7.13 Actions and Decisions of the Conference

Show amendments

This chapter was last reviewed in Feb 2023.

Date of next review, April 2025.



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:

  • The child can be shown to have suffered ill-treatment  or impairment of health or development as a result of Physical, Emotional, or Sexual Abuse or Neglect, and professional judgement is that further ill-treatment or impairment is likely; or
  • Professional judgement, substantiated by the findings of enquiries in this individual case or by research evidence, is that the child is likely to suffer ill-treatment or the impairment of health and development as a result of Physical, Emotional or Sexual Abuse or Neglect.

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:

  • Each of the categories reaches the threshold for continuing risk of Significant Harm; and
  • A specific risk might otherwise be underestimated.

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:

  • That a Lead Social Worker is identified, and if this is not possible that a first line manager from Children's Social Care is identified to act in that role in the interim;
  • Identify the membership of the Core Group;
  • Establish how the child, parents (including all those with Parental Responsibility) and wider family members should be involved in the ongoing assessment, planning and implementation process, and the support, advice and advocacy available to them;
  • Establish timescales for meetings of the Core Group, production of a Child Protection Plan, and for Child Protection Review Conference;
  • Outline what further action is required to complete the  Family Assessment (also referred to a Child and Family Assessment or Strengthening Families Assessment) and what other specialist assessments of the child and family are required to make sound judgements on how best to safeguard and promote the welfare of the child;
  • Outline the Child Protection Plan in as much detail as possible, especially identifying what needs to change in order to achieve the planned outcomes to safeguard and promote the welfare of the child;
  • Ensure a Contingency Plan is in place if agreed actions are not completed and/or circumstances change; for example, if a caregiver fails to achieve what has been agreed, a court application is not successful or a parent removes the child from a place of safety; and
  • Agree a date for the first Core Group and Child Protection Review Conference.

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:

  • Identify factors associated with the likelihood of the child suffering Significant Harm and ways in which the child can be protected by means of a multi-agency Plan based on the current findings from the assessment and information held from any previous involvement with the child and family;
  • Establish short-term and longer-term aims and objectives that are clearly linked to reducing the likelihood of harm to the child and promoting the child's welfare including contact with family members;
  • Be clear about who will have responsibility for what actions, including actions by family members, within what specified timescales;
  • Outline ways of monitoring and evaluating progress against the planned outcomes set out in the Plan; and
  • Be clear about which professional is responsible for checking that the required changes have taken place, and what action will be taken, and by whom, if they have not.

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:

  • It is judged that the child is no longer suffering ,or or likely to suffer, Significant Harm and therefore no longer requires safeguarding by means of a Child Protection Plan;
  • The child and family have moved permanently to another Local Authority area. In such cases, the receiving Local Authority should convene a Transfer Child Protection Conference within 15 working days of being notified of the move. Only after this event may the original Local Authority discontinue its Child Protection Plan; or
  • The child has reached 18 years of age (to end the Child Protection Plan, the Local Authority should have a review around the child's birthday and this should be planned in advance), has died or has permanently left the United Kingdom.

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.

This page is correct as printed on Tuesday 16th of July 2024 06:29:23 AM please refer back to this website (http://sussexchildprotection.procedures.org.uk) for updates.