Child Protection Conferences
The Local Authority has the responsibility to make decisions about whether a child or young person is or is not at risk of significant harm. If it is agreed that the child or young person is at risk of significant harm then an Initial Child Protection Conference will be arranged. This is an opportunity for professionals to share what they are worried about with the family.
The overall purpose of the conference is to enable the family, professionals, and the child or young person themselves, to plan how best to keep them safe. The allocated social worker will present a summary report detailing what professionals are worried about. This report will also include wishes and feelings of the child or young person, and views of the parents or carers. Professional judgements may be made about how likely the child is to be harmed in the future. In these circumstances a Child Protection Plan will be agreed with all those in attendance and reviewed regularly at child protection review conferences.
All conferences are chaired by an Independent Child Protection Conference Chair. This means they are independent of the child or young person's case and are not involved in the day to day management of social work staff. It is the Chair's job to ensure that the conference is conducted in the best interest of the child or young person.
Kent's Specialist Children's Services (SCS) is responsible for arranging the conference. All child protection conferences will be conducted in accordance with the Kent & Medway Safeguarding Children Procedures.
Parents or carers will normally be invited to attend the conference unless any of the criteria listed in section 2 of the Safeguarding Children Procedures apply. Positive consideration will also be given to enabling older children to participate in the conference if they wish to do so. All professional contributors to the conference are expected to provide a written report of their involvement with the child and family.