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.
What is the purpose of a Child Protection Conference?
- The reason for the meeting is to decide whether or not there is a risk to the safety of a child or young person. If the meeting decides that there is a serious risk, a Plan will be put in place to ensure they are safe and properly cared for.
If the meeting decides there is not a serious risk to their 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 you as the parents/carers and all the professionals involved. This will ensure that everyone knows what they have to do. You will also be given a copy of the Plan.
Who will be at the conference?
- If the child or young person is thought to be old enough, and wants to be present, they 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.
You as the parents/carers will be invited and you can bring a friend or legal representative with you if you wish, such as:
- Social Workers.
- Teacher/Nursery staff.
- Health Workers such as a Health Visitor, GP, Hospital Doctor, School Nurse.
- Military Police Officer.
- Other important people in the life of the child or young person may be there, such as a Youth Worker or Connexions Advisor.
- 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 Army Welfare Service (AWS) is responsible for arranging an Advocate if your child is of an age to understand.
You can contact Army Welfare Service (AWS) on the following (Office hours only):
Covers: Paderborn, Sennelager, Gütersloh, Bielefeld, Herford, Elmpt and EJSU
Tel: 05254 982 4340 (Paderborn/Sennelager)
Tel: 05241 84 3321 (Gütersloh / Bielefeld / Herford / Elmpt / EJSU)
Also covers: Fallingbostel
Tel: 05051 962 2890
OUT OF HOURS:
You can contact an Out of Hours Duty Welfare Officer through your Garrison Staff Duty Officer.
What will happen at the conference?
- The point of the meeting is to make sure that all important matters about the safety of the child or young person 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 meeting. He/she will talk to you in private before the meeting and will explain what will happen, how you will be involved and discuss any worries you may have.
- 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.
How can my views be shared at the conference?
- 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.
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 BFSWS 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 a Child in Need Plan is made there will still be regular meetings and you can be involved in these.