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I have been invited to a Child Protection Conference for my child - what does this mean?
- AuthorChelsea Harris
The Local Authority will arrange a child protection conference for a child if there are concerns regarding the child being abused or it is believed that the child is suffering or likely to suffer significant harm. A child protection conference can also be organised for a child that is not yet born but may be considered to be at risk of suffering harm.
The purpose of a child protection conference is to share information between all of the professionals who are working with your family, to decide how to keep your child safe and to decide if your child should be subject to a child protection plan which you will need to adhere to.
Those that will be invited to a child protection conference include:
- An independent reviewing officer, often called the ‘Chair’
- Parents to the child
- Any partners to the parents if they are separated
- Social workers involved
- The police if they are involved
- A representative of your child’s school
- Your child’s healthcare professional – for example a health visitor
- Any other professionals that may be involved with your family.
During the conference, discussions will take place regarding all of the children within the household and what the concerns are as to why the conference is being held. The professionals will be asked to provide information about the family and whether they have any concerns with the family. It could be decided at the end of the conference based on the information shared that the child is suffering or likely to suffer significant harm; there are 4 categories of harm:
- Physical harm
- Emotional harm
- Sexual harm
If your child is placed on a child protection plan it will be under one of these categories.
A review meeting will also be arranged, and this will take place within the following 3-6 months of the plan to see what progress has been made. The plan will set out what the Local Authority would like you to do to begin to reduce the concerns around the child.
We understand that the Local Authority being involved with your children can be very stressful and that is why we are here to help and provide advice. Should you be contacted regarding attending a child protection conference then we may be able to assist. We have experience in assisting parents at all stages of Local Authority involvement. Please contact Johnson Astills at either our Leicester Office on 0116 255 4855 or our Loughborough Office on 01509 610 312 and ask for a member of the Care Team so that we can advise you accordingly.