Child protection conferences
New process (coming soon)
Initial Child Protection Conferences
The local authority has the responsibility to make decisions about whether a child or young person is or is not at risk of significant harm. If it is agreed that the child or young person is at risk of harm then an initial child protection conference will be arranged. This is an opportunity for professionals to share what they are worried about with the family.
The overall purpose of the conference is to enable the family, professionals, and the child or young person, to plan how best to keep them safe. The allocated social worker will present a summary report detailing what professionals are worried about. The report will also include wishes and feelings of the child or young person, and the views of the parents / carers. Professional judgement may be made about how likely the child or young person is to be harmed in the future. In these circumstances a Child Protection Plan will be agreed with all those in attendance and reviewed regularly at a Child Protection Review Conference.
The conference is chaired by an Independent Child Protection Conference Chair, who are independent of the child or young person's case and not involved in the day to day management of social work staff. It is the Chair's job to ensure that the conference is conducted in the best interest of the child or young person.
Kent Integrated Children's Services are responsible for arranging the conference. All meetings will be conducted in accordance with the Kent and Medway safeguarding children procedures.
Parents / carers will be invited to attend unless the criteria for excluding parents / carers (section 7 of the Kent initial child protection conference procedures) is met.
Positive consideration will be given to enabling older children to participate in the conference if they wish to do so. Parents / carers are encouraged to submit a report for the conference.
All professional contributors to the conference are expected to provide a written report of their involvement with the child and family.
Child Protection Review Conference
When a Child Protection Plan is agreed, progress will be monitored by a regular review process. This will include Core Group meetings and Child Protection Review Conferences.
Decisions about continuing plans will be based on what professionals and the family remained worried about. If the decision is made that a child or young person no longer requires a Child Protection Plan, this does not mean that local services for the child or young person will be discontinued. Further support can be agreed as part of a Child in Need Plan.
All meetings will be conducted in accordance with the Kent and Medway Safeguarding children procedures.
The first review will be held within three months of the Initial Child Protection Conference and then at minimum intervals of six months all the time a child or young person remains on a plan. Core Group meetings will be held at regular intervals between Conferences to help track progress.
The following individuals should be involved with a Review Conference:
- core group members - will provide reports on the progress made by the child and family
- other relevant professionals - may be invited to provide reports on any involvement with the family
- parents / carers - are invited to participate by written or verbal feedback
- children and young people - are invited to participate with the agreement of the family and the Conference Chair, if they wish.
To help provide information for a Child Protection Conference which you have been invited to attend, please complete the relevant report and send to the social worker who requested the completion of the report.
To help prepare professionals and parents/carers for a Child Protection Conference, the Integrated Children's Services have published copies of the Initial and Review Conference agenda templates.
If you would like to provide feedback about a Child Protection Conference you have attended. Please complete the relevant feedback form and send to the Integrated Children's Service.
The following leaflets have been produced to help provide professionals, children and young people, and parents/carers with information about the Child Protection Conference process.
Statement of confidentiality
The statement of confidentiality states how information for Child Protection Conferences is securely shared with relevant professionals. It also explains how information is stored.