As with any job, there are so many abbreviations and acronyms that someone experienced in their role, will use without thinking. This can make you feel anxious and less confident in contributing to multi-agency working despite often being the agency who knows the child the best. I am hoping this page will help in understanding some of the acronyms you will come across.

What does it mean?

  • CAIT - Child Abuse Investigation Team. These are the police team who investigate child abuse cases.

  • ICPC - Initial Child Protection Conference, (sometimes known as an ICPCC - Initial Child Protection Case Conference). This is a multi-agency conference including the parents to decide if the child is at risk of significant harm and in need of a child protection plan.

  • RCPC - Review Child Protection Conference. This is a review of a child protection plan (within 3 months of an initial conference or within 5-6 months of the previous conference. It is a review of progress against the plan and a decision is made about whether the child remains at risk of significant harm.

  • CIN - Child in Need (section 17 of the Children's Act 1989). Working with the family who require lower level social worker intervention to prevent risk of significant harm to a child.

  • CP Plan - Child Protection Plan, This is agreed by all agencies at the conference and sets out the actions with timescales to be achieved. In between conferences, you will be invited to attend core group meetings to discuss progress against the plan.

  • PR - Parental responsibility usually held by birth parent(s) (if named on the birth certificate) unless the courts decide otherwise. 

  • ICO - interim care order. This is where the courts decide that a child needs to be looked after by the local authority for an agreed period of time whist the parent(s) completes certain agreed actions to show they are able to meet their child's basic needs and protect them from future harm. Birth Parents will have shared PR with children's services.

  • FCO - full care order is where the court agree that the child needs to be in long term foster care (or adopted) until they are 18. Birth parents no longer have PR.

  • SGO - special guardianship order can be granted through the courts for an immediate family member to become the main, long-term carer for the child and are given parental responsibility.

  • CLA/LAC - Child Looked After or Looked After child is a child in the care of the local authority.

  • PEP - a Personal Education Plan which is created by school in collaboration with the carer, child, parent (if agreed), social worker and virtual school. A meeting is held each term in school and targets, intervention and support agreed to assist the child in reaching age related expectations wherever possible.

  • PLO - a Public Law Outline can be sought through a legal meeting with the social worker and parents when the local authority have concerns for the child. It is often a pre-proceeding intervention and a last chance for parents to act upon the expectations set and prevent court proceedings in the future.

  • FGM - Female genital mutilation is the procedure where female genitals are deliberately cut, changed or altered without any medical reason. It is illegal to preform FGM in the UK or to knowingly send a child to another country for the procedure. If you suspect a child has already been a victim of FGM or you suspect they are at risk of FGM, you have a legal responsibility to refer it to children's social care.

  • DA / DV - domestic abuse or domestic violence. Can also be referred to as DASV which is domestic abuse and sexual violence

  • TAF / TAC - team around the family / child. This is held as a multi-agency meeting with parents at the early help level to discuss concerns or difficulties and come up with a plan to prevent escalation to social care. It requires a lead professional to chair it and this is often the school as they have the most knowledge of the child and their family.

  • CSE / CCE -  child sexual exploitation and child criminal exploitation. As well as being stand alone issues, both tie in with serious violet crime, county lines and gangs and should not just be looked at in isolation.

  • MARAC - multi-agency risk assessment conference. Professionals from a variety of services including police, Family Justice Centre (FJC), health and education meet to try and reduce the risk to families experiencing domestic abuse.

  • IDVA - Independent Domestic Violence Advisors. They work with victims of domestic abuse to assist in keeping them safe. An IDSVA focuses on victims of sexual violence.

  • WRAP - Workshop to Raise Awareness of Prevent. All staff should ideally have WRAP training but as a minimum, the DSL must have completed this.