5.6 Membership of Child Protection Conference
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:
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.