identifies failures or limitations in multi-agency working was this in terms of quality of communication and information sharing, disputes about which agencies should take what levels of responsibility, agreeing timetables/schedules for responding to the case, etc. Alternatively, if individual professional incompetence/malpractice is a significant factor in the case it might be useful to examine how supervision and line management procedures worked in the relevant agencies and services. Other commonly occurring themes might include:
Training and development needs of key personnel.
Recruitment and retention of staff, particularly in front line services.
Local/organisational culture e.g. the defensiveness around being labelled racist in the Rotherham CSE cases as reported by Jay’s enquiry.
Having analysed what happened in the case you should be able to evaluate the key learning that the review recommends. All case reviews are directed to discover what can be learned from serious cases to improve practice and promote better safeguarding. However, changing circumstances can change priorities and so the significance of the lessons that reviewers identify. Such changes in circumstances might comprise national and international events like the COVID19 pandemic, changes in policy priorities like austerity in public expenditure or hostility in immigration policy or developments in constitutional and international relations like Brexit.