What is a Child Protection Case Conference?
If the Local Authority is involved with your family and they have concerns about the care that is being provided to a child, they have the power to convene a Child Protection Case Conference.
A Child Protection Case Conference is a meeting that parents and carers will be invited to, to discuss the children’s care, any concerns and agree a plan and a way forward in order to reduce the risks.
Who attends a Child Protection Case Conference?
A Child Protection Case Conference can be quite daunting because there are often a lot of people there who you may not know. For example a Police Officer, Health Visitor, Midwife, School Nurse, School Teachers, Housing Association Workers and any other workers who are in some way involved with the family.
What happens at the Child Protection Case Conference?
The social worker should prepare a report and go through it with you before the meeting. However, this does not always happen.
You are entitled to take a solicitor to your Child Protection Case Conference. In some cases, this is not always encouraged, because solicitors are not allowed to participate or contribute at the meeting, but simply be present to support their client.
At Ringrose Law we feel it is very important for you to be accompanied at your Child Protection Case Conference, especially if you do not have any other family members there to support you. It is also very important for you to have a representative present if the case is serious and the Local Authority are talking about possibly taking Court action or removing your child from your care.
The meeting involves all the professionals discussing the concerns. The meeting is chaired by an independent reviewer. They will sum up and then ask all the professionals present for their opinion as to whether or not the child should be made subject of a Child Protection Plan.
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What happens after the Child Protection Case Conference?
There will be a follow-up Child Protection Case Conference after a period of time but in between times there will be regular core group meetings. These will be chaired by a professional, usually the Social Worker, and it will be for the professionals involved with the family to meet on a regular basis to discuss how things are going and make sure that the risks to the child are reducing.
Sometimes children remain subject of a Child Protection Plan for a long time. This may sound worrying, but in some cases it does mean that with the extra support from the Social Worker and professionals, care arrangements for the child are much more settled and improved and so it is of benefit to the family.
Will I go to Court?
Some people get very anxious and worried about their child being made subject of a Child Protection Plan. In these cases it can sometimes lead to Court action. It is very important that if you are in this position you contact a solicitor for legal advice.
I have received a Notice before Action letter – what should I do?
The Local Authority has started to issue parents and carers of children, where they had concerns about their care, with a ‘Notice before Action’ letter. The letter sets out to the parents or carers the concerns that the Local Authority has. It also states what action they require to reduce the risks. The letter states that they are very concerned. If things do not improve then they may seek legal advice and take the matter to Court. A letter will also clearly state that they should take the letter to a solicitor to get urgent legal advice.
What to do next?
For any concerns over your Child Protection Case Conference please contact us immediately. You may be eligible to public funding. We can provide you with all the legal support and guidance you need.
Contact the Ringrose Law Children Department in Boston, Grantham, Lincoln, Sleaford and Newark.Contact Children Department