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1.3.6 Initial and Review Child Protection Conferences

RELEVANT GUIDANCE

For additional information please refer to the following LSCB Guidance:-

LSCB 11b - Core Groups
LSCB 11c - Child Protection Plans
LSCB 11d - Case Conference Transfer Process
LSCB 11e - Guidance for Completing Multi-Agency Case Conference Pro Forma

AMENDMENT

This chapter was slightly updated in August 2012 in regard to the change from Quality Assurance to Child Protection - Conference and Reviewing.


Contents

  1. Initial Child Protection Conferences
  2. Child Protection Review Conferences
  3. Complaints About a Child Protection Initial or Review Conference

    Appendix 1: Requesting and Convening a Child Protection Review Conference Flowchart

    Appendix 2: Dissention Panel Process Flowchart


1. Initial Child Protection Conferences

1.1 Purpose

The purpose of the Conference is to bring together and analyse, in an inter-agency setting, information which has been obtained from the Section 47 Enquiry. It also includes the analysis from any other relevant assessments which consider the child's development; parent/carers capacity to meet their child's needs and ensure their safety.

The Conference is required to consider the evidence presented and make judgments about:

  • Whether a child has suffered Significant Harm;
  • The likelihood of Significant Harm in the future;
  • Whether a child is at continuing risk of suffering Significant Harm.

The Conference will decide what future action is needed to safeguard the child and promote his or her welfare, how and by whom actions will be taken forward, and with what intended outcomes. This will take account of the present situation, historical information about the child, their siblings and parents or carers.

1.2 Convening

Where the recommendation to convene a Child Protection Conference is made at a Strategy Meeting, a request for an initial conference should be made within one working day to the duty Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO.) There should be a discussion between the IRO and social worker about the need for the conference. Where it is agreed the initial conference is required the social worker should complete the relevant ICS document.

Where there is disagreement about the need for an initial conference this should be recorded by the IRO and social worker and escalated to the respective team managers.

It should be noted that agencies who are most involved with the child or their family or who have taken part in the Section 47 Enquiry have the right to request that an Initial Child Protection Conference should be convened. This should only happen when an agency have serious concerns that a child's welfare may not be adequately safeguarded. Any such request, which is supported by a senior manager or a designated person within their organisation, should normally be agreed.

Where there remain differences of opinion over the need for an initial conference the matter should be resolved using LSCB Resolving Professional Differences. These requests should be made to the Team Manger Child Protection - Conference and Reviewing on 01204 337479.

Appendix 1 outlines the process for convening an initial conference and the matters to be considered at each stage.

For those conferences that are transferred from another Local Authority area, workers should refer to LSCB 11d.

The conference will be chaired by an IRO and they will be responsible for:

  • Meeting the child and family members in advance, to ensure that they understand the purpose of the conference and what will happen;
  • Setting out the purpose of the conference to all present, determining the agenda and emphasising the confidential nature of the occasion;
  • Enabling all those present, and absent contributors, to make their full contribution to discussion and decision-making;
  • Ensuring that the conference takes the decisions required of it in an informed, systematic and explicit way.

1.3 Timing

The Timing of an Initial Child Protection Conference depends on the urgency of the case and on the time required to obtain relevant information about the child and family.

Adequate preparation is required for the Conference to ensure that decisions are informed by good assessment and are based on sound evidence. Equally, cases where children are at risk should not be allowed to drift.

Consequently all Initial Child Protection Case Conferences should take place within 15 working days of a Strategy Discussion, or the final Strategy Discussion if more than one has been held.

1.4 Attendance

Those attending conference should be there because they have a significant contribution to make. This should arise either from their professional expertise or their knowledge of the child, their parents or carers, or both.

