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3.7 Record of Children with a Child Protection Plan

AMENDMENT

This chapter was updated in May 2014. Information was added at paragraph 4.3 in relation to children moving across local authority boundaries. The chapter was also updated in relation to the Single Assessment Framework.


Contents

  1. Purposes of the Child Protection Plan
  2. The Outline Child Protection Plan
  3. Informing Parents and Children
  4. Recording that a Child has a Child Protection Plan
  5. Looked After Children with a Child Protection Plan


1. Purposes of the Child Protection Plan

The purposes of the Child Protection Plan are:

  • To ensure the child is safe and prevent him or her from suffering further harm by supporting the strengths, addressing the vulnerabilities and risk factors and helping meet the child's unmet needs;
  • Promote the child's health and development i.e. his or her welfare; and
  • Provided it is in the best interests of the child, to support the family and wider family members to safeguard and promote the welfare of the child.


2. The Outline Child Protection Plan

An outline child protection plan will be agreed at the Initial Child Protection Conference - see Initial Child Protection Conference Procedure, Responsibilities of Other Professionals / Agencies.

For further details about the Child Protection Plan and the responsibilities of the Lead Social Worker and the Core Group, see Implementation of Child Protection Plan - Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities Procedure.


3. Informing Parents and Children

There is a presumption that parents will always be informed when their child is subject to a Child Protection Plan, unless to do so would place the child or another child at risk of Significant Harm or an adult at risk of serious injury - see Information Sharing and Confidentiality Procedure.

Children will be informed, depending on their age and understanding.

The Chairperson of the Child Protection Conference, which decides that the child should be made subject to a Child Protection Plan, must explain the reasons for this decision to the parents and the child if they are present at the Conference. The Conference Chairperson should also explain the purpose of the Child Protection Plan, outline the plan and how they will be involved in this. The chairperson should also give information about the Complaints About Child Protection Conferences Procedure.

The decision made and outcome of the Conference will be confirmed in writing to the child and parent - see Initial Child Protection Conferences Procedure, Dissent from the Conference Decision.

The Lead Social Worker will ensure the parents and child are informed and involve them in the Core Group and implementation of the Child Protection Plan - see Implementation of Child Protection Plan - Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities Procedure.

Where the child or parent has an Advocate, it will be part of the Advocate's role also to support them and explain the implications of the decision and recommendations of the conference.

Parents should be clear about the evidence of Significant Harm which resulted in the child becoming the subject of a Child Protection Plan, what needs to change, and what is expected of them as part of implementing the plan.

Equally, parents and the child will be informed when the Child Protection Plan is discontinued - see Child Protection Review Conferences Procedure.


4. Recording that a Child has a Child Protection Plan

4.1

Information to be recorded

The Local Authority will designate a manager who will be responsible for maintaining a record of all children who have a Child Protection Plan.

The following information will be kept and must be updated as circumstances change by notification to the Safeguarding Unit Manager (see Local Contacts):

  • The child's full name, home address, gender, date of birth and ethnic origin;
  • The child's address if not living at home;
  • The child's legal status;
  • The full names, any other known names and addresses of the parents and those with Parental Responsibility;
  • Name and address of any other adult members of or regular visitors to the household, together with information on their relationship to the child;
  • Details of any relevant offences of the persons mentioned above;
  • Full names, dates of birth and gender of other children in the household, their legal status, whether they are the subject of a Child Protection Plan and if so, under which Category of Abuse or Neglect;
  • The date and source of the first referral;
  • The date when the decision was taken that the child required a Child Protection Plan;
  • The name and contact number of the Lead Social Worker and Team Manager;
  • Details of professionals/agencies involved with the child and family and the members of the Core Group;
  • GP's name, address and contact number;
  • Health visitor/school nurse's name, address and contact number;
  • Child's school, playgroup, nursery or childminder, if any, including name, address and contact number of any Designated Teacher;
  • The date of the next Review Conference;
  • The date when the Child Protection Plan was discontinued or when the child moved to a new area (including arrangements for the transfer conference, the transfer of the case responsibility and the records);
  • A record of all enquiries in respect of children with a Child Protection Plan;
  • A copy of the Child Protection Plan pro forma from the Lead Social Worker after each Core Group meeting.
4.2

Enquiries by other agencies

The record of Children with a Child Protection Plan is accessible to agencies and professionals who may have concerns about a child, both in and outside of office hours:

