What is a child protection conference?-a guide for parents

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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What is a child protection conference?-a guide for parents

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Tue Mar 06, 2012 2:53 pm

Please have a look at the latest addition to Family Rights Group website. Our short film of a child protection conference uses actors for parents and professionals in their role. There is also a series of “talking heads” which includes a social worker, a chair of conference, a police officer and an advocacy manager.
The film will help those parents who are about to attend a child protection case conference.
Best wishes,
Suzie

littlemiss83
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Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2013 6:06 pm

Re: What is a child protection conference?-a guide for paren

Post by littlemiss83 » Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:28 pm

Hi,

I had a child protection conference before my child was born. Aside from the social worker who went out of her way to maximise everything and suggest that my baby would be at risk of harm, the other professionals were on my side, and the chair person was also quite supportive.

It was decided that my baby would be under a child protection plan, and a written agreement was drawn up with specific timescales. I was due to be supported into housing, visited regularly by the social worker, and referred to a specialist mother and baby unit after the birth. It stated that legal action would only be sought if things didn't work, or if concerns grew. As it happened, things improved very quickly, but the social worker was not willing to communicate with me, and was openly going against the written agreement and plans. I independently managed to resolved my housing situation, which was part of the written agreement. To my surprise the social worker was adamant that I should not accept the accommodation offered to me, and that I should simply remain homeless and turn up at the hospital for the birth. She also cancelled the following meetings which had been planned, and would not discuss anything with me, not even the referral to the unit.

Following the birth of my baby, I discovered that they had no intention to follow the outcome of the child protection conference or the written plans, and without consulting any of the other professionals, were secretly intending to remove my child at birth, and began legal proceedings to remove my child. All professionals were shocked as this was never part of the plan, and they did not feel there was enough risk for the local authority to take this extreme step.

It just goes to show that social workers have no consideration for child protection plans if they don't like the outcome, and these conferences are pointless if they are not willing to follow plans, and secretly plan to remove children, even if this is not recommended by the other professionals who attend

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: What is a child protection conference?-a guide for paren

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:58 pm

Dear littlemiss83,
Welcome to the parents forum and thank you for posting.

I am sorry that you have had such a difficult time and that children’s services (social services) have now started care proceedings.
A child protection plan is used-to reduce any ongoing risk of significant harm-to your baby. If the child protection plan became unsafe- and if your baby had then become at risk of suffering serious harm-(ie in immediate danger), children services would then taken legal advice to see whether they needed parental responsibility to safeguard your baby.

It seems that this has happened in your case-and this should have been explained to you by the social worker.

You now say that there are care proceedings. I think it would be more helpful if I briefly posted about what care proceedings are. It is not clear from your post whether these proceedings have finished or are still ongoing. If they are still ongoing -here is our advice sheet about care proceedings that you may find helpful.
care proceedings
It is very important that you have a solicitor representing you. The advice sheet advises how to get the best out of your solicitor.
During the care proceedings, you will be assessed to see whether you will be able to care for your baby long term-and what support you might need to help you. If the parenting assessment of you is negative, the court will want to know where your baby will live permanently- if she cannot stay with you or dad. Do you have any family or friends who could be assessed? It is normal that children services would assess family and friends-at the same time as assessing you. So please think now of anyone (who could even be distant relatives)-who could be assessed. Care proceedings usually have to be completed very quickly-as the law says that any delay in planning for a child can be detrimental to the child’s welfare. So it is important not to hesitate. You can also call our advice line to discuss the proceedings.
Has there been a family group conference. This can be used to look for support in your family and friends network. Here is our advice sheet about Family Group Conferences
Family Group Conferences
It is very important that you think of any family or friends or other people connected to your baby. During care proceedings the court may also be asked to consider a plan for your baby to be adopted. If this is being discussed please have a look at our advice sheet about adoption
adoption
I hope this information is helpful. If you have any questions please post back or call our advice line on 0808 801 0366.
Best wishes,
Suzie

littlemiss83
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Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2013 6:06 pm

Re: What is a child protection conference?-a guide for paren

Post by littlemiss83 » Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:20 pm

Hi,

thanks very much for your reply.

With regard to my case, after the child protection conference things improved a great deal, so there was no reason for them to suddenly change their mind and go for care proceedings, as they did. It seems they had no intention to follow the plan as they seemed to immediately stop communication, and sought to prevent me from trying to keep to the written agreement. Nothing negative occurred after the conference, so nobody knew why this happened. Even the other professionals were shocked as they had no indication that this would happen. The social worker had an immense dislike of me and it was even suggested by some of the professionals afterwards that she had done this out of spite, and perhaps she had been hoping that the outcome of the child protection conference would have resulted in recommending removal, and therefore did not want to keep to the plan of allowing me to keep the baby with support.

I am no longer in care proceedings and my case is now closed, and fortunately my child is with me and my family.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: What is a child protection conference?-a guide for paren

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:39 am

Hi littlemiss83

Glad to hear that after a bit of a struggle, you had a positive outcome in the end.

Thanks for sharing this here.

Best Wishes


Suzie

littlemiss83
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Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2013 6:06 pm

Re: What is a child protection conference?-a guide for paren

Post by littlemiss83 » Fri Jan 18, 2013 10:40 pm

Thanks very much. I guess I am one of the lucky ones who was able to keep my child. However it took many months of legal proceedings.

I read over the report and minutes of the child protection plan which was held before the birth. It is very specific and clear and the chair outlined plans for me to receive support. Her overall opinion was rather fair minded and not over concerning. It seemed like she was adamant that I should have a chance.

It was therefore extremely surprising why the local authority in my case dismissed this plan and sought to remove my baby. Looking back, I did not even see any signs, even though the social worker cancelled the meeting which was due to be held, and then forgot about another meeting, and laughed at her own forgetfulness. I did meet with the manager to discuss my concerns but they did not disclose anything to me at all.

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