The IRO and the social worker should discuss and identify the key individuals required to attend, including the need for a medical professional. In all cases a report should be sought from the child's GP using the relevant pro forma. The Child Protection Unit administrators will co-ordinate the invitations and requests for reports as identified and confirmed by the social worker and IRO. This could include:

  • The child, or his or her representative/advocate;
  • Family members (including the wider family);
  • Local Authority Children's Social Care staff who have led and been involved in an assessment of the child and family;
  • Professionals involved with the child (for example, health visitors, midwife, school nurse, children's guardian, paediatrician, school staff, early years staff, the GP, staff in the youth justice system including the secure estate);
  • Professionals involved with the parents or other family members (for example, family support services, adult services (in particular those from mental health, substance misuse, domestic abuse and learning disability), probation, the GP);
  • Professionals with expertise in the particular type of harm suffered by the child or in the child's particular condition, for example, a disability or long term illness;
  • Those involved in investigations (for example, the police);
  • Local Authority legal services (child care) where there may be a particular legal matter and where agreed by the Team Manager/IRO;
  • NSPCC or other involved voluntary organisations;
  • A representative of the armed services in cases where there is a service connection.

1.5 Quoracy

At every conference there should be in attendance representatives from Children's Social Care and at least 2 other professional groups or agencies that have had direct contact with the child who is the subject of the conference.

Where attendance at an initial or review conference is not quorate, and the child is receiving services from more than two agencies, the chair of the conference will adjourn the conference. It is expected that the conference will be re-convened at the earliest opportunity, and no later than 20 working days, with the appropriate workers present. If the child is currently subject to a plan the plan will remain until the re-scheduled review can take place.

Exceptionally, where a child has had no relevant contact with 2 additional agencies, quoracy may be breached. This should be discussed with the Team manager Child Protection - Conference and Reviewing and reasons for this should be recorded on the child's record.

It is the responsibility of the IRO to record on ICS that the conference was adjourned, the reason for this, to ensure that a new date for the conference is set and to notify the Team Manager, Child Protection - Conference and Reviewing immediately.

Professionals and agencies invited to attend should make every effort to attend. However where they are unable to, it is their responsibility to notify the IRO and ensure a written report is submitted and a well briefed deputy attends. Details of the deputy should be shared with the IRO.

1.6 Involving the child and family members

Children

The child, subject to consideration about age and understanding, should be informed about the conference and its purpose. The child should be advised that they can attend should they wish and that they can bring an advocate, friend or supporter if they wish. This should be discussed with the IRO when convening the Conference. The supporter is not able to comment on the content of reports or express their personal views in relation to discussions or recommendations; rather their role is to ensure the child's views are heard.

To support children's participation in the conference and to help them understand what it is about, Bolton Safeguarding Children Board developed the 'My Conference Workbook' resource. Before a conference is held it is the responsibility of the social worker to complete 'My Conference Workbook' with children of the relevant age, LSCB Conference User Guide provides further guidance on the pack, including the targeted age group and how to use it. This will ensure that these children have their views shared with those attending. Additional guidance on this resource can be found in LSCB

Where children may have additional communication or other needs as a result of disability or where English is not their first language, the social worker should ensure that arrangements are in place to facilitate communication. They should also notify the IRO of this requirement. The IRO will be responsible for planning how the child's communications needs will be met to ensure the best participation possible.

Parents

Before a conference is held, the purpose of a conference, who will attend and the way in which it will operate, should always be explained to the parents, and involved family members by the social worker. Parents or carers should be helped in advance to think about what they want to convey to the Conference and how best to get their points across on the day. Where parents or carers may have additional communication or other needs as a result of disability or where English is not their first language, the social worker should ensure that arrangements are in place to facilitate communication. They should also notify the IRO of this requirement. The IRO will be responsible for planning how the parents/carers communication needs will be met to ensure the best participation possible.

The social worker should explain to parents that they may bring an advocate, friend or supporter to the conference; however they should be clear with parents and carers that this is support role only. The supporter is not able to comment on the content of reports or express their personal views in relation to discussions or recommendations.

Some parents may choose to invite their legal representative to attend as their supporter. IRO's should be clear with the parents and the legal representative that they are not able to comment on the content of reports or express their personal views in relation to discussions or recommendations.

