Child Protection Enquiries
What is an Enquiry?
It is what Social Workers do when they need to make sure that children are OK. Sometimes adults or other young people hurt children or make them feel bad or afraid. This shouldn’t happen – if it happens to you, they are there to help you and to find out what is going on.
What do Social Workers do?
A social worker’s job is to listen to what you want to tell them. Sometimes a policeman will come with them. Please ask them questions at any time and tell them what you think should happen.
What happens next?
The social worker will also need to talk to other people, such as your family and other professionals. They need to find out what has happened and why. The most important thing to remember is that you’ve not done anything wrong. You’re not in any kind of trouble. They just want to see if you need their help.
When the social worker has spoken to all the people they need to, they will decide what should happen. It may be that nothing needs to happen or they may give your family some help and advice. Sometimes, they need to call a meeting called a Child Protection Conference.
What is a Child Protection Conference?
A child protection conference is a meeting which is called when an enquiry has shown that there are concerns about your safety or the safety of a member of your family. If the meeting 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.
Who will be at the Conference?
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 meeting, but the Social Worker and/or the Chair of the meeting 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, GP, Hospital Doctor, School Nurse
- Police Officer
- Other important people in your life may be there e.g Youth Worker
How can my views be shared at the meeting?
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 meeting. 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 do this.
If it has been decided that you should not attend the meeting, or you do not wish to attend, it is important that people know what you think.
What is a Child Protection Plan?
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 help improve the situation. The Chair will make sure everyone understands what is expected of them.