Back to Planning and intervention for children on the child protection register

The review conference

The review conference requires as much preparation, commitment and management as the initial conference.

The purpose

The review conference is tasked with making the decision as to whether a child on the register continues to be at risk of significant harm. If this is the case the conference should consider:

Timing

The first child protection review conference should be held within three months of the initial conference and further review conferences should be held at regular intervals (at least every six months).

The tasks for the review conference include:

Every review conference should explicitly consider the safety, well-being and development of the child against the outcomes set out in the care and support protection plan and determine whether the child is at continued risk of significant harm.

A decision should be taken separately for each child who is subject of the child protection conference.

The conference chair

In order to ensure consistency and demonstrate effective partnership working it is good practice for the chair of the initial child protection conference to chair subsequent review conferences.

The chair of the review conference has the same decision-making powers as at the initial child protection conference.

Attendance

The care and support protection plan co-ordinator is responsible for ensuring that all the appropriate people are invited to the review conference.

Participants at the review conference should include:

Where any of the above are absent from the review conference and written information is not available, the review conference chair should consider postponing the conference.

The required quorum for attendance is the same as that for initial child protection conference, that is, a minimum of three agencies or professional groupings, or in exceptional circumstances and at the discretion of the conference chair, two agencies or professional groupings.

[Regional Safeguarding Boards], through their quality assurance processes, should monitor agency non-attendance.

Core group members’ participation in review conferences

Practitioner members of the core group must produce individual agency reports and updated chronologies for the review conference.

These reports should detail:

All practitioner reports should be shared with the child and family face to face, where appropriate, to enable discussion and at least 5 working days prior to the review conference.

Combined these reports should provide a comprehensive overview of:

Decision making at review conferences

The review conference decision must be based on:

Conference participants should base their judgements as to whether registration should continue or not by considering the following?

The practitioner members of the core group should be asked for their opinion before other members of the conference are asked for their views as to whether registration should continue.

The role of the conference chair is to draw together the views of all conference members.

Outcomes

At the end of each review conference, a summary should be provided by the conference chair. This will assist the conference decide:

and

Any dissenting views should be recorded.

Record of the review conference

The record should include:

A copy of any decisions/recommendations approved by the chair, should be sent to all those invited to the review conference within 5 working days of the conference taking place.

The records are confidential and should not be shared with other practitioners or parties without the permission of the chair.

The family members, who are part of the core group, should receive the record. If family members were excluded from part of the review conference the record should be edited appropriately to reflect this.

Bringing forward a review conference

A review conference should be brought forward if:

The social worker should discuss with the relevant manager, the reasons for bringing forward the review conference. The manager should then consult with the conference chair. They will decide whether to bring forward the date of the review conference.

If the conference is being brought forward to consider de-registration, there should be a shared understanding of the likelihood that change will be sustained over time before rushing into de-registration.

Pointers for Practice: Effective Review Conference Practice