It may not always be possible to involve all family members at all times in the conference, for example, if one parent is the alleged abuser or if there is a high level of conflict between family members. Adults and any children who wish to make representations to the conference may not wish to speak in front of one another. Where this is the case the social worker should discuss the situation with the IRO. It will be the responsibility of the IRO to manage each individual meeting in such a way that ensures all parties are able to share their views.

Exclusions

Exceptionally, it may be necessary to exclude one or more family members from a conference, in whole or in part. The criteria for this will be where there is evidence that clearly indicates a risk of violence or intimidation to either practitioners or other family members. The request for exclusion should be made to the IRO by the social worker and supported by evidence. The IRO and the social worker presenting the evidence should consider what if any safeguards can be put in place to reduce the risk, i.e. police presence, running separate conferences etc. Where the risk remains high the individual should be excluded and the reasons for this recorded by the IRO. The final decision in respect of exclusion rests with the IRO. The IRO should:

  • Report this to the Child Protection - Conference and Reviewing Team Manager;
  • Ensure that it is included in future risk assessments;
  • Ensure that relevant information is shared with other agencies in accordance with duty of care to workers.

The possibility that a parent/caregiver may be prosecuted for an offence against a child is not in itself a reason for exclusion although in these circumstances the chair should take advice from the police about any implications arising from an alleged perpetrator's attendance. If criminal proceedings have been instigated the view of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) should be taken into account.

Where the parents or carers are excluded, the social worker should enable them to communicate their views to the conference by another means and ensure that there is comprehensive feedback about the actions and recommendations from the conference.

1.7 Reports and Information for the Conference

There should be sufficient information and expertise available, through personal representation and written reports, to enable the conference to make informed decisions about what action is necessary to safeguard and promote the welfare of the child. LSCB 11e contains the pro forma and provides guidance for completing and using the multi-agency report template.

The social worker should always provide the conference with a written report. This should summarise and analyse the information obtained during the Section 47 investigation and any subsequent assessment to date as well as information in existing or historical records.

All reports must be forwarded to the IRO and the Child Protection Unit administrators as soon as possible and no later than one working day before the conference. The reports must also be shared by the authors with the parents or carers and, where appropriate, the child prior to the Conference. The report formats for social care and other agencies are compliant with Working Together 2010, section 5.91 and 5.92 (archived).

Reports should be sent to Child Protection Unit either via email, fax or post/hand delivered:

  • CPU Mailbox - cpu@bolton.gov.uk;
  • Fax - 01204 334200;
  • Post/Hand delivered - CPU, Paderborn House, 3rd Floor, Civic Centre, Bolton BL1 1UA.

Social workers should also submit the completed 'My Conference Workbook' to the IRO as soon as possible and again no later than one working day before the conference.

Where decisions are being made about more than one child in family, information should be prepared in respect of each child.

All reports should distinguish between fact, observation, allegation and professional opinion. When information is provided from another source, i.e. it is second or third hand, this should be made clear.

All written information received for conference will be shared with the parents or carers and other conference attendees. Information relating to criminal convictions should not be placed within a report without gaining the consent of the individual concerned. The police officer attending the conference will share relevant information during the case conference.

All information shared with the IRO and administrators should be managed securely and in accordance with individual agency guidance.

Confidential Slots

In exceptional circumstances information can be withheld from parents or carers, i.e. where there may be ongoing police involvement, sensitive medical information etc. The reasons for this should be discussed by the agency requesting the slot and the IRO. The IRO should record:

  • Whether a confidential slot is agreed;
  • The reasons for the confidential slot;
  • Details of who will be present for the confidential slot and who will be asked to leave.

A clear plan should be reached outlining how and when to share the confidential information.

1.8 Initial Child Protection Conference Outcomes

The conference should consider and make a judgement from all the available information whether the child has suffered Significant Harm and is the child likely to suffer Significant Harm in the future.

