Each child, whose name is placed on the child protection register, should have a named social worker who carries the practitioner responsibility for the case. The chair at the initial conference must ensure that the social worker with responsibility is identified. The social worker is always a social worker registered with Social Care Wales and working on behalf of social services with appropriate qualifications, training and experience.
The social worker should make every effort to ensure that the child and their family have a clear understanding of the planned outcomes, that they accept the plan and are willing to work to it.
The social worker in their role as care and support protection plan co-ordinator must ensure that they co-ordinate the preparation, completion, review, delivery and revision of the plan.
If it is not possible to appoint a social worker, the relevant senior manager responsible for child protection in social services must be informed immediately
The social worker should:
see the child at least every 10 working days and ensure that the child is seen at home at least every 4 weeks. (this responsibility is delegated to the social worker’s line manager in the event of unanticipated absence);
ensure the child is seen alone whenever possible and as a minimum this should be every 6 weeks;
ensure the child’s bedroom is seen at least once between conferences;
ensure that the outline child protection plan is developed by the core group into a more detailed multi-agency child protection plan;
co-ordinate the completion of the assessment of the needs of the child and the family;
take the lead in multi-agency work with the child and family;
co-ordinate the contributions of family members and other agencies to the implementation of the child protection plan;
review progress in outcomes for the child’s safety and well-being in relation to the child care and support protection plan;
provide a focus for communication between all practitioner and family members;
ensure that the children and parents have a clear understanding of the objectives of the plan, and that they know of their right to make a complaint and how to do so;
complete the assessment record.
If a child is looked after or living away from home the standards for visiting looked after children may be applied.
All practitioners have a duty to inform the social worker of significant events or changes of circumstance relevant to the child. This should not preclude making a new report in the event of further risk or concerns being identified, and such concerns should be followed up in writing.
The social worker should notify the custodian of the child protection register immediately of any relevant information such as changes to the child’s household or change of address for the child, so the register can be updated. The social worker should also keep practitioners informed of changes.
This includes any changes of address where the child is residing, as well as details of new people who may enter/stay at the house.
Any change of social worker must be notified verbally and confirmed in writing to all relevant agencies and the family by the social worker relinquishing responsibility or their supervising line manager. Registration records must also be amended promptly.