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Integrated Children's System

Initial Child Protection Conference Report

There are three exemplars concerned with child protection:

Record of the Strategy Discussion;

Record of Outcome of s47 enquiries;

Initial Child Protection Conference Report.

They specifically relate to Working Together to Safeguard Children (Department of Health 1999) from the time of the strategy discussion to the holding of an initial child protection conference. They are intended to support the ongoing assessment process that takes place following the raising of concerns about a child’s safety until the initial child protection conference. This concern may be raised at any time during work with children and families.

Initial Child Protection Conference Report

The Initial Child Protection Conference Report provides a summary and assists analysis of the information gathered by social services at the time the initial child protection conference is held. For cases that proceed from referral this will include information from the initial assessment, s47 enquiries and the core assessment to date. For children and young people already known to social services at the time the s47 enquiries were initiated, all existing information should be considered. This information is brought together in the Initial Child Protection Conference Report and used to inform decisions made at the conference. Paragraph 5.61 of Working Together to Safeguard Children sets out the information to be included in this report.

View Integrated Children's System Initial Conference Report (PDF format)

Completing the Initial Child Protection Conference Report

An initial child protection conference should be convened if, having completed s47 enquiries, it is concluded that a child or young person may continue to suffer, or be at risk of suffering significant harm, (see paragraph 5.52, Working Together to Safeguard Children).

When a decision is made to hold an initial child protection conference on a child or young person an Initial Child Protection Conference Report should be completed prior to the initial child protection conference. The social worker with lead responsibility for undertaking the s47 enquiries should complete the report.

The Initial Child Protection Case Conference Report is in two parts.

Key Features: Part One

Part One is completed by the practitioner and contains the practitioner’s summary and analysis of the information available.

  • Child/young person’s household details

    This information should be drawn from the Referral and Information Record. The practitioner should ensure that they are aware of all names used by the child or young person and their family and that all members of the household are recorded.

  • Brief chronology

    It is not expected all the information from a completed Chronology will be transferred, but that relevant information should be transferred to produce a summary of key changes and events relevant to the conference.

    In completing the summary chronology it is important to remember that it may commence before the birth of the child or young person who is the subject of the conference. For example, if an older sibling was on the child protection register before the child or young person’s birth. In some cases, because of the level of change a child or young person has experienced it may be necessary to attach a longer chronology as an appendix to the report.

The next sections of the report gather information on the child or young person’s needs, parenting capacity and family and environmental factors.

  • Views of the child/young person
  • Views of parents/main carers

    These sections record the child or young person’s views and, separately, those of parents/main carers regarding the concerns that led to an initial child protection case conference being held. It should also identify the action(s) the child or young person and parents believe should be taken.

  • Analysis
The practitioner should analyse the information gathered and identify the implications for the child or young person’s future safety, health and development.
  • Comments of the child/young person
  • Comments of parents/main carers.
When the practitioner has completed Part One, the Initial Child Protection Conference Report should, in so far is consistent with the safety of the child or young person, be shared with parents. It is important that the social worker checks the child or young person that she or he agree to have their views recorded in the report, and shared with parents and others. In some cases, a child or young person may wish to present his or her views separately to the conference, so that their parents or a parent can not read them; for example, because a young person may be concerned about a parent’s response to their views.

The final report should be signed and dated by the practitioner and his or her manager.

Key Features: Part Two

Part Two of the Initial Child Protection Case Conference Report is concerned with the decision and recommendations of the conference and should be completed by the conference chair.

  • Decision

    This records the decision of the conference regarding registration and the category of registration. Where a decision is made not to place a child or young person’s name on a child protection register this section records whether the further assessment and services should be provided.

  • Recommended Further Action

    This records the name of the key worker and core group membership followed by the date of the first core group meeting and the review conference.

  • Outline Child Protection Plan:

    Where the child’s name is placed on a child protection register, an outline child protection plan should be formulated at the initial child protection conference (see paragraph 5.64, Working Together to Safeguard Children). This should be informed by the Initial Plan or any other type of current plan. The format used for the outline child protection plan is the same as that used in the Initial Plan contained in the Initial Assessment Record and Record of Outcome of Section 47 Enquiries this is to facilitate the transfer of information from or to these plans, where appropriate.

Links to other records in the Integrated Children’s System

  • Relationship between the Initial Child Protection Conference Report and the Initial Assessment Record

    Where the initial child protection conference is being held following a recent referral or re-referral, the format of the report is intended to facilitate the transfer of information from the Initial Assessment Record. The information from within the Initial Assessment Record will be updated in the Initial Child Protection Conference Report, in the light of the information from the s47 enquiries, any sections of the core assessment that have been completed and information from any existing social services records.

    Where an initial plan is in place, the Initial Child Protection Conference Report should make reference to the uptake and impact of services. For example, a child may have been provided with day care or short break care to reduce stress on the family, but have never attended the service. The family’s failure to use this service should be understood and reported to the conference.

  • Relationship between the Initial Child Protection Conference Report and the Core Assessment Record

    Where an initial child protection conference is being held on an existing rather than a new case, the Initial Child Protection Conference Report should draw on information from the core assessment and s47 enquiries undertaken prior to the initial child protection conference. The format for the Initial Child Protection Conference Report will facilitate the transfer of appropriate information from a Core Assessment Record and other records within the system.

  • Relationship between the Outline Child Protection Plan and the Child’s Plan

    Where a Child’s Plan already exists, the Initial Child Protection Conference Report should include an analysis of the uptake and impact of planned actions and services on the child or young person’s health and development and on parenting capacity.

    The Outline Child Protection Plan will, in turn, be developed by the core group into a Child’s Plan, which will incorporate the Child Protection Plan.

 
 
 
By Steve Walker, David Shemmings and Hedy Cleaver
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