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Keanu Williams serious case review published

Agencies missed opportunities to intervene and take action

The serious case review into the death of Keanu Williams has been published by the Birmingham Children safeguarding Board.

Rebecca Shuttleworth was convicted of Keanu's murder in and of cruelty in respect of one of his siblings. She was sentenced to 18 years imprisonment. Her partner Luke Southerton was also convicted of cruelty to a child, received a 9 months' suspended sentence and was ordered to carry out 200 hours unpaid community work.

The main finding set out in the Serious Case Review was that professionals in the various agencies involved had collectively failed to prevent Keanu's death as they missed a significant number of opportunities to intervene and take action. They did not meet the standards of basic good practice when they should have reported their concerns, shared and analysed information and followed established procedures for Section 47 Enquiries (child protection investigations) and a range of assessments including medical assessments and Child Protection Conferences.

The SCR Panel was in agreement that Keanu's death could not have been predicted. However, in view of the background history of Rebecca Shuttleworth and the older siblings including the lifestyle and parenting capacity of Rebecca Shuttleworth and the vulnerability of Keanu in Rebecca Shuttleworth's care; it could have been predicted that Keanu was likely to suffer significant harm and should have been subject of a Child Protection Plan on at least two occasions to address issues of neglect and physical harm.

The Overview Author and the Serious Case Review (SCR) Panel concluded that there were a number of significant missed opportunities to provide services to the three children and to assess their needs within a collaborative multi-agency framework. Services should have been provided to promote the welfare of the children on a number of occasions as they were clearly children in need and on several occasions services should have been provided to safeguard them from significant harm.

The serious case review overview report can be read in full here.