Isle of Wight Council

Child Protection

Independent Reviewing and CP Conferencing Service

Children at play

Independent Reviewing and CP Conferencing Service

The Independent Reviewing and Child Protection Service is the team responsible for arranging and chairing initial and review Child Protection Conferences and Looked After Children Reviews. They also provide the administration function for these meetings.

Child Protection Conferences

A child protection conference 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 whether a child is suffering or likely to suffer significant harm.
  • Identify any support needed by the family and the professionals/agencies who might be able to provide this.
  • Identify changes needed (if any) in order to ensure the safety of the child.
  • Decide if the child needs to have a child protection plan.

A child protection conference does not make decisions about legal or court action, or about where children should live. Parents are invited to attend the conference and are encouraged to take an active part. Parents may also bring someone as a supporter. This can be a family member, a friend, or some other person. Children and young people may be invited by the chair of the conference to attend if it is in the child’s interest and they are able understand what is going on. The views of the parents and children will be sought at the child protection conference. These views are taken into account and contribute to the child protection planning process. Parents will be invited to attend all relevant meetings, as will children if deemed age appropriate (usually around 10 years old). If the parents are unable to attend the meeting they can request to speak with the Conference Chair to share their views. A child can have an advocate to support them in attending the conference or to attend on their behalf to share their views.

Other people and professionals that will be at the conference

The conference will be chaired by an independent person. A number of professionals will also be invited to the meeting. These may include:

  • Social worker
  • Health visitor/ school nurse
  • Doctor
  • Teacher/ school representative
  • Education welfare office
  • Police
  • Youtrust
  • Mental health worker
  • Probation/YOT
  • Housing
  • Any other agency involved in supporting the family

Professionals who have had involvement with the family will be invited, but there may also be some individuals and some agencies represented that have not previously been involved. These individuals are invited because of their expertise, their safeguarding role or because they might be able to provide help. Introductions take place at the start of the conference.

If a conference decides that the child is not at risk of significant harm or no longer at risk of significant harm, a child in need plan will be implemented for a minimum of three months.

For further details please visit the Isle of Wight Safeguarding Children Partnership website.