The test for likelihood of suffering harm in the future should be that either:

  • The child can be shown to have suffered ill-treatment or impairment of health or development as a result of physical, emotional, Sexual Abuse or Neglect, and professional judgement is that further ill-treatment or impairment are likely; or
  • Professional judgement, substantiated by the findings of enquiries in this individual case or by research evidence, is that the child is likely to suffer ill-treatment or the impairment of health or development as a result of physical, emotional, or Sexual Abuse or Neglect.

Decision Making

The IRO will ask each agency or service representative with a different line manager to make a recommendation as to whether a child should be made subject to a Child Protection Plan. Those attending as supporters will be excluded from making a recommendation. Parents/carers or children attending the conference are not asked to make a recommendation although they will be asked to express their view on the recommendation.

The majority recommendation will be carried and where requested dissents by agencies or services and the reason for this will be recorded in the minutes.

In the vast majority of cases agreement is reached by the majority vote. Where there is a split decision, the IRO will have a casting vote in respect of whether or not the criteria for a Child Protection Plan have been met. Any member of the conference who has concerns or disagrees with the IRO's decision should request that their views are recorded in the minutes.

A professional may continue to disagree about the decision of the Conference to the extent that they wish to disassociate themselves with the decision and formally dissent. In these circumstances the IRO should be clear as to whether or not the individual is formally dissenting and the reasons for this. The IRO should then explain that this will be recorded in the minutes and clarify if the individual wishes the matter to be referred to the Dissention Panel. Should the individual wish to make a referral to the dissention panel they should put this in writing outlining:-

  • The reason for their dissent;
  • The evidence that supports the dissent.

The written referral should be sent to the Head of Service Child Protection and Leaving Care who will be responsible for convening a Dissention Panel.

Appendix 2 provides further details about the Dissention Panel process.

If the child is judged to be at continuing risk

The IRO should determine which category of abuse or Neglect the child has suffered or is suffering. In Bolton, only one category of abuse (i.e. physical, emotional, sexual abuse or neglect) can be recorded as the main category and this should clearly indicate the primary reason and presenting concerns at the time the child has been made the subject of a Child Protection Plan.

It is the responsibility of the Conference to:

  • Appoint a Lead Professional; this will be a social worker from the relevant district team;
  • Appoint a deputy, this should be a member of the Core Group from another agency or service and should be recorded in the minutes and the Child Protection Plan;
  • Develop an outline Child Protection Plan identifying strength, needs, risks and planned outcomes for the child, particular attention should be paid to what needs to change in order to safeguard the child and the timescales for this;
  • Identify as clearly as possible at this stage what further core and specialist assessments are required;
  • Identify any outstanding actions or tasks, including the review of historical information, information from other Local Authority areas etc;
  • Establish how children, parents, carers, absent parents, wider family members and those with Parental Responsibility should be involved in the process and what support, advice, advocacy will be available to them;
  • Identify who the Core Group members are, including family members, and invite them to identify their key tasks for the plan;
  • Ensure a contingency plan is in place if agreed actions are not completed and/or circumstances change;
  • Set a date for the first Core Group meeting and the frequency of those meetings;
  • Set a timescale for the completion of the Child Protection Plan;
  • Set the first review date, which will be held within 3 months of the Initial Conference and clarify the circumstances under what circumstances this may be brought forward.

It is BSCB Policy that children will remain the subject of a Child Protection Plan at the first review, unless there are exceptional circumstances e.g. child becomes Looked After or leaves the area. The first review will be used to explore and consolidate the progress of the Child Protection Plan. If progress at the first review conference is positive, IRO's should consider convening the next review earlier.

The child is judged NOT to be at continuing risk

Where a child is deemed not to be at continuing risk, the Conference should consider:-

  • Whether there is a need for additional services to support the child's parents or carers;
  • Where support is required, how services will be accessed, by whom and the need for a lead professional;
  • How the child/family's needs will be reviewed and/or monitored including action plans.

Deferment

In the majority of case conferences a decision about whether a Child Protection Plan is required should always be reached. Deferring a decision should only be considered when critical information is not available, and where the information that is available does not clearly lend itself to making a recommendation in respect of whether a child protection plan is required.

