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, and providing the administration function for these meetings i.e. arranging initial meetings, distribution of minutes.
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 the risk and protective factors for the children.
- 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 or children are unable to attend the meeting the form sent out with the meeting invite can be used to express individuals views. This form must be returned to the child protection conference administration team.
Other people and professionals that will be at the conference
The conference will be chaired by an independent person. There will also be someone to take notes at the meeting. A number of professionals will also be invited to the meeting. These may include:
- Social worker
- Health visitor
- Education welfare officer
- Mental health worker
Professionals who have had involvement with the family will be invited, but there may also be some individuals and some agencies represented have not previously been involved. These individuals are invited because of their expertise 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 no longer at risk of significant harm however social work involvement is necessary a child in need plan will be implemented. This is for a minimum of three months.
If all aspects of the child protection plan have been successfully implemented, the family may identify that they still have a need for on-going support through universal services, e.g. school, health services, children centres etc. their case may be stepped down to CAF and a lead professional will be identified. CAF is a formal and voluntary plan in which different agencies commit themselves to support the family.
If a child protection plan affect the necessary changes and the child remains at risk of significant harm a legal planning meeting may be held which can lead to court action.
For further details please visit the Isle of Wight Safeguard Children's Board website by clicking here.