5.6 Membership of Child Protection Conference

This chapter is currently under review - May 2020


General Attendance


Those attending conferences should be there because they may have a significant contribution to make, arising from professional expertise, knowledge of the child or family or both.


Those who have a relevant contribution to make may include:

  • The child, (if of sufficient age and understanding: (see Involving Children and Family Members Procedure, Criteria for Presence of Child at Conference) or his or her representative;
  • Family members (including the wider family);
  • Children's Social Care staff who have led and been involved in an assessment of the child and family;
  • Foster carers (current or former);
  • Residential care staff;
  • Professionals involved with the child (for example, health visitors, midwife, school nurse, Children's Guardian, paediatrician, school staff, early years staff, the GP, staff in the youth justice system including the secure estate);
  • Professionals involved with the parents or other family members (for example, family support services, adult services (particularly those from mental health, substance misuse, domestic violence and learning disability), probation, the GP;
  • Professionals with expertise in the particular type of harm suffered by the child or in the child's particular condition, for example, a disability or long term illness;
  • Those involved in investigations (for example, the police);
  • Local authority legal services (child care);
  • NSPCC or other voluntary organisations involved;
  • A representative of the armed services, in cases where there is a Service connection.


Legal Attendance at Conferences


The Law Society provides professional guidance on attendance by lawyers at Child Protection Conferences. Their role is as a supporter or representative for the child, parents or on behalf of the local authority, but the process is not a court or tribunal and the adversarial role is not appropriate.


The local authority solicitor is both a legal adviser to the chair and to the local authority, although will not normally provide this advice during the conference. (S)he may not question parents directly and in exceptional circumstances may have to withdraw if there are any indications that admissions are to be made by parents.


The solicitor for a parent or child may attend in the role of representative of child or supporter of parent to assist her/his clients to participate and, with the chair's permission to speak on their behalf.

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