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Child Protection Plan

Each child who has been the subject of a child protection case conference and the decision is that they have suffered serious harm, or are at risk of suffering serious harm, must have a child protection plan. This is recorded on the agreed pro forma child protection plan.

Aim

The overall aim of the child protection plan is to:

 


Contents

The Child Protection Plan must make clear to the child, family and all relevant professionals the exact nature of the concerns which resulted in the child requiring the plan.

The Child Protection Plan should set out what work needs to be done, why, when and by whom. The plan should:

 


Achievable

It is important that services are provided to give the child and family the best chance of achieving the required changes. If a child cannot be cared for safely by their parents/carers, they may have to be placed elsewhere whilst work is being undertaken with the child and family. This may be with extended family members and/or Children and Family Community Services foster or residential care.

Irrespective of where the child is living, interventions should specifically address:

Interventions may have a number of inter-related components:

A key issue in deciding on suitable interventions will be whether the child's safety and developmental needs can be responded to within the family context, within timescales that are appropriate for the child. In some cases, the timescale needed to achieve change for the parent/carer, through therapeutic help, will take too long for the child.  The child will need decisions to be made within the stated  timescales and without delay.  Where the family situation is not improving or changing fast enough to respond to the child's needs, decisions will be necessary about the long term future of the child. This will be identified through the assessment which will be completed by the first review child protection conference (3 months after the initial conference). This might identify that, in the longer term, it may be in the best interests of the child to be placed in an alternative family context.

Children who have suffered serious harm may continue to experience the consequences of this harm irrespective of where they are living; whether remaining with or being reunited with their families or being placed in new families. Therapeutic work with the child should continue irrespective of where the child is placed, in order to ensure the needs of the child are responded to appropriately.

The child protection plan can be used in any legal proceedings as evidence of the efforts which have been made to work in partnership and reduce the level of risk.

 


If the plan is not working ...

If the child protection plan is not successful in achieving its objectives, a review child protection conference must be convened.  As well as, or alternatively, a referral must be made to the Children's Convenor or to the Juvenile Court (through holding a legal threshold meeting, depending on the urgency of the situation).


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