When reports about a child are referred, the police or the local authority will first assess if the child is at immediate risk of danger.
If the assessments find that the child is at risk of significant harm then an initial child protection conference will be arranged.
Parents are normally asked for their consent before an assessment begins but a safeguarding assessment can take place even if parents don't agree to it.
A child protection conference brings together family members (and the child where appropriate), supporters / advocates and those professionals most involved with the child and family to make a decision as to whether has or is likely to consider significant harm.
If concerns relate to an unborn child, a conference should be held prior to birth at 28 weeks pregnancy. Should it be agreed that a child is experiencing or is likely to experience significant harm; a child protection plan will be put into place. This plan will be made by participants at the meeting.
There will also be a core group established to support the family to make positive changes to prevent any further risk. The core group will meet regularly and will return to conference no later than 3 months after the initial conference and thereafter at 6 monthly intervals as long as they are required.
Please refer to the relevant policy and procedures:
Dissent from child protection conference
Conferences have a multi-agency membership, it is their responsibility to ensure safe robust plans are put in place to support children and their families, there may be times when one or more agency disagrees with the decision of conference. The chair will encourage further discussion in these circumstance to try and gain agreement of all parties. However, should a professional feel that the outcome is incorrect they have the option of formally dissenting which will allow them to take the matter to their manager for further discussion. Following this should their manager agree they may escalate the dissent to the multi-agency panel for scrutiny.
The outcome of the panel could be:
- the conference takes place again
- that the dissent is unfounded.
Please see the Derbyshire dissent and escalation policy which is attached to this page.
Derbyshire child protection conference team
Derbyshire's child protection conferences are chaired by child protection manager's. For queries in relation to child protection plan conferences, contact the child protection conference team. email firstname.lastname@example.org or on tel: 01629 537879, Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm.
Reports for conferences can be submitted by email: email@example.com
Education professionals can submit their reports and find useful tools and guidance through Perspective Lite, which is used for the secure transfer of confidential documents.
The DSCB publishes several leaflets for parents, carers and young people that explain what will happen in more detail, these are attached to this page.
You can view useful report, forms and templates for use at initial and review conferences in our document library.