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This is a natural question to ask This website will help you understand what this means and what will happen over the next few weeks. Try and keep in mind:

  • The law states that Social Care must look into information given to them about the safety of a child or if there are concerns that they are not being looked after properly
  • Your safety is the most important matter even if it may be upsetting for your parents or carers. You have a right to be safe, protected from harm and looked after properly.
  • Professionals such as Teachers, Doctors and Health Workers have a responsibility to contact Social Care if they have concerns about the safety of a child.

Yes – it is important that you tell us what you feel and what you would like to happen.

  • You will be told what the concerns for your safety are.
  • Your opinions and views will be listened to in a way that is as comfortable as possible for you. You may have an adult friend, interpreter, advocate with you.
  • You will be told your Rights.
  • You will be treated with respect.
  • Information about you and your family will be kept confidential and will not be passed on to others, unless it is essential for your safety

Everyone recognises that bringing up children can be challenging at times. All agencies who work with children and families will want to work with you and your family to offer help and support.

You will be appointed a Social Worker who will want to talk to a number of people to find out if you are being cared for safely. They will want to talk to:

  • You – Your views about what is happening and what you would like to happen are really important. Talk to the Social Worker about ways you can make sure everyone involved knows what you want to happen
  • Your parents/carers – The Social Worker will tell them the reasons for the concerns about you and your family
  • Other members of the family you may like to suggest to the Social Worker who is an important person in your life.
  • Your Health Worker, Teacher, Doctor, Connexions Advisor and other professionals who work with you.

A Police Officer may have to be involved and will probably visit with the Social Worker. They will explain if you need to have a special interview and how this is arranged. They will usually not be in uniform and are specially trained in working with Children and Young People.

Remember that you should ALWAYS ask to see identification of any worker who comes to see you.

In many cases enquiries show that they are no grounds for concern. If this is the case you will be told as soon as possible, generally by the Social Worker who first visited you.

The Social Worker may talk to you and your family about what additional support you would like.

A meeting called a Child Protection Conference will be held. When you are invited to this meeting you will be told by the Social Worker who else is to be invited and why.

A Child Protection Conference is a meeting which is called when an enquiry has shown that they are concerns about your safety or the safety of a member of your family.

The reason for the conference is to decide whether or not there is a risk to your safety. If the conference decides that there is a serious risk to your safety, a Plan will be put in place to ensure you are safe and properly cared for.

If the meeting decides there is not a serious risk to your safety, they might decide that your family needs some help and support and could make a Child in Need Plan. The Plan will be agreed by your parents/carers and all the professionals involved. This will ensure that everyone knows what they have to do to keep you safe. You will also be given a copy of the Plan.

If you are considered old enough and you want to be, you will be invited. You may not be able to be present for the whole conference, but the Social Worker and/or the Chair of the conference will explain the reasons for this. You can have an adult friend, advocate or advisor with you if you wish. The Social Worker will talk to you about this.

  • Your parents/carers will be invited and they can bring a friend, or legal representative with them if they wish.
  • Social Workers.
  • Teacher/Nursery staff
  • Health Workers such as Health Visitor, G.P, Hospital Doctor, School Nurse etc.
  • Police Officer.
  • Other important people in your life may be there, e.g. Youth Worker.
  • You – Your views about what is happening and what you would like to happen are really important. Talk to the Social Worker about ways you can make sure everyone involved knows what you want to happen

The point of the conference is to make sure that all important matters about your safety are discussed, that everyone present has an opportunity to give their views and that careful decisions are made about how you and your family can be helped.

To ensure that everyone is treated with respect and everyone has a chance to give opinions without interruptions, a Chair Person will lead the conference. He/she will talk to you in private before the conference and will explain what will happen, how you will be involved and discuss any worries you may have. They will do the same with your parents/carers.

People at the meeting will have reports they have written about you and your family. You will be given parts of these reports, which relate to you. This should be in plenty of time for you to think about what they say.

You may feel worried about talking in front of a lot of people. The Chair will do all they can to help you and will not allow anyone to upset you in the conference. They will make sure you are treated with respect.

You may like to write down your thoughts and feelings and the Chair could read this for you. The Social Worker or someone else you trust could help you at this. An adult you trust – which may not be your parents/carers – could say something on your behalf.

If it has been decided that you should not attend the conference, or you do not wish to attend, it is important that people know what you think. It is also important that people know what you think needs to happen to keep you safe and what should be in the Plan to support you and your family.

The Plan will set out what is needed to ensure you are safe and properly cared for.

  • It says what Social Care and all other agencies WILL do to help you and your family.
  • It says what you and your family can do to improve the situation.
  • The Chair will make sure everyone understands what is expected of them.
  • If a Child Protection Plan is made a smaller group of people will meet regularly to make sure everyone does what they should to keep you safe. This is called a Core Group. If people feel you can be involved in this, they will talk to you and agree how you can contribute.
  • If a Child in Need Plan is made there will still be regular meetings and you can be involved in these.

An enquiry into your safety maybe upsetting and stressful. To help with this, please try and keep the following in mind:

  • Everyone involved will try to do their best for you and your family
  • It can be helpful to talk to someone you trust who you know is sensible and will not talk to others about your business.
  • If you are unhappy about any part of the enquiry, you should first speak with the Social Worker.

What is a Child Protection Conference leaflet– This leaflet gives detailed information on the process of what a Child Protection Conference is.

Child Protection Enquiries Guide for Young People

How to complain about a Child Protection Conference

You may also wish to contact any of the following organisations for advice or support:

NSPCC Tel: 0808 800 5000 Web address: www.nspcc.org.uk

National Youth Advocacy Service Tel: 0800 616101 Web address: www.nyas.net

Childline Tel: 0800 1111 Web address: www.childline.org.uk

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