The Conference should reconvene within 20 working days, with the lead professional and IRO being responsible for securing the critical information.

The IRO should record the need for a deferment, the reason for this and should notify the Child Protection - Conference and Reviewing Team Manager. It is the responsibility of the IRO to ensure a new date is set and that members are notified.

1.9 Child Protection Plans and Looked After Children

Within Bolton, the names of children who are in the Looked After Children's (LAC) System will not be identified as being in need of a Child Protection Plan unless there are exceptional circumstances.

The relevant elements of the Child Protection Plan will contribute to the child's overall Care Plan and will be reviewed via the LAC processes.

Where a child becomes Looked After, the Child Protection Plan should be discontinued. The usual process is to hold a review Child Protection Conference immediately prior to the first Looked After Review.

Should the Child Protection Review Conference not be quorate, the IRO will be discuss with the Team manager Child Protection - Conference and Reviewing and agree the best way to proceed. Any agreed action should be recorded and the reasons for this should be recorded on the child's record. This should avoid any unnecessary delay and duplication.

1.10 Record keeping

The decision of the conference, an outline of the Child Protection Plan (where required), category of abuse or neglect, the name of the Lead Professional, the deputy and the Core Group membership, should be circulated to all those invited to the conference within one working day.

Minutes of the Child Protection Conference, including decisions and recommendations, should be completed within fifteen working days and forwarded to those present at the Conference, to those persons invited but unable to attend, and to others, as deemed appropriate by the IRO. A copy of the decisions and recommendations will be sent to identified agencies for the purpose of updating their records, e.g. Royal Bolton Hospital, GP out of hours service etc.

Those attending the case conference should read the minutes thoroughly and any amendments should be sent to the IRO of the conference within 10 working days of receiving the minutes. Any additional copies of the case conference minutes must only be provided by the Child Protection Unit and will be stamped to authenticate them. The record of the decisions of the Child Protection Conference should be retained by the recipient agencies and professionals in accordance with their record retention policies.

The minutes are a confidential record of the meeting and should not be shared with any individual, agency or other third party without the prior consent and permission of the IRO. However, in cases of criminal proceedings, the police may reveal the existence of the notes to the CPS in accordance with the Criminal Procedure and Investigation Act 1996.

1.11 Pre-Birth Conferences

Where a Core Assessment gives rise to sufficient concerns about the future risk to an unborn child, a Child Protection Conference should be convened. This conference should have the same status as any other Initial Child Protection Conference and should be managed in the same manner.

The conference should be convened in time to pool and share information and identify a Child Protection Plan where necessary. The timing of the conference should take into account the expected delivery date, and anticipated date of first review, to avoid the review taking place prior to the baby's birth. To promote consistent practice, it is recommended that the pre-birth conference is convened six weeks prior to the expected date of delivery.

Decision making processes should be managed in line with those of any other initial Child Protection Conference held in Bolton.


2. Child Protection Review Conferences

2.1 Purpose

The purpose of the review conference is to:

  • Review whether the child is continuing to suffer, or is likely to suffer, Significant Harm and their health and developmental progress against planned outcomes set out in the Child Protection Plan;
  • Ensure the child continues to be safeguarded from harm;
  • Consider whether the current Child Protection Plan should continue, whether it is meeting the needs of the child or whether it should be updated to reflect new, or a change in circumstances.

2.2 Timescale

The first Review Child Protection Conference must be held within three months of the Initial Child Protection Conference, and further reviews must be held at intervals of not more than six months for as long as the child remains the subject of a Child Protection Plan.

The date of the first review conference will be fixed at the end of the initial Conference and subsequently at the completion of each review. The social worker and their team manager should only consider a request to the IRO to amend the date for the review conference if there is a significant change in the child's circumstances or the Core Group have identified that the Child Protection Plan is not effective.

The IRO should record when a review date has been changed and the reasons for this.

