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1.4.2 Strategy Meetings

RELATED CHAPTERS

Statutory Assessments (Child and Family Assessments) Procedure

The Strategy Meeting will be used to plan the Section 47 Enquiry and can take place during the Statutory Assessment or at any time where concerns about Significant Harm emerge.

The plan made at the strategy meeting should reflect whether there is a requirement to convene an Initial Child Protection Conference within 15 working days of the strategy meeting / discussion.

See also:

Newcastle Safeguarding Children Board Procedures Manual, Strategy Discussion/Meeting

Framework for Assessment of Children in Need and their Families (Department of Health 2000)


Contents

1. Responsibilities of the Social Worker
2. Strategy Discussion Guidance
  2.1 Purpose of the Strategy Discussion
  2.2 Attendees
  2.3 Possible Child Protection Concerns


1. Responsibilities of the Social Worker

  • Commence the Section 47 investigation, Statutory Assessment and Strategy Discussion process;
  • Arrange the Strategy Discussion;
  • Record all decisions reached and the basis for those decisions on the Strategy Meeting pro forma;
  • Circulate to participants and involved professionals, within one working day of the meeting as soon as practically possible.


2. Strategy Discussion Guidance

This section provides direction or advice to a decision or course of action.

2.1 Purpose of the Strategy Discussion

The purpose of the strategy discussion is to:

  • Share available information and establish the facts about the circumstances that give rise to the concerns;
  • Agree whether there is a need for a Section 47 Enquiry and if so, consider action required to secure the immediate safety of the child and an Initial Child Protection Plan;
  • Co-ordinate the Section 47 investigation with disciplinary and/or criminal investigation;
  • Determine what information from the Strategy Discussion will be shared with the family;
  • Ensure regard to racial, cultural, religious and linguistic background and any additional needs of the child and her/his family;
  • Consider the issue of consent to contact other agencies. If consent has not been gained the social worker/team manager must either take steps to secure it or decide if it is in the interests of the child and the investigation that checks should be undertaken without it;
  • Plan the enquiries, which will need to consider:
    • The co-ordination of the Section 47 enquiry and Statutory Assessment to determine the scope of the investigation, what information should be obtained and from whom;
    • The need for paediatric assessment and/or medical treatment and consent for this;
    • The need to interview the child under Achieving Best Evidence in Criminal Proceedings guidance (2011);
    • Who should be interviewed, for what purpose, by whom, how and when and in particular, determine how the wishes and feelings of the child are to be ascertained;
    • The gender of interviewers, particularly in cases of alleged sexual abuse;
    • The role of professionals involved in the investigation where Court proceedings may require them to provide expert evidence under rules of Court;
    • The special needs of interviewees and/or their need for support;
    • The needs of other children or family members in contact with victims or perpetrators.

2.2 Attendees

Strategy Discussions should minimally involve:

  • Team Manager;
  • The Social Worker;
  • The Police;
  • The referrer if appropriate.

Other professionals should be involved as appropriate, including:

  • Health Visitor and/or School Nurse/Midwife/Mental Health, GP;
  • School and/or nursery;
  • Probation Provider;
  • NSPCC/ Children's Centres;
  • Health, Housing and Adults Services;
  • Any other professionals and carers known to be involved;
  • Legal Services.

2.3 Possible Child Protection Concerns

If possible child protection concerns are identified further action may be:

  • Commencement or continuation of Section 47 investigation as part of a Statutory Assessment - without a police investigation;
  • Joint Police/Children's Social Care enquiries/assessment.

End