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Young People’s Involvement in the Child Protection Process Jeanette Cossar – Lecturer in Social Work, University of East PowerPoint Presentation
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Young People’s Involvement in the Child Protection Process Jeanette Cossar – Lecturer in Social Work, University of East Anglia Caz Dunne – Children’s Participation Officer, Cambridgeshire. The study: Aims and Objectives.

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Young People’s Involvement in the Child Protection Process Jeanette Cossar – Lecturer in Social Work, University of East


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Young People’s Involvement in the Child Protection Process

Jeanette Cossar – Lecturer in Social Work, University of East Anglia

Caz Dunne – Children’s Participation Officer, Cambridgeshire

the study aims and objectives
The study: Aims and Objectives
  • To identify the positive and negative aspects of young people’s experience of the child protection process in one local authority
  • To feed back messages from young people to the local authority and make practical suggestions to increase meaningful participation
methods
Methods
  • Sample: 25 young people, aged between 10 and 17 who had recently had a child protection conference held about them
  • Semi-structured interviews
  • 2x Peer-facilitated workshops
before the meeting
Before the meeting
  • Most of the young people had not seen an LSCB leaflet explaining the child protection conference.
  • None had been asked if they wanted to take an advocate or friend.
  • Most did not have enough information to make an informed choice about whether to attend the conference.
  • Young people valued social workers who visited beforehand and went through the report with them.
what do the young people know about the list register
What do the young people know about the list/register?

it’s a bad thing because if you’re on the register then that’s a really bad thing. You don’t want to be on there, because that’s where all the naughty people go

a list of the young people that social services think need to have a stricter eye kept on them

reasons for going to the child protection conference
Reasons for going to the child protection conference
  • To know what’s going on
  • To get your point across
  • To correct mistakes
  • To support a parent
  • To help make decisions
  • To show that I care
what was the conference like
What was the conference like?

I was sitting there trying to keep the tears away, trying to be strong, stern face. When I got out I was crying

All these people were looking at you and I’m like oh my God and it was hard cos my mum was there ….and it was like I was holding stuff back because I knew that once I go back to her who knows what I will be facing

what was the conference like8
What was the conference like?

[the review manager] was almost in a way looking out for me…. She kept an eye on me through the meeting so she could see if there was something I wanted to say. She’d sort of make sure there was a point for me to say it

the child protection conference
The child protection conference
  • Young people had positive views of review managers and felt they were independent
  • Young people differed in how much of the conference they wished to attend
  • Young people had differing opinions about when and how they wished to give their views – several became frustrated and walked out
  • Some young people felt that they were not asked about key issues
after the conference
After the conference
  • Those who did not attend got very little information about what happened in the meeting
  • For those who did attend reading the minutes was extremely upsetting
  • Young people had little knowledge of what was in their child protection plan
  • There was a stigma attached to being on the list
did child protection help
Did child protection help?

having social services involved and sticking their beaks in puts mother in a mood, which is going to make her more likely to do something stupid like what happened in April.

I think the good thing is that Mum and M have finally got it into their heads that they have to sort themselves out because M used to have a big drinking problem so that’s calmed him down a lot because he’s now going to Drinksense.

young people s messages

Take a mate for support

We should own a child protection room and graffiti it - it will be very exciting to create a young person friendly environment

Young people should be able to express their feelings

Don’t ask

you about

personal feelings

An advocate to help people say what they want to say

Give the young person a chance to talk

People: social worker and key worker from school, advocate and parents. That’s all, not nurse and governors, lots of people there that don’t need to be there

Young people’s messages
key messages
Key messages
  • Children need help to exercise real choice about the nature of their involvement.
    • Attendance does not equal participation
    • Not attending should not mean not participating
  • Children need a trusting relationship with an adult, and time to digest the process and ask questions
  • Children need choices about how to participate – including the use of advocates, written messages, drawings, audio tapes, attendance at the conference needs careful planning
practice recommendations
Practice Recommendations
  • Training to ensure social workers follow existing guidelines on involving young people, especially those who are not attending the conference
  • Central recording of the involvement of young people (see Every Child Matters exemplars)
  • A group for young people involved with the child protection process
practice recommendations15
Practice recommendations
  • Information leaflets could be sent directly to the young person by the Child Protection and Review Unit
  • Consultation leaflet (similar to LAC) could be sent to young people and made available on line.
  • Advocates should be made available routinely to young people
  • Pre-meeting should include consultation with the young person about exactly how they would prefer to give their views at the meeting
practice recommendations16
Practice recommendations
  • Review manager could meet the young person after the conference to clarify the plan, explain the decisions and get feedback
  • The minutes could include a section at the end for young people to record their disagreements
  • Young people should receive a copy of the plan