Child Protection Conferences. Caroline Alexander Service Coordinator for Child Protection. Background.
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The number of referrals has increased over the years, in Britain and internationally. This increase in referrals has caused a massive increase in workload, raising the importance of the first level of decision making about a referral.
Stats for 2008/2009 and 2009/2010 show that nationally, around 22-23% receive a core assessment and 6% become subject to child protection plans.
Children at risk due to actual or likely contact with persons who pose a risk to children and / or young people (e.g. convicted of causing harm to children; sex offenders register) or where there is an allegation made against a professional abusing a child or young person.
Children needing to be immediately looked after by someone other than their normal care giver
Pre-birth/post natal assessments where there are concerns for the safety or well being of the unborn / new born child
Children whose names have been removed from the Child Protection Register/where the Child Protection Plan has been discontinued but remain in need of ongoing targeted social care child in need services.
Whenever there is reasonable cause to suspect that a child is suffering, or is likely to suffer Significant Harm, there should be a Strategy Discussion/Meeting involving Children's Services and the Police, Health (Named Nurse and/or Named Doctor) and other bodies as appropriate (for example, children's centre/school , and in particular any referring agency.
Share and evaluate information in an inter-agency setting about the family history, child's health, development and functioning and the parent / carer's capacity to ensure the child's safety and promote their well being
Consider the evidence and form a view about the likelihood of the child suffering Significant Harm in the future and decide whether the child is at continuing risk of Significant Harm
Make a decision about whether the child should be the subject of a Child Protection Plan
Devise an agreed outline inter-agency Child Protection Plan to safeguard the child and promote her/his welfare in order to decide how that action will be taken forward and with what intended outcomes and time-scales