5.15 Administrative Arrangements and Record Keeping for Child Protection Conferences
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:
Recording the Conference
All initial and review conferences should be noted by a dedicated person whose sole task within the conference is to provide a written record of the meeting in a consistent format.
In order to protect the confidentiality of all individuals involved in conferences, and to protect the integrity of the information discussed, recording devices are not permitted at conferences.
The decision letter (indicating whether the child(ren) was/were made the subject of a Child Protection Plan(s), a brief summary of the reasons for the decision, the outline Child Protection Plan, name of the Lead Social Worker and details about the right to complain) should be dispatched within one working day to all who have been invited to the conference including parents / carers and child(ren) identified by the chair as having sufficient understanding.
Conference records should include:
The conference record should be sent to all those who attended or were invited, within 10 working days of the conference. Any amendment to accuracy of record should be sent, in writing, within 10 working days of the receipt of that record to the chair.
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.