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What is a Child Protection Conference?
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What is a Child Protection Conference?

A Child Protection Conference is a meeting that is held because one or more professional workers have serious concerns about the care and protection of your child. They will want to discuss these concerns with other workers to see if any action needs to be taken to make sure that your child is well looked after in the future.

If there is a child protection conference about your family, Children’s Social Care will send you a booklet to explain what will happen at the meeting. You can see what the booklet says now by clicking this link.

More information:

Conference
Frequently asked questions:

Who will be at the Conference?
The Conference will be arranged by Children’s Social Care, so your social worker will be there, often with their team manager.

There will be other people there too. Who they are depends on the age of your child and family circumstances; they may include the Health Visitor, someone from the police, the teacher or head teacher, the Education Attendancee Service and your child's doctor. Other people will also be invited if they have been involved with your family, for example nurses and doctors from the hospital, psychologists, staff from CAMHS or a probation officer.

Which parent/caregivers will be invited?
Any parent or caregiver who lives with the children, or who has Parental Responsibility, will usually be invited. If there are other people in your family who can help everyone understand what is happening and be part of the plan to improve things for the children, they may be invited too.

Why have I been invited?
We recognise that you have an important part to play in discussions and decisions about your child. You have a right to know what professional workers think may be going wrong with the care and protection of your child. You need to be involved in making the plan and in knowing what you need to do in order to keep your child safe.

Can I take part in the Conference?
The Conference is about you and your children so it is important that you do take part if you can. If you cannot attend then talk to your Social Worker; they may be able to get the Conference rearranged or, at least, speak on your behalf.

Can I be excluded?
Parents/carers will only be excluded in exceptional circumstances e.g. if the person is likely to disrupt the Conference or if their presence might in any way adversely affect the welfare of the child. The final decision will be made by the Chairperson.

Can I bring anyone to help me?
You may bring a friend or relative to act as a supporter. This person will not be there to represent you or be an advocate for you, and they cannot take part in discussions. They can, however, sit with you and give you support before and after the Conference.

You may wish to bring your Solicitor to the Conference. He or she can outline your views at the Conference but their role will be to assist you with what you want to say, not to provide legal advice.

What happens if I choose not to attend?
You can write to the Conference explaining how you think your child is, what you think has happened to him or her, what you think the professional workers should decide to do in the future and what help should be offered to you to help you care for your child. You may also attend at the end of the conference to be told what decisions and recommendations have been made.

Can children attend?
In Somerset children over the age of 10 are usually given the opportunity to attend all or part of the conference.  As we understand that this can be a frightening experience for them, they are offered an advocate to help them give their views.  If children over 10 do not want to attend the meeting, the advocate can tell the conference the child’s views.

Children over the age of 4 can have their views represented by an advocate.

For younger children, every effort will be made to find out your child's wishes and feelings and the Conference will be told about these by the Social Worker.

A  child of any age can also present his or her views in a letter or a picture to the Conference, if they would like to.

 

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Last updated:31/10/2013 at 14:16
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