7.13 Actions and Decisions of the Conference
This chapter was last reviewed in Feb 2023.
Date of next review, April 2025.
- Categories of Abuse or Neglect(Jump to)
- If a Child has a Child Protection Plan(Jump to)
- Outline Child Protection Plan(Jump to)
- If a Child does not have a Child Protection Plan(Jump to)
- Discontinuing the Child Protection Plan(Jump to)
In accordance with Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018, Flowchart 4, action following a strategy discussion (page 42) the Conference should consider whether or not the child is at risk of Significant Harm when determining whether the they should be safeguarded by means of a Child Protection Plan
The test for likelihood of suffering Significant Harm in the future should be that either:
A child considered to be at continuing risk of Significant Harm should be safeguarded through a multi-agency Child Protection Plan unless the Conference is satisfied that an alternative multi-agency Plan can offer sufficient safeguards.
The Chair of a Conference is responsible for the Conference decision. They will consult with Conference members, aim for a consensus as to the need for a Child Protection Plan or not, but ultimately will make the decision and note any dissenting views.
The Chair must make a decision about the need for a Child Protection Plan based on the views of all agencies represented at the Conference and also take into account any written contributions that have been made.
Categories of Abuse or Neglect
If the decision is that the child is in need of a Child Protection Plan, Working Together to Safeguard Children states the Chair should determine under which category of abuse or neglect the child has suffered or is likely to suffer Significant Harm.
The category used (Physical Abuse, Emotional Abuse, Sexual Abuse or Neglect) will indicate to those consulting the child's social care record the primary presenting concern at the time the child became subject to a Child Protection Plan
Multiple categories should not be used to cover all eventualities. On occasions it may be appropriate to use more than one category if:
Emotional Abuse should only be used as a second category if substantial concern is indicated.
The need for a Child Protection Plan should be considered separately in respect of each child in the family or household.
If a Child has a Child Protection Plan
Where a child has a Child Protection Plan, it is the role of the Conference to consider and make decisions on how agencies, professionals and the family should work together to ensure that the child will be safeguarded from Significant Harm in the future. This should enable both professionals and the family to understand exactly what is expected of them and what can they expect of others.
The Chair must ensure that the following tasks are completed:
Where a child has suffered, or is likely to suffer, Significant Harm in the future, it is the Local Authority's duty to consider the evidence and decide what, if any, legal action to take. The information presented to the Child Protection Conference should inform that decision-making process but it is for the Local Authority to consider whether it should seek legal advice. Child Protection Plan Looked After Child Protection Plan
Outline Child Protection Plan
The outline Child Protection Plan should be outcome focussed and:
If a Child does not have a Child Protection Plan
If it is decided that the child is not at continuing risk of Significant Harm, but the child is in need of support to promote their safety, health and or development, the Conference must ensure that recommendations are made to this effect.
If the Conference is satisfied that a child considered to be at continuing risk of Significant Harm can be adequately safeguarded through an alternative multi-agency Plan, the Conference must ensure that recommendations are made to promote their safety, health and development.
Discontinuing the Child Protection Plan
In accordance with Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018, Flow Chart 5, What Happens After the Child Protection Conference, Including the Review? (page 52) a child should no longer be the subject of a Child Protection Plan if:
When a child no longer has a Child Protection Plan, notification should be sent, as minimum, to all those agency representatives who were invited to attend the initial Child Protection Conference that led to the plan.
Where one or more agencies currently working with a child are not present at the Conference deciding on whether to discontinue the Child Protection Plan, the Chair may decide to seek their views first. This should be done in writing within 10 working days and written responses provided within 10 working days.
Discontinuation of the Child Protection Plan should not lead to the automatic withdrawal of help. The Lead Social Worker must discuss with parents and children what services are wanted and needed, based on the re-assessment of the child and family. The Core Group should also consider what continuing support should be offered and, where the discontinuation of the Child Protection Plan is recommended, they should also submit a Plan for the provision of the proposed continuing support, including the identification of a Lead Professional and which multi-agency professionals will continue their involvement.
Consideration should be given to holding a multi-agency meeting following the discontinuing of the Child Protection Plan to develop a suitable C Plan to support the child’s health and development which should be reviewed regularly thereafter.