Child protection conferences
A Child Protection Conference will take place if following a Child Protection Enquiry it is decided that a child is at risk of serious harm.
Child protection conferences are meetings where information about you and your family is shared with a relevant professional, who then discuss your child’s safety. All children under 18 years of age living in the house will be considered at the first conference.
It is important that the child’s parents or carers attend the conference. Although this might be difficult, most of what we talk about should have been covered already by your child’s social worker. They will have written a report which will have been shared with you before the conference – you may also get copies of other reports written by other professionals (except the police)
What happens at the conference?
After all the information has been shared and discussed, people at the conference will consider the risks that there may be to your child and the things that are keeping your child safe. Each professional will say if they think your child is still at risk of harm and whether your child should have a Child Protection Plan.
Can the Conference remove my child?
No. Only a court can make an order for Children’s Social Care to remove your child from your care. A conference can make recommendations about what is thought to be best for your child. Sometimes this means applying to a court for an order to protect your child.
Disagreeing with a decision
If you wish to complain about the way the child protection conference was managed, in terms of the conference process or the outcome, then you should first write or speak to the Chairperson. Your concerns will be raised with a manager in the Children’s Social Care Team and the Council’s Complaints Manager. Whilst a complaint is being considered, the decision made by the conference stands.
The outcome of a complaint will either be that:
- a second conference is held with a different chairperson
- a review conference is brought forward
- the decision made at the conference is upheld – you will be provided with an explanation
Complaints about individual agencies, their performance and provision (or non-provision) of services should be made in accordance with the relevant agency’s own complaints management process.