2.3 Convening

The review will be convened and chaired by IRO and should follow the process for convening an Initial Child Protection Conference.

2.4 Attendance

Attendees should include those most involved with the child, their parents or carers, those who have relevant information to share and those who may be able to offer additional support. All members of the Core Group who have been working with the family during the review period, regardless of whether their work has been completed should be invited to attend the review conference. The Review conference will consider future membership of Core Groups at the end of each Review conference.

Social Workers should ensure that the ICS system contains all the relevant details of those agencies or services required to attend and that changes to schools, home addresses, GP etc are recorded and updated in a timely manner.

2.5 Reports

Currently the Core Group is required to produce a combined report summarising the key issues during the review period, the actions and support provided by Core Group members and the impact and outcomes of this for the child. Each member of the Core Group is required to express their view as to whether they believe the plan should continue and the evidence for this.

The combined report should be discussed at the final Core Group meeting before the review conference and it is the responsibility of the social worker to collate the information and prepare the final combined report. This report should be shared with the Core Group in sufficient time before the review conference to enable them to add any additional information. The report should be sent to the CPU and IRO one working day before the review conference.

The child's wishes and feelings should be sought and taken into account during the reviewing process. This can be achieved by using the review section of 'My Conference Workbook', details as before.

The following areas should be managed and responded to using the same processes as for an Initial Child Protection Conference:

  • Quoracy;
  • Involving the child and family;
  • Exclusions;
  • Decision Making;
  • Deferment;
  • Confidential slots.

2.6 Review Child Protection Conference Outcomes

Every review should consider explicitly whether the child is suffering, or is likely to suffer, Significant Harm and hence continues to require safeguarding from harm through adherence to a formal Child Protection Plan.

If not, then the child should no longer be the subject of a Child Protection Plan. The review conference should make this decision based on the progress against the Child Protection Plan and sharing of relevant information and/or assessments.

The child is judged to be at continuing risk

Where members of the review conference recommend that the child continues to require a Child Protection Plan, the IRO and members of the review conference should:

  • Confirm the Lead Professional and the deputy; updating and recording information in the minutes and Child Protection Plan;
  • Review the implementation and effectiveness of the Child Protection Plan, including adherence to timescales;
  • Identify any outstanding actions or tasks, including the review of historical information, information from other Local Authority areas, completion of Core Assessment;
  • Confirm that children, parents, carers, absent parents, wider family members and those with Parental Responsibility have been involved in the process and what support, advice, advocacy has been made available to them;
  • Ensuring the contingency plan is in place and remains viable and making any alterations as necessary;
  • Confirm the Core Group of professionals and family members and ensure their tasks in the plan are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely;
  • Confirm a date for the next Core Group meeting and the frequency of those meetings;
  • Set a timescale for updating/amending the Child Protection Plan;
  • Set the next review date, which will be held within six months of the and clarifying the circumstances under what circumstances and how this may be brought forward;
  • Consider what interventions have been effective;
  • Children's Social Care considers exercising its duty to review the evidence and decide what if any legal action should be taken.

The child is judged NOT to be at continuing risk

Where the review conference recommends that the Child Protection Plan should be discontinued, the Conference should consider:

  • Whether there is a need for additional services to support the child's parents or carers;
  • Where support is required, how services will be accessed, by whom and the need for a lead professional - where it is identified that the is a child in need as defined by Section 17 Children Act 1989, Children's Social Care will be the Lead Professional, however where the child is need of additional services using the CAF processes this is guidance should be used to identify the Lead Professional;
  • How the child/family's needs will be reviewed and/or monitored including action plans.

2.7 Managing and Providing Information about a Child Subject of a Child Protection Plan

Access to information about a child subject of a Child Protection Plan is via the Child Protection Unit - 01204 337479 during office hours and through the Emergency Duty Team out of hours - 01204 337777.

This information is only available to legitimate enquiries and all enquiries will be subject to a 'call back' procedure to ensure the authenticity of the caller. Information about a child subject to a Child Protection Plan must be treated confidentially.

Representatives of agencies involved with a child should make an enquiry to the Child Protection Unit as soon as they become suspicious of child abuse or Neglect.

If the child's name is subject of a Child Protection Plan when an enquiry is made, the enquirer will be advised to contact the Lead Professional and relevant details provided.

If an enquiry is made, but the child is not subject of a Child Protection Plan, this should be recorded by the Child Protection Unit together with the advice given to the enquirer.

In the event of there being a second enquiry about a child not subject of a Child Protection Plan, the enquirer will be informed and requested to discuss his/her concerns with the appropriate social work team. Additionally, the Child Protection - Conference and Reviewing Manager will be notified and will discuss future action with the district social work team.

Members of the public do not have access to information about a child subject to a Child Protection Plan.

2.8 Children Subject To a Child Protection Plan Who Go Missing

NB: See also Joint Protocol for Children and Young People Missing from Home and Care.

Whether a child, parents or carers are considered 'missing' rather than 'temporarily out of touch' will depend on the known facts about the family and the seriousness of the situation. This should be judged by the social worker and their team manager based on the available information.

The reason for trying to locate such children is that disappearance may involve further abuse or present further risk of suffering Significant Harm to the child.

If anyone becomes concerned that a child has gone missing, this should be immediately reported to the Lead Professional who will then report their concerns to their line manager and the Child Protection - Conference and Reviewing Team Manager.

The social worker should consider whether an immediate referral is required to the police and whether emergency legal action is required. The social worker should contact the Child Protection - Conference and Reviewing Team Manager and CPU administrators with the following information:

  • Names, dates of birth, address etc of the missing individuals;
  • The nature of the concern for the child;
  • The last time the child was seen, who saw the child and who the child was with;
  • Any known associates of the child, parents or carers;
  • Contact details if the child is located;
  • The likelihood of the child being taken out of the country and whether notification to UK Visas Immigration should be notified.

The Child Protection - Conference and Reviewing Team Manager will liaise with the CPU administrators and:

  • Contact other appropriate agencies to try to locate the child/family, e.g. Education, Health Authority, Police etc;
  • Request the Health Authority invoke the procedure for tracing missing families;
  • Will write to all Local Authority areas across the country informing them of the child's details including parents/carers information;
  • Will record the action taken on ICS.

It will be the responsibility of the social worker and the Child Protection - Conference and Reviewing Team Manager to track and review missing children who are subject to a Child Protection Plan.


3. Complaints About A Child Protection Initial Or Review Conference

3.1 Complaints from Parents/Carers

The child, their parents or carers may wish to complain or raise concerns about one or more of the following aspects:-

  • The process of the conference;
  • The outcome, e.g. child being subject to a Child Protection Plan, the category of/or continuing the Child Protection Plan;
  • A decision for the child to become, or not become, the subject of a Child Protection Plan.

Such complaints should be passed on to the Team Manager Child Protection - Conference and Reviewing, who will refer the matter to the Appeals Panel and to the Local Authority Childrens Services Complaints Officer. A multi-agency panel will be convened from the Safeguarding Executive to consider the complaint in relation to whether polices and procedures have been adhered to and whether the decision taken is in proportion.

The Panel will further consider the appropriateness of sharing their findings with agencies to ensure lessons that learned from the process are acted on. The Appeals Panel will share their findings with relevant workers, the child and parents/carers.

Where parents/carers or children raise complaints about individual workers or agency services these should be referred to the respective agency who employs the worker. These complaints should be managed in accordance with the agency complaints process.

3.2 Complaints from Conference Members

Where a member of the conference has a complaint about the conduct or performance of another conference member it is their responsibility to share this with their line manager. They and their line manager should agree on how best to resolve the matter using their own or the other agencies complaints processes.


Appendix 1: Requesting and Convening a Child Protection Case Conference

Click here to view Requesting and Convening a Child Protection Case Conference Flowchart

Appendix 2: Dissention Panel Process

Click here to view Dissention Panel Process Flowchart

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