When the child’s name is placed on the child protection register the conference should:
agree how the decisions and recommendations of the conference are communicated to the parents or caregivers and, depending on age and understanding, the child/children, if they are not present at the conference;
confirm who is the care and support protection plan co-ordinator (social worker) and set out their role, including visiting arrangements that comply with statutory requirements;
establish how children and families will be involved in the planning and implementation process and identify the sources of support and advocacy available to them;
set timescales for the meetings of the core group including the date of the first meeting and the production of the child protection plan.
The core group should meet within 10 working days of the date of the initial child protection conference and thereafter at monthly but no more than at 6 weekly intervals to:
set timescales for review conferences i.e. 3 monthly as a maximum time from the date of the initial child protection conference and thereafter at no more than 6 monthly intervals;
identify and outline the areas to be covered by the continuing assessment with timescales for completion within 42 working days from the start of the section 47 enquiries;
identify and outline which practitioners will contribute to the ongoing assessment and in what way;
outline the child protection plan, including identifying what needs to change in order to safeguard the child and the arrangements for monitoring the health, development and progress of the child;
consider the need for a contingency plan under certain circumstances e.g. in cases where the abuser receives a custodial sentence, the family withdraw co-operation or fail to comply with agreements;
clarify the different purpose and remit of the initial conference, the core group and the child protection review conference;
recommend, if appropriate, that social services give consideration to the need for legal action to protect the child;
plan any health assessment or care needed.
The chair must ensure, by the end of the conference that parents are clear about:
the evidence of harm which resulted in the child becoming the subject of a care and support, protection plan;
what needs to change;
what is expected of them as part of the plan for protection and promoting the child’s well-being.
All parties should be clear about the respective roles and responsibilities of family members and different agencies in implementing the plan.