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Training the Workforce Following a Serious Case Review: Lessons Learnt From a Death by Fabricated and Induced Illness

NCJ Number
Child Abuse Review Volume: 18 Issue: 3 Dated: May-June 2009 Pages: 181-194
Jan Horwath; Wade Tidbury
Date Published
June 2009
14 pages
Drawing on a case example of training following the death of a child from fabricated and induced illness (FII) in England, this paper identifies the challenges faced by those responsible for commissioning and providing such training.
Six conclusions were drawn about the training content and delivery following involvement in the case of a child's death from FII. First, the effectiveness of the training will be determined by the way in which the training is commissioned and the context in which it is delivered. Second, the trainer's skills and the resources allocated to planning the training program are critical. Third, it is important for the training following the child's death to recognize the emotional impact that a serious case review has on staff that were directly and indirectly involved in the case. Fourth, it is important to focus on both the process and goals of the training throughout the planning and delivery of the training course. A fifth key aspect of the training is the provision of support for the staff immediately after a child's death. A sixth important aspect of the planning and delivery of the training is the developmental and support role of supervisors in preparing and debriefing those who will attend the training. In the case study presented, the child was 7 years old when he died from pneumonia after months on a life-support system. He had been treated for epilepsy for several years and had been admitted to a hospital on a number of occasions for investigations and treatments. There was evidence that the child's mother had not only fabricated the symptoms of epilepsy, but had also induced illness in her child by giving him anti-epilepsy drugs. The mother was sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment for child cruelty. 1 table and 24 references