Professionals: Child Protection Conferences
A child protection conference is held when professionals have concerns about parents/carers care of their child. Its purpose is to decide whether a child is at risk of significant harm because of abuse or neglect and, if so, to agree what needs to be done to reduce this risk and ensure the child is protected. Significant harm is defined as the ill- treatment or impairment of a child’s health or development, including the impairment suffered from seeing or hearing the ill treatment of someone else.
The conference brings together family members, the child (where appropriate), supporters/advocates and the professionals most involved with the child and their family.
Worried about a child?
If you have any concerns about the welfare of a child you must make an immediate referral to:
» Newham Children’s Triage
Download Blank Case Conference Report
» Multi Agency Report: Child Protection Conference
(updated Feb 2019)
The purpose of a conference
The purpose of the conference is to consider, in a multi-agency setting, information presented at the conference about the child’s present situation, their family history, how the family is currently managing and how they’ve managed in the past.
The conference reviews the likelihood of a child suffering significant harm in the future, and makes a decision on whether the child is at continuing risk of significant harm. The conference then decides what future action is needed to safeguard and promote the welfare of the child. This can include the child becoming the subject of a child protection plan.
Child Protection Plan
Children are made the subject of a child protection plan when they are considered to be at risk of significant harm. This could be from physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse or neglect. The plan helps co-ordinate and review the work being done with the child and their family. It is also used to evaluate whether there have been any improvements in the care of the child.
The child’s situation is regularly reviewed. When improvements are made and sustained, and the conference assesses that the child is no longer at risk of harm the child can come off the child protection plan.
Children 12 and over are actively encouraged to participate in all or part of the conference. Families’ participation in conferences and their feedback on the process is also actively encouraged.
Expectations of Professionals Attending Child Protection Conferences
All the agencies invited to the conference should provide details of their involvement with the family and their assessment of the situation. This information should be submitted in a written, legible and signed report for the conference. The report should be available to the conference Chair and other attendees two working days in advance of the conference and five working days for a review conference. All agencies should have a conference report proformas, approved by the Newham Safeguarding Children Board. For agencies in contact with the family, the report should be shared with the family before the conference.
Where any agency representatives are unable to attend the conference, they must ensure that a written report is made available to the conference and, where possible, that a colleague attends in their place. Newham Safeguarding Children Board has agreed that professionals attending conferences should bring 10 copies of their reports for attendees to read.