5.3 Pre-Birth Conference
Last reviewed in July 2020
Date of next review July 2022
- Timing of Conference
- The Development of a Pre-Birth Child Protection Plan
- Timing of Review Conference Following a Pre-Birth Conference
A pre-birth conference should be held where a:
Other risk factors to be considered are:
All agencies involved with pregnant women and/or the putative father who have concerns should consider the need for an early Referral to Children's Social Care so that assessments are undertaken, and family support services provided, as early as possible in the pregnancy.
Timing of Conference
The pre-birth conference should take place as soon as is practicable and ideally no later than 28 weeks gestation, so as to allow as much time as possible for planning support for the pregnancy and the birth of the baby.
Where there is a known likelihood of a premature birth, the conference should be held earlier.
Those who normally attend an Initial Child Protection Conference must be invited (see Membership of Child Protection Conference Procedure). In addition representatives of the midwifery and relevant neo-natal services should also be invited.
Parents or carers should be invited as they would to be any other Child Protection Conferences and should be fully involved in plans for the child's future.
The Development of a Pre-Birth Child Protection Plan
If a decision is made that the child requires a Child Protection Plan, the main cause for concern must determine the category of concern and a protection plan be outlined to commence prior to the birth of the baby
The Core Group must be established and is expected to meet prior to the birth, and certainly prior to the baby's return home after a hospital birth.
Timing of Review Conference Following a Pre-Birth Conference
The Child Protection Plan only comes into effect when the child is born.
In Brighton & Hove and East Sussex, the plan should be reviewed at a Review Conference within 3 months of the child's birth.
In West Sussex, the child protection plan should be reviewed at a Review Child Protection Conference (RCPC) scheduled to take place no later than 12 weeks (3 months) from the ICPC, ideally before the child is born. Consideration may need to be given by the chair to convening an RCPC sooner than 3 months after the ICPC if this is likely to fall close to the child’s estimated date of delivery. If the decision at the first RCPC is for the unborn or new-born child to remain subject to a child protection plan, consideration should be given to convening an earlier further RCPC (i.e. within 3 months of the child’s birth or first review) given the vulnerability of a new-born baby and importance of the early days of their life.
The conference chair will decide the date.