Strategy Meetings: The Basics

What are strategy meetings? 


Meetings that are convened by the local authority when there has been a significant disclosure of abuse of a child. This disclosure can be made via different routes. For example, a child may be taken to A&E with an injury and the explanation given for that injury either doesn’t fit or the treating medic believes the injury is non-accidental.Or a child may disclose information to a caregiver (such as a teacher or childminder) who who then reports it to the police or local authority.


Where is the strategy meeting held? Who attends? 


The strategy meeting is usually held either at the offices of Children’s Services or at a police station. Attendees will include representatives from all professions involved with the child or their family, such as the local authority, the police, the school or nursery, the treating medic and the health visitor.


What is the purpose of the strategy meeting?


The meeting allows all professionals to come together to determine what action needs to be taken. For instance, the police are looking at whether or not there is enough evidence for a prosecution, and the local authority is deciding whether the matter needs to move forward to a Section 47 investigation. All parties in attendance will look at the evidence being shared and will assist in deciding the next steps to be taken.


What happens at a strategy meeting? 


The local authority usually Chairs the meeting. All attendees take it in turn to explain what evidence they have, give their knowledge of the child/ren and family, and say whether or not they feel that further information is required. It is a forum for all professionals involved to air their views in a safe environment and to say if they have concerns and, if so, what those concerns are, ultimately to decide if there is enough evidence to move on to a criminal investigation or to indicate how the local authority should proceed. Everyone is also involved in deciding timelines for investigations to take place and what further information may be required e.g. police evidence or medical information.


What are the possible outcomes from a strategy meeting? 


Sometimes it will be decided that the local authority has sufficient evidence to take the matter straight to court. More usually though, the police will look at the situation to determine if there needs to be a criminal investigation, and  the local authority will decide if they need to conduct a Section 47 investigation. The timelines for these investigations to take place will be decided during the meeting and will vary depending on the severity of the case.


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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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