If professionals feel that your child is at risk of significant harm, then the local authority will arrange a Child Protection Conference and your child may be made subject to a child protection plan.
A child protection plan will set out what decisions were made in the conference to keep your child safe.
The plan will include:
- Why you need a plan
- What work you as parents are expected to do
- What help children’s services will give you
- What will happen if you don’t keep to the plan
You will get a copy of the plan so you can see what has been agreed. If any changes are made to it, you should be given these too. It is important that you stick to the plan and work to reduce the local authority’s concerns, because if you do not the authority may make an application to court regarding your child.
At the child protection conference, a group of people will be asked to work together to make sure the plan is followed. This group is known as the core group. It will be comprise you, your social worker, professionals that are close to your child – such as a teacher or a health professional – and perhaps some of your family members. The plan will also include the contact details of everyone in the core group and key dates, including the date of the child protection review conference.
The group will agree who will do what, and by when. They will meet regularly to check how the plan is working and whether things are getting better. It is very important that you attend every meeting so that you know how things are going.
The plan will be reviewed at case review conferences. The first conference will take place three months after the plan is made, and then every six months. If all goes well, and you have followed the plan and reduced the local authority’s concerns, then the plan will then end.
There are a few ways the plan can end:
- Children’s Services decide that your child is no longer at risk
- Case conference if the group believe your child is no longer at risk
- Court order – the court has the power to end a plan if they wish.
- On your child’s 18th birthday or if they permanently leave the country.
How we can help?
If you need further information about a child protection plan, please contact our experienced care proceedings and children services team who can help you with any queries or concerns. Contact our team, on our dedicated helpline 0161 694 4149 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for your free initial telephone discussion. If you prefer, you can fill in our online form or alternatively, you can email us on email@example.com and we’ll call you back.