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4.11 Child Protection Review Conferences

RELEVANT CHAPTERS

Initial Child Protection Conferences Procedure

Professional Resolution and Escalation Protocol

AMENDMENT

This chapter was updated throughout in March 2016 but in particular Section 2, Criteria for Discontinuing the Child Protection Plan and Section 7, Outcomes. The chapter links strongly to the Initial Child protection Conferences to promote consistency and to reflect key similar process and procedures that should be adhered to.


Contents

  1. Purpose
  2. Criteria for Discontinuing the Child Protection Plan
  3. Frequency
  4. Reports
  5. Attendance
  6. Administration
  7. Outcomes
  8. Minutes


1. Purpose

The purpose of a Child Protection Review Conference is:

To review whether the child is continuing to suffer, or is likely to suffer, Significant Harm, and review developmental progress against the Child Protection Plan outcomes.

To consider whether the child protection plan should continue or should be changed.

A Child Protection Review Conference is conducted as per the Initial Child Protection Conference. (See Initial Child Protection Conferences Procedure.)


2. Criteria for Discontinuing the Child Protection Plan

In order to consider discontinuing the Child Protection Plan the Child Protection Review meeting must be quorate. (See Initial Child Protection Conferences, Quorum.)

A child should no longer be the subject of a Child Protection Plan if:

  • It is judged that the child is no longer at continuing risk of suffering Significant Harm requiring safeguarding by means of a Child Protection Plan (e.g. the likelihood of harm has been reduced by action taken through the Child Protection Plan; the child and family's circumstances have changed; all reassessment of the child and family indicates that a Child Protection Plan is not necessary). Under these circumstances, only a Child Protection Review Conference can decide that the Child Protection Plan is no longer necessary;
  • Children subject to legal proceedings or becoming Looked After should not have dual plans unless in exceptional circumstances (See Initial Child Protection Conferences Procedure, If a Child is not Assessed as being in Need of a Child Protection Plan), therefore a decision would need to be made on which plan continues;
  • The child and family have moved permanently to another local authority area. In such cases, the receiving local authority should convene a Child Protection Conference within 15 working days of being notified of the move. Only after this event may discontinuing the Child Protection Plan take place in respect of the original local authority's Child Protection Plan; (See Arrangements for Children who are Subject to a Child Protection Plan Procedure, Movement out of Lincolnshire);
  • The child has reached 18 years of age (to end the Child Protection Plan, the local authority should have a review around the child's birthday and this should be planned in advance);
  • If a child dies a letter is sent by the Independent Chair confirming that the Child Protection Plan is to be ended on the date the child died;

For those children who are believed to have left the Country, the Social Worker must make all reasonable efforts to confirm the location of the child. Once confirmation is received a letter is sent by the Independent chair as a minimum, to all those agency representatives who were invited to attend the Child Protection Conference that led to the Child Protection Plan, advising that the CP plan is to be ended. In the interim, whilst the child’s location remains unknown, if the Child Protection Review Conference is due, it should still go ahead and the plan should continue. If the child’s whereabouts are not confirmed within a reasonable period of time a Service Manager will need to make a decision about ending the plan.

The Social Worker needs to notify parents and child where appropriate advising them of the decision.


3. Frequency

  1. Except in relation to 3 below, the first Review Conference should be held within 91 days of the date of the Initial Conference;
  2. Further reviews must be held at intervals of not more than 183 days, for as long as the child requires a Child Protection Plan;
  3. Where an unborn child has been identified as requiring a Child Protection Plan at a pre-birth conference, the first Review Conference should be scheduled to take place within 1 month of the child's birth or within 91 days of the pre-birth conference whichever is the sooner;
  4. An early Review Conference should be considered in the following circumstances:
    1. Where there is a further incident or allegation of Significant Harm to a child with a Child Protection Plan;
    2. If the Child Protection Plan is failing to protect the child or if there are significant difficulties in carrying out the Plan;
    3. Where there is a significant change in the circumstances of the child or family not anticipated at the previous conference and with implications for the safety of the child;
    4. Where the previous Conference was not quorate then the next conference must be held within a month of the non-quorate conference;
    5. If the plan is working really well and the core group via the Social Worker requests an early review to consider ending the plan.


4. Reports

Please see Initial Child Protection Conferences Procedure, Other Agency Reports to Conference and Before the Conference and At the Start of the Conference.


5. Attendance

Attendees should include the Chair and Core Group members. The relevant Children’s Services Team Manager should also attend the second review conference.

See Initial Child Protection Conferences Procedure.


6. Administration

Members of the Initial Child Protection Conference will be informed at the end of the Conference of the date of the Review Conference, which will also be recorded in the minutes. Arrangements for convening the conference are the same as for an initial conference (see Initial Child Protection Conference Procedure, When an Initial Child Protection Conference Should be Convened).

The Meeting Support Assistant will be responsible for the preparation of the minutes. (See Initial Child Protection Conference Procedure, Minutes of Child Protection Conferences.)

Each Child Protection Review Conference will set the date for the next review and note this date in the minutes.

If a Child Protection Review Conference decides that a child no longer requires a Child Protection Plan, the parents will be informed in person, if present at the meeting and in writing by the Independent Chair.

Any dissenting views or disagreements with this decision will be recorded in the minutes.


7. Outcomes

Every Review should consider explicitly whether the child continues to be at risk of suffering Significant Harm and therefore continues to need safeguarding through a formal Child Protection Plan. 

If not, then the child should no longer be the subject of a Child Protection Plan (See Section 2, Criteria for Discontinuing the Child Protection Plan.)

If the child has been subject to a Child Protection Plan for 12 months then the Independent Chair and Team Manager discuss the need to meet and review concerns and progress (called a 12 month meeting) If it is decided that a meeting is not necessary then this decision is recorded in the child’s file by the Independent Chair. The 12 month meeting should be chaired by another Independent Chair to allow for increased independence. The meeting follows an agreed agenda to consider the initial reason for a Child Protection plan, progress and agree a way forward. The meetings are minuted by a Meeting Support Assistant and can include Signs of Safety mapping.

The Independent Chair will have the same decision making powers at the Child Protection Review Conference as at the Initial Child Protection Conferences - see Initial Child Protection Conference Procedure, The Decision Making Process. If the child remains subject to a Child Protection Plan consideration should be given to whether the category of harm still remains appropriate.


8. Minutes

Please refer to Initial Child Protection Conference Procedure, Minutes of Child Protection Conferences.

End