Outcome of investigations

There are three possible outcomes of a child protection investigation which will then determine if further work is required with the family and what this will look like.

Categories of outcome

There are three possible outcomes after the investigation:

Making the decision

The social work manager who originally decided to begin the child protection investigation will make the decision about future action after taking into consideration the views of other agencies involved in the investigative process. When a joint agency investigation is being undertaken it is essential that key decisions are made in consultation with the lead agencies involved.

Reasons for the decision must be clearly recorded on the child protection investigation form which will be stored on the child's electronic file.

Social workers should decide how to proceed following child protection enquiries after discussions between all those who have conducted, or been  significantly involved in, the enquiries. This will include relevant professionals and agencies as well as foster carers, if involved, and the child and parents.

Decision that a child protection conference is not required

In the case of the first two options:

Support work may be needed, and these should be co-ordinated by an interagency meeting which will include the family.  Child in Need support is possible when the family is accepting of the support on offer.

The original person making the enquiry should be notified of the outcome of the investigation (out of the possible three) in line with respecting the confidentiality of the family. This will be in writing whenever practicable. The family will be kept informed throughout the process.

The outcome of the child protection investigation must be recorded and a copy given to the parents and to the referring agency. All agencies who have been involved in the child protection investigation should be informed of the outcome.

Challenging a decision not to hold a conference

If a referrer wishes to challenge the outcome of a child protection investigation:

When concerns are substantiated

If the outcome of the investigations is that the concerns are substantiated and the child is judged to be at continuing risk of serious harm then a child protection case conference will be convened. If the situation means that the child might be in need of compulsory intervention then the service manager, responsible for children's social care, will consider whether it is necessary to make a referral to the Children's Convenor and/or to call a Legal Threshold meeting to explore an application to the Court.