Child Protection Conferences: The Basics

Child Protection Conferences: The Basics

 

What is a Child Protection Conference? 

 

As part of the initial assessment during a Section 47 Enquiry, the local authority needs to look at what needs to take place in order to safeguard a child’s welfare.

 

A Child Protection Conference is called where there is a risk of harm to a child. The risk of harm isn’t such that the local authority is looking  at starting care proceedings (yet), but is one where there requires there to be heavy intervention into a family’s life in order to protect a child.

 

Who attends the Child Protection Conference? 

 

The conference is set up and chaired by the independent reviewing officer who will be appointed to look after the welfare needs of that child. A host of people will attend the conference, such as the social worker, social work team manager, parents, health, education, police, outsie agencies (e.g. drug intervention), probation, GP, health visitor, treating consultant.

 

What happens at the conference? 

 

Ahead of the conference, all attendees will be asked to provide a report about the child and their invovlement with the family. The report will be filed with the independent reviewing officer and  shared with all attendees before the conference.

 

The meetings take place in a very formal setting. At the conference, the Chair will invite all attendess to go through their report and provide any updates since it was prepared. Parents will also have an opportunity to speak. They can have a solicitor present with them; the solicitor cannot be involved in the proceedings and can only take notes and maybe prompt parents. They cannot intervene on their client’s behalf.

 

Once everybody has shared their information, the Chair will look at whether or not a child protection plan is needed. Everybody in attendance will be asked for their opinion about this. If it is agreed that a plan is needed, the attendees will set out what they feel needs to be included in the plan and what they will do as part of the plan to meet the needs of the child. The parents will be able to say whether they think the local authority or other agencies need to do more to assist them.

 

What happens after the conference? 

 

At the end of the conference (within 1-2 days), the plan will be shared with all attendees, including parents. It is a plan that everybody must adhere to. Parents will be left in no doubt as to what they need to do and what is expected of them in terms of meeting the child’s welfare needs under that plan.

 

The plan is reviewed after three months, then after six months. The aim is to get children off child protection plans as quickly as possible. If that is not possible, a local authority will look at the next level of intervention.

 

Join Kate and other child protection professionals in The Safeguarding Academy  community.

 

 

Content Disclaimer

The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this blog are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this blog. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this blog. Katherine T Young Ltd & Kate Young disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this blog.

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