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Child Protection : legal duties & decision making

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Craig Diver

on 29 October 2018

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Transcript of Child Protection : legal duties & decision making

child protection :
legal duties & decision making

child protection :
Today's objectives :
Focus on safeguarding practice (what happens level 4 > CON)
Critical appraisal of Munro
Confirm legal duties
Consideration of statutory power
Final Report (2011)

15 recommendations; early intervention; 'support'; restructure assessment process

What might you be feeling before you approach the front door ?

Ferguson (2011) refers to 'dimensions, stages & challenges' (p.43)
Getting in
amended process for safeguarding, timeframes & decision-making :
Working Together to Safeguard Children
(DfE, 2015)
Coventry LSCB publish SCR about Daniel's death.

Highlighted various opportunities missed by a number of
agencies to protect him.
Daniel Pelka
b. 15.07.07
d. 3.03.12
'Domestic abuse & violence, alongside excessive alcohol use by Ms Luczak & her male partners, continued throughout Daniel's life

Despite interventions, the child protection risks to the children were not fully perceived or identified'. (ie. false evidence)
Four layers
of influence
achieving best practice

Relationship-building skills
'Intimate practice'
Effective observation & written work
Inter-professional information
Analysis of risk & evidence
Emotional 'containment'
Mr. Kresolek
Ms. Luczak
Pawson (2006)
states historical forces inform complex system.
& agency
research findings & evidence base
staff wishes, capacity, beliefs
& choices
CP enquiries require astute skills :

Caution about 'F.E.A.R'
Reliable evidence
Emotional management
Honesty / value base
Co-ordinated information
Strong analysis / critical reflection

Have reasonable cause to suspect that a child who lives, or is found, in their area is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm.
Threshold Criteria
s.47 Children Act
WTSC (DfE, 2015 p.20) confirms that 'Assessment should be a dynamic process, which analyses & responds to the changing nature & level of need &/or risk faced by the child.

Any provision identified as being necessary through the assessment process should be
provided without delay'.
......'will monitor & record the impact of any services delivered to the child & family & review the help being delivered.

The assessment should be focused on the needs of the child & on the impact any services are having on the child'. (DfE, 2015 p.20)
Good / effective Assessments
Quality Assessment :

Gather evidence & revise your understanding & analysis of it throughout the process.

Use all the evidence & information to identify difficulties & risk factors as well as developing a picture of strengths & protective factors.
Assessment Aims :
Key detail in agency procedure is that SW manager should challenge your assumptions & evidence as part of this process.

Needs to check & be challenge
False Evidence Appearing Real

Manager's consultation / 'checking'
s. 47 enquiries : the process

After strategy meeting, focus now on LSCB procedures.

'the process'
Child's immediate safety
Threshold criteria
Concerns substantiated
Informing parents / carers

15 days
CPC purpose
Determines the type of intervention required to protect the child
Safeguarding Plan

• Core Group membership
• Agree focus of CP plan
Next meeting (within 7 days)
• Actions & timescales
WTSC p.45 & 46
safeguarding plan
CP review case conference :
3 months
Horwath 2011

'lack of focus on the needs of children in the face of parental hostility or lack of co-operation, but also found that
good parental engagement can disguise risