A child protection conference is held in order to assess the level of risk to the child and agree actions to be taken by professionals and parents in order to reduce the risk of harm as quickly as possible. Anything discussed within the conference is confidential and should not be discussed with anyone outside of the meeting. Conferences are attended by a number of professionals including police, health, education, social care and any other professionals involved with the family and led by an independent chair person.
What to expect at a Child Protection Case Conference
Before the meeting you will receive an invite and be asked to provide a written report ahead of the meeting. Most local authorities have their own multi-agency template and will provide this. The report should be sent a few days before the meeting and a copy shared with the parent or sent home for them to read before they attend.
At the meeting you will be asked to share key points from your report and others will have the opportunity to ask you any questions.
You should feel confident to ask questions of others if you do not fully understand.
Once everyone has shared the information about the child/family, the chair will summaries and start to create a plan with actions, lead person and timescales. They will ask for suggestions from professionals and is an opportunity for you to make your own recommendations
Once a plan is created, the chair will ask each professional on their view as to whether the child has and is at risk of experiencing significant harm. They will then be asked to state whether they meet the threshold for a child protection plan or child in need plan and which category (emotional, physical, sexual abuse or neglect).