7.3 Initial Child Protection Conference
Last reviewed in September 2022
Date of next review September 2024
- Purpose of the Initial Child Protection Conference(Jump to)
- Timing of Initial Child Protection Conference(Jump to)
Purpose of the Initial Child Protection Conference
The Pan Sussex Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy and Procedures Group recommend the following statement is read out at all relevant meetings.
Professional Difference Statement:
It is acknowledged that when working in the arena of safeguarding, it is inevitable that from time to time there will be professional differences. This is a positive activity and a sign of good professional practice and effective multi-agency working. During this meeting practitioners, irrespective of their seniority are encouraged to say if they feel that decisions, practice or actions do not effectively ensure the safety or well-being of the child/children.
Following section 47 enquiries, an Initial Child Protection Conference brings together family members (and the child where appropriate), with the supporters, advocates and practitioners most involved with the child and family, to make decisions about the child’s future safety, health and development. If concerns relate to an unborn child, consideration should be given as to whether to hold a Child Protection Conference before the child’s birth.
A request to convene a Child Protection Conference may be made by a senior staff member of any of the member agencies and should be made and responded to in writing to either a Service Manager or a Child Protection Adviser.
The Conference must consider all siblings and all the children in the household, even if concerns are only being expressed about one child.
In some cases, it may be appropriate to develop a Child Protection Plan for only one (or more) of the children within a household. Futher information on implementing a Child Protection Plan can be found at Chapter 6 - The Child Protection Plan If significant concerns arise subsequently about a sibling (or others in the household), a further Initial Conference must be held. Where practicable, it should be combined with the Child Protection Review Conference concerning the child who already has a Child Protection Plan.
Timing of Initial Child Protection Conference
The Initial Child Protection Conference should take place within 15 working days of the Strategy Discussion or, where more than one Strategy Discussion took place, of the Strategy Discussion at which the Section 47 Enquiry was initiated.
The Initial Conference should, where possible, be held before expiry of an Emergency Protection Order, if further legal action is planned.
Where a Child Assessment Order has been made the Conference should be held immediately on conclusion of examinations and assessments.
In exceptional circumstances, the Initial Child Protection Conference may be purposefully delayed. Authorisation and rationale for the delay must be recorded on the child’s file. It is good practice for a senior Manager in Children’s Services to arrange to notify all relevant agencies and ensure that risks to the child are monitored, and an interim plan is in place to safeguard the child.