The Chair of a Child Protection Conference will be independent and not have operational or line management responsibility for the case. The Conference Chair is accountable to the Director of Children's Social Work.
The Chair should endeavour to meet with the family, child if appropriate and social worker prior to the Conference to ensure they understand the purpose of the Conference and how it will be conducted.
Where necessary, interpreters should be made available to facilitate family participation.
At the start of the Conference the Chair :
- Set out the purpose of the Conference;
- Confirm the agenda;
- Emphasise the need for confidentiality;
- Address equal opportunities issues e.g. specifying that racist, homophobic, religious hatred and threatening behaviour will not be tolerated;
- Endorse the Professional Difference Statement - Professional Difference
- Briefly outline the Conference Complaints process; and
- Clarify how the Conference will proceed and the role of those present, including supporters, legal advisers and observers.
During the Conference the Chair will ensure that:
- The Conference maintains a focus on the welfare of the children;
- Consideration is given to all the children in the household;
- All those present, including the parents and children if present, make a full contribution and that full consideration is given to the information they present.
- Reports of those not present are made known to the Conference;
- The wishes and feelings of the children are clearly outlined;
- Issues of race, religion, language, class, gender, sexuality and disability are fully taken into account in the work of the Conference;
- Appropriate arrangements are made to receive third party confidential information; and
- A decision is made as to whether the children should become, remain or cease to be on a Child Protection Plan