5.14 Information for a Conference
The Child Protection Conference report should include:
The report should be provided to parents and older children (to the extent that it is believed to be in their interests) at least three working days in advance of Initial Conferences, and five working days before Review Conferences, to enable any factual inaccuracies to be identified, amended, and areas of disagreement noted. Where necessary, the reports should be translated into the relevant language or medium.
The report should be provided to the chair at least three days prior to the Initial Conference and five working days in advance of the Review Conference.
All reports must make it clear which children are the subjects of the conference (previously decided by the social worker and her/his manager). Even if not the subject of the conference, all children in the household need to be considered at the Initial Conference and information must be provided on each of them in the record.
The report will be sent out after the conference (with the conference record) to those invited but who did not attend the conference.
Information from Other Agencies
It is the responsibility of all the agencies who have participated in the Section 47 Enquiry, or who have relevant information, to make this available to the conference. Contributors should, wherever possible, provide in advance a written report to the conference that should be made available to those attending.
Where any agency representatives are unable to attend the conference they must ensure that a written report is made available to the conference, through the chair and, if possible, that a well-briefed colleague attend in their place.
For agencies in contact with the family, the reports should be shared with the child and parents before the conference, (three working days before an Initial Conference and five working days before a Review Conference) and where necessary, should be translated into the appropriate language or medium.
Where the agency has information to share but is unable to share such information in the presence of a parent or family member, then discussion should take place with the conference chair prior to the conference regarding how this will best be managed within the conference arena - see Exclusion of Family Members from a Conference Procedure.
Those excluded should be provided with a copy of the social worker's report to the conference (three working days before an Initial Conference and five working days before a Review Conference) and be provided with the opportunity to have their views recorded and presented to the conference.
All Written Reports
All written reports will be attached to the chair's report for circulation or incorporated into the conference record.
Information from Children and Families
Children and family members should be helped in advance to consider what they wish to convey to the conference, how they wish to do so and what help and support they will require e.g. they may choose to communicate in writing, by tape or with the help of an advocate. Families may benefit from advice on the length of their submission, to enable proper consideration within the time constraints of the conference.