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1.4.3 Initial Child Protection Conferences

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

The purpose of the conference is to enable professionals most involved with the child and family, and the family themselves, the opportunity to analyse - in a multi-agency setting - the information and consider the evidence presented. This will enable the professionals to make judgments about the likelihood of a child suffering or likely to suffer Significant Harm and decide what future action is required to safeguard and promote the welfare of the child. This may include a Child Protection Plan.

This chapter must be read in conjunction with the procedure on Initial Child Protection Conferences in the Newcastle Safeguarding Children Board Procedures Manual.

RELATED CHAPTER

Child Protection Plan Guidance

Core Groups Guidance

Newcastle Safeguarding Children Board Procedures Manual, Other Types of Conference Procedure


Contents

  1. Responsibilities of the Social Worker
  2. Initial Child Protection Conference Guidance


1. Responsibilities of the Social Worker

  • Convene an Initial Child Protection Conference (ICPC);
  • Social worker to contact the Children's Safeguarding Standards Unit to discuss the ICPC with the Duty Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO), and forward invitation list to the Children's Safeguarding Standards Unit;
  • NB The Children's Safeguarding Standards Unit will send out invitation letters and distribution list of all invitees. Separate invitations sent to parents advising them that they need to be at the conference 30 minutes before the start of the conference to meet with the chairperson.
  • The social worker will complete the ICPC Report and forward to the Independent Chair at least one working day prior to the ICPC;
  • The social worker ensures that parents and children are fully equipped to take an active role in the meeting (See Participation of Children and Young People in Assessments and Decision Making Procedure);
  • The social worker attends and participates in the ICPC;
  • The social worker must provide:
  • Where the case has already been known, the social worker should also provide the most recent of the following as existing:


2. Initial Child Protection Conference Guidance

The ICPC must be convened within 15 working days of the Strategy Discussion.

The following should be considered:

  • Date and time;
  • Venue;
  • Invitation List;
  • Exclusions and partial exclusions;
  • Special Needs;
  • Participation of the child/young person;

Check availability of key professionals, particularly paediatricians where involved.

Attendance should include:

  • The child;
  • The child may have a supporter present for them, where appropriate;
  • Parents/others with Parental Responsibility and wider family members;
  • Foster carers - current or former;
  • Residential care staff;
  • Children's Social Care (if social worker is unavailable (e.g. due to sickness) an alternative qualified social worker or team manager must attend);
  • Police;
  • Legal Services;
  • Health;
  • Education;
  • The professional who made the referral;
  • Agencies and organisations with a knowledge of the child, any siblings, other children in the household, parents or carers, or who have specialist skills such as:
    • Children's Guardian;
    • NSPCC;
    • CAMHS;
    • Fostering /Adoption Social Worker;
    • Youth Offending Service Officer;
    • Private Day Nurseries/Children Centre;
    • Educational Psychologist;
    • Adult services e.g. Probation, adult mental health services, housing, voluntary organisations, community nurse.

Professionals will also need to be invited to the ICPC in respect of the other children in the family/household.

The issues the social worker should discuss with parents includes:

  • The use of a supporter at the ICPC;
  • Any practical assistance which may be required to facilitate parent's attendance at conference (including interpreter or translation services if required);
  • Any decision not to invite them to the ICPC and the reasons for this;
  • Threshold information.

The ICPC will consider:

  • The Initial Child Protection report and initial Child Protection Plan provided by the social worker, which must include the views, wishes and feelings of the parents/carers and children/young people;
  • The outcome of the Section 47 Enquiry;
  • Reports from other professionals;
  • Any relevant existing social work reports;
  • The views of the family;
  • The views of the child.

The Independent Chairperson will ensure that all parties are able to participate in reaching decisions about:

  • Whether or not there is a need for a Child Protection Plan;
  • If there is a decision to establish a Child Protection Plan, decide the category for that plan from one of:
    • Physical Abuse;
    • Sexual Abuse;
    • Emotional Abuse;
    • Neglect.
  • Confirm the name of the social worker who will be the Lead Social Worker;
  • Membership, date, time and venue of first Core Group (to meet within 10 working days);
  • Arrange date, time and venue of first Child Protection Review Conference (CPRC).

The ICPC may make recommendations for any additional actions which the social worker and the Core Group should consider in the further development of the Child Protection Plan, including consideration of additional specialist assessments, protection arrangements or legal action. (see also Core Group Guidance).

Where it is decided not to establish a Child Protection Plan, the conference may recommend the establishment of a Child in Need Plan and/or referral to other child and family support services.

End