  1. Enquiries of this record should only be made when there is cause to suspect that a child is suffering or likely to suffer Significant Harm. In such circumstances formal checks may be made by contacting the Safeguarding Unit Manager (see Local Contacts);
  2. Routine checks, e.g. recruitment of foster carers and prospective adopters, are not deemed to be formal checks of the Record;
  3. Access to the Record can be sought in the following ways:
    1. Professionals from other agencies must access the Record during normal working hours by contacting the Safeguarding Unit Manager;
    2. Outside normal working hours, all professionals should contact the Emergency Duty Team, which has direct access to the Record.
  4. Enquiries of the Record and details of the outcome will be recorded. The Safeguarding Unit Manager will monitor all enquiries;
  5. Enquirers will be checked before information is provided and information will only be shared on a "call back" basis;
  6. Where an enquiry is made about a child with a Child Protection Plan, the enquirer will be given the name of the child's Lead Social Worker and the Lead Social Worker informed of the enquiry so that it can be followed up. If an enquiry is made about a child at the same address as a child with a Child Protection Plan, the information should be sent to the child's Lead Social Worker;
  7. If an enquiry is made about a child who is not subject to a Child Protection Plan, this will be recorded as a Contact, with the advice given to the enquirer. If the child is not subsequently made the subject of a Child Protection Plan and no further enquiries have been made, the record will be retained for the period specified in local procedures;
  8. Where two separate enquiries are made about a child who is not subject to a Child Protection Plan, the relevant Children's Social Care team, in consultation with other agencies and the Safeguarding Unit Manager, should consider whether the child may be a Child in Need and there is a degree of concern sufficient to warrant an Assessment and/or Section 47 Enquiry.
4.3

When a child who has previously been the subject of a Child Protection Plan moves across local authority boundaries and then comes to the attention of the Children’s Social Care in the receiving  area, a Single Assessment may be required. At this point the information in an historic Child Protection Plan may be important in informing the new Assessment.

In these circumstances the receiving Children’s Social Care should contact the Safeguarding Children Unit in the originating area to achieve permission for the Child Protection Plan(s) to be released to the social workers in the receiving area.

The reason for the request should be recorded by Safeguarding Children Unit in the originating area.

The social worker in the receiving area should ordinarily inform the parent(s) of the child (and the child as appropriate to their development and capacity) of the request for the historic Child Protection Plan unless to do so would put the child at increased risk of harm.


5. Looked After Children with a Child Protection Plan

Where a child who is Looked After is also subject to child protection processes, the overriding principle must be that the systems are integrated and carefully monitored in a way that promotes a child-centred and not a bureaucratic approach.

Decisions regarding the need/continued need for a Child Protection Plan should be made alongside consideration of the Care Plan. The Care Plan will be the primary means of safeguarding the safety and welfare of the child. A Child Protection Plan should only be necessary as a supplement if the child will be spending time, unsupervised, in the household where the Significant Harm took place or with the adult responsible for the Significant Harm.

When the child is subject to a Child Protection Plan, the next Child Protection Review Conference to take place once the child has become Looked After must consider the justification for the child being subject of both a Care Plan and a Child Protection Plan.

The Looked After Child who has a Child Protection Plan will also be subject to the local authority's statutory Looked After Review procedures.

Looked After Reviews and Child Protection Review Conferences are separate meetings with different purposes. The plans made at Looked After Reviews must be consistent with the Child Protection Plan and the timing of such reviews should usually be arranged so as to follow the Review Conference.

Where a Looked After Review or other local authority meeting proposes the return of a child with a Child Protection Plan to his or her parents or carers or any other change which might significantly affect the level of risk, discussion should take place with the Conference Chairperson to consider the need for a Child Protection Review Conference to be convened to assess the risk and the need or a Child Protection Plan.

Where there is disagreement regarding the proposed plan either between the Lead Social Worker/Team Manager and Conference Chairperson or at a Child Protection Conference, the situation must be brought to the attention of the appropriate senior operational manager. See Resolving Professional Differences/Escalation Policy Procedure.

Where a child with a Child Protection Plan is removed by his/her parents from being Accommodated or where a Looked After Child is returned to his or her parents or carers in court proceedings against the recommendation of the local authority, a Child Protection Review Conference must be convened to consider the risks to the child.

End