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Child Protection Conferences. Caroline Alexander Service Coordinator for Child Protection. Background.

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child protection conferences

Child Protection Conferences

Caroline Alexander

Service Coordinator for Child Protection

background
Background
  • 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.
slide3
Cont…
  • The pressure from rising numbers of referrals and the need for accountability have led most agencies to develop some guidelines on how to classify and respond to referrals.

Therefore….

slide4
Cont...
  • Principles of the Social Care Eligibility Criteria in Surrey are clear and explicit – assessments and appropriate services are provided for level 4 and 3 cases.
level four categories
Level Four Categories
  • Children suffering actual or likely Significant Harm and disclosures of physical, sexual or emotional abuse
  • New referrals in cases of severe neglect
  • Very serious or chronic cases of domestic violence
  • Children in immediate danger or those who require immediate assessment to ascertain whether they need to be Looked After by the Local authority to ensure safeguarding
continued
Continued....
  • 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 subject to a Child Protection Plan
level three categories
Level Three Categories
  • 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.
continued1
Continued....
  • Children who self-harm, run away or whose behaviour places them at immediate risk
  • Young carers, where there is a need for a joint assessment with Adult Services to identify significant unmet need for either the child or parent.
  • 'Abandoned ' teenagers who are vulnerable as a result
trend and capacity
Trend and Capacity
  • August: 5119
  • September: 4763
  • October 5619
  • Education: 540
  • Health: 775
  • Police: 2475
  • Family: 512
  • Legal: 325
  • Other, Org: 667
  • As of 09/11/2012 there are 5598 open cases to Surrey Children Services.
significant harm
Significant Harm
  • There are no absolute criteria on which to rely when judging what constitutes Significant Harm but consideration should be given to the following:
  • The severity of ill-treatment which may include the degree and extent of physical harm including, for example, impairment suffered from seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another.
  • The duration and frequency of abuse and neglect
  • The extent of premeditation
strategy discussions and s47 enquiries
Strategy Discussions and S47 enquiries
  • 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.
purpose of the strategy meeting
Purpose of the strategy meeting
  • Share information
  • Agree the conduct and timing of any criminal investigation
  • Plan how the investigation will be undertaken
  • Plan what immediate action is required to safeguard the child/ren
  • Determine what information will be given to the family unless this will place the child at further risk or jeopardise a police investigation.
the risk assessment will
The risk assessment will:
  • Identify the cause for concern
  • Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the family
  • Evaluate the risks to the child or children
  • Consider the child's needs for protection
  • Consider the ability of the parents and wider family and social networks to safeguard and promote the child's welfare - this must include both parents, any other carers and the partners of the parents
  • Determine the level of intervention required both in the immediate and longer term.
the initial child protection conference
The Initial Child Protection Conference
  • 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
continued2
Continued...
  • Nominate a  Lead Social Worker, to develop, co-ordinate and implement the Child Protection Plan
  • Identify the membership of the multi agency Core Group to develop and monitor the Child Protection Plan
  • Set the date for the first Core Group meeting to take place within 10 working days of the Conference
who should attend
Who should attend
  • Parents and those with Parental Responsibility
  • The child, aged over 12 and having due regard to the guidance in Section 12, Enabling Children's Participation
  • The child's Social Worker and first line manager
  • Police Officer
  • Health services staff involved with the child/ren - e.g. Health Visitor, School Nurse, GP
  • Education services (schools, Education Welfare Officers etc)
  • Designated Nurse and Designated Doctor
children subject to cp plans in surrey
Children subject to CP Plans in Surrey
  • 930 children subject to CP Plans
  • Ten FTE CP Chairs in the SCU
  • Approximately 55 Conferences (families) per week
  • Highest category: Emotional Abuse
  • Lowest Category: Physical Abuse