Use the boxes below to find out more about Child Protection Conferences.
- What is a Child Protection Conference?
If we think you might not be safe, we will hold a meeting to talk about this. This meeting is called a Child Protection Conference. The meeting might decide that we need to have a Child Protection Plan to keep you safe.
- Who is going to be there?
It is important that some of the people who know you go to the meeting. Usually we will ask someone from your school and the school nurse to go to the meeting so that they can give background information about you and your family. On some occasions the police will attend if they are involved. You might not know all the people at the meeting but they will be there to talk about your safety and to help make a plan which will keep you safe.
One of these people is called the Child Protection Conference Chair. This person leads the meeting and makes sure that all the important information is discussed. Everybody is given the opportunity to share information and the Conference Chair will make sure the right decisions are made concerning your care and safety.
- Can I go to the meeting?
If you are over the age of 11 years, before the meeting you will have been sent a letter and a consultation form from the Conference Chair inviting you to go to your meeting. Your social worker will give you this information and explain:
- why the meeting is being held
- who will be at the meeting
If you want someone to go to the meeting with you and help you to say things you can ask for someone from the Advocacy Service. These are people who can visit you before the Case Conference to offer you support. If you decide not to go to your meeting they can ask for your views and say it for you at the meeting.
There might be some times when the Conference Chair decides it is best if you don’t go to all or part of your meeting. If this happens, or if you decide not to go, you will still find out what was decided. Your social worker or the Conference Chair will arrange to see you at home or school to talk about what happened.
If you are under the age of 11 years. You can fill in a consultation from. You can write the chair a letter. You can produce a PowerPoint for your social worker to share with the meeting. You can also ask to speak to the Chair in person or on the phone.
If you would really like to attend your meeting and are under the age of 11 years you can discuss this further with your social worker and the Conference Chair to decide together what is in your best interests.
- Will any of my family be there?
Your parents will usually be invited and it is important that they are there. Other family members such as grandparents, brothers and sisters, or aunts and uncles may be invited. They are likely to be invited if they are involved in your care or are worried about your safety.
- What will be talked about in the meeting?
People will talk about:
- What has happened which led to the meeting being called.
- Your family tree, which is called a ‘genogram’. This will help us to make a list of your main family members. The list will show who else supports you and any grown-ups who we think could harm you.
- ‘Dangers and harms’ – this means what we are worried about.
- ‘Complicating factors’ – this means things which make life difficult for you.
- ‘Grey areas’ – this means things we don’t know enough about
- ‘Protective factors’ – these are good things and strengths within your family.
- Can I say something in the meeting?
Yes, it is very important that you tell the people at the meeting what you think. The meeting is about you and your family. The Conference Chair will encourage you to talk and ask questions if you want to.
Don’t worry if you don’t feel able to say anything. Any information you would like to share can be given by the Conference Chair, your social worker, the advocacy worker, or anyone else you ask. You may want to write something down so one of these people can read it out for you.
- What if I want to say something that I don't want my mum and dad to hear?
You can tell the social worker or the Conference Chair about it in private. It will only be shared with others if we need to do anything extra to keep you safe.
- Can I bring someone with me?
Yes, you can bring the advocacy worker or another grown-up you trust. If you choose another grown-up you need to tell your social worker who it is before your meeting. Click here to find out more about the advocacy service.
Your social worker will also be at your meeting.
- What if I am worried about something before the meeting?
You can talk to:
- your social worker
- the advocacy worker
- the person from your school who will be at the meeting
the Conference Chair who will talk to you before you go into the meeting to explain what will happen.
- What will happen in the meeting?
At the meeting all the important information about you is shared.
If people at the meeting feel you are not safe, or are not being looked after properly, they will discuss whether you need a Child Protection Plan.
If you have any questions during the meeting you can ask the Conference Chair.
If you find it easier you can wait until after the meeting to talk to your social worker, advocacy worker or the Conference Chair.
- What is a Child Protection Plan?
A Child Protection Plan is a list of the work that needs to be done to make sure that you are safe. It will look at:
- what needs to change
- how we will know that change has happened
- what will be done; who will do it; when it will happen.
As part of the Plan there will be Core Group meetings every four weeks, and you are welcome to come to these. The Core Group is made up of the people who were at your Case Conference. This meeting will look at the Child Protection Plan to see what is working and check you are safe.
Some of the people at the Child Protection Conference might visit you and work with you and your family. Your social worker will visit your home regularly and talk to you, your parents or carers and other people who were at your Conference. They will ask how your Child protection Plan is progressing. This means what is going well and what still needs to change to keep you safe.
Your social worker will also need to visit you in other places to get to know you better. This may include going to your school.
- How long will I have a Child Protection Plan?
You will have a Child Protection Plan for as long as we think we need to work with your family to keep you safe.
If you are made subject to a Child Protection Plan we will look at this again in 12 weeks’ time to see if it is still needed. We will keep doing this until you don’t need the Child protection Plan any more.
- What if I want to complain about something I don’t agree with?
You can ask your social worker about making a complaint, or you could arrange to see the Conference Chair. You can also ask someone you know to support you in making a complaint.
If you wish to complain about any aspect of the Child Protection Service you can contact: Doncaster Children’s Services Trust Manager of Child Protection Services; Safeguarding and Standards Service. We will aim to work with you to resolve the matter. If this is not possible you can make a formal complaint. Details of how to do this are here.