5.8 Administrative Arrangements and Record Keeping for Child Protection Conferences
Last reviewed in July 2020
Date of next review July 2022
- Responsibility for Administration
- Audio Record of Conference Meetings
- Requests to audio record a conference
- Covert Audio Recording
- Decision Letter
- Conference Record
Responsibility for Administration
Children's Social Care is responsible for administering the Child Protection Conference service.
Each authority must have clear arrangements for the organisation of Child Protection Conferences including:
Audio Record of Conference Meetings
If your Local Authority audio records the Conference the below applies:
The Independent Chair is responsible for making an audio and digitally typed record of the conference meeting and for ensuring that it accurately reflects the discussion held, the decisions and the outline child protection plan.
Any audio or typed digital recording will be treated, retained and stored in accordance with relevant provisions of the Data Protection Act 2018 and General Data Protection Regulation.
The Chair will inform conference meeting participants that:
Requests to audio record a conference
Practitioners will consult with the Chair if a parent, family member or friend wants to audio record a conference meeting. In these circumstances the procedure for the Chair to audio record the meeting should be explained. Consideration may also be given to the parent receiving a digital copy of the audio recording.
It will be explained that if they publish any recording they will incur potential legal risk if sharing these with others, including through posting online. The risks of doing so and the possible impact on the child or others should be discussed. The risks associated with longevity of published material on the internet should be highlighted.
If another family member or friend (not a birth parent or someone with parental responsibility) states that they intend to record a meeting and the parents do not agree with this, they will be asked to stop. If they do not, the chair will halt the meeting and they will be asked to leave.
The Chair will seek legal advice if it is subsequently found that some recording has taken place or been published online.
Covert Audio Recording
If it has become clear that a conference meeting has been audio recorded without the knowledge of the chair and or other participants, the Chair of the meeting should be informed by whoever has found this out.
The Chair will consider informing the multi-agency network and Local Authority legal representative as part of considering any legal or safety implications.
If it is discovered that a parent has published a recording on social media and / or elsewhere on the internet, or used it for another purpose, the Chair will consider seeking legal advice in respect of an injunction to try to get the recording removed.
The decision letter will be produced by the Chair and will confirm whether a Child Protection Plan was/were made for the child(ren) or the type of plan made, a summary of the reasons for the decision, the outline plan, name of the Social Worker and information about the right to complain. It will be dispatched within timescales prescribed in local arrangements, to all who have been invited or attended the conference including parents/carers and child(ren) identified by the chair as having sufficient understanding.
Conference records will be produced by the Chair and sent to all those who attended or were invited, within timescales set out in your local arrangements. Any amendment to the accuracy of record should be sent, in writing, within 10 working days of the receipt of that record to the Chair. The Conference Record will include:
Where parents and / or the child(ren) have a sensory disability or where English is not their first language, steps will be taken to ensure that they can understand the typed conference record.
The parents' copy of the conference record should be clearly 'marked ' on all pages that it is a parent's copy. Confidential material may be excluded from the parents' copy.
Where an advocate, supporter or solicitor has been involved the parent should decide whether they give a copy of the conference record.
Where a child has attended a Child Protection Conference, the social worker must arrange to see her/him and arrange to discuss relevant sections of the record. Consideration should be given to whether that child should be given copies of the record. They may be supplied to a child's legal representative on request.
Where parents and / or the child(ren) have a sensory disability or where English is not their first language, steps must be taken to ensure that they can understand and make full use of the conference record.
Conference records are confidential and should not be passed to third parties without the consent of either the conference chair or order of the court. In criminal proceedings the police may reveal the existence of child protection records to the Crown Prosecution Service and in Care Proceedings the record of the conference may be revealed in court.
Every agency must establish arrangements for the storage of Child Protection Conference records in accordance with their own confidentiality and record retention policies.