A child protection conference is a meeting between a family and professionals that is held when there is a concern about the safety of a child.
Parents will receive a written invitation to their child’s child protection conference. Included with the invitation is an information leaflet Child Protection Conferences - A guide for parents and families (pdf) which helps to explain a conference in more detail.
The conference will be chaired by an independent person employed by Achieving for Children. The meeting is audio recorded for the child’s file.
Who can come to the conference?
As a parent you can bring one person to support you. This can be a family member or friend. Please remember they will hear all your information. You can bring a solicitor to listen and give you advice, but they cannot talk in the conference or ask people questions.
It might be helpful for you to think about the strengths of your family, what you are worried about and what the next steps might be for you and your family. You can always put your thoughts in writing and send these to the Chair two working days before the meeting.
Children under the age of twelve years cannot attend the conference. If it is needed, the social worker can talk with you about who, within your family and friends, could look after your child/ren. If you have any issues, please discuss this with the Social Worker.
If your child is twelve years or older they can attend part or all of their conference. They can also share their views in other ways for example by writing a letter, through an advocate or talking to the Chair. We have created a leaflet to help explain to children and young people what a child protection conference is.
What professionals will be there?
The professionals at the conference will be people involved with you and your child. All the professionals invited to the conference write a report about how they support you and your child, what they think is working well and what they are worried about. The social worker writes an assessment.
Each professional is responsible for their own report and will share this with you two working days before the first conference, and five working days before any other conferences.
Where will the conference be held?
Child Protection Conferences take place in four venues across Achieving for Children.
What happens in a conference?
When you go into the child protection conference the Chair will spend some time with you talking about the meeting and what to expect. Then the professionals are invited into the room and the meeting starts. There is an agenda for the conference, although this is different for the first conference ICPC agenda (opens a new window) and any other conferences RCPC agenda (opens a new window)
Here is a video to help you imagine what a child protection conference is like.There are subtitles in English, Polish, Turkish, Arabic and Korean. Just click on the CC button on the bottom toolbar on the video to select the language you need.
Further information about the procedures for child protection conferences can be viewed online within the Pan London Child Protection Procedures (opens a new window) for Kingston and Richmond children.
What happens next?
After the conference, the written summary and plan that was created in the conference will be sent to you within two working days of the meeting, with a letter confirming the decision of the conference. These will be sent by post but you can choose to have these sent to you by email, if you make this request.
The Safeguarding Children’s Partnership has a complaints process to challenge the decision of the conference if you think, for example, that process was not followed or you have reason to believe the decision of the conference was incorrect. Further information can be found within the Pan London Child Protection Procedures (opens a new window) for Kingston and Richmond children. If you wish to access this process please put your concerns in writing and send this to the Chair as soon as possible. If you would like someone to help you write this you can speak to the social worker.