Child protection conferences and reviews
The team responsible for arranging and chairing the initial child protection conference (CPC) and looked after children reviews is the Independent Reviewing and Child Protection Service.
Child protection conferences
A CPC is a meeting between families and professionals that is held when there is concern about the safety of a child within a family. The purpose of a conference is to:
- assess if a child is suffering or likely to suffer significant harm
- identify any support needed by the family and the professionals and agencies which may provide support
- identify changes needed (if any) to ensure the safety of the child
- decide if the child needs to have a child protection plan.
The views of both the child and parents are taken into account and contribute to the child protection planning process.
A CPC does not make decisions about legal or court action, or where children should live.
A child's involvement
A child (or young person) may be invited to attend the conference and meetings by the chair of the conference if:
- it is in the child’s best interest
- the child is able understand what is going on (usually around the age of ten years old).
A child can have an advocate to support them at the conference or to attend on their behalf to share the child's views.
A parent's involvement
Parents are invited to:
- attend the conference and are encouraged to take an active part
- bring support (this can be a family member, a friend, or some other person)
- attend all relevant meetings.
If a parent is unable to attend the meeting to share their views, they can request to speak with the Conference Chair.
Other people and professionals who attend the conference
An independent person chairs the conference. Other professionals may also be invited to the meeting.
These may include a:
- social worker
- health visitor or school nurse
- teacher or school representative
- education welfare office
- YouTrust worker
- mental health worker
- probation officer (youth offending team)
- housing officer.
Professionals who have or had involvement with the family may be invited. There may also be some individuals and some agencies present that have not been involved before.
These people are invited because of their expertise, their safeguarding role, or because they might be able to provide help. They are introduced at the conference and explanation of their involvement given.
The conference outcome may be that the child is not (or no longer) at risk of significant harm. If this is the case, a child in need plan is implemented for a minimum of three months.
For more information, visit the Isle of Wight Safeguarding Children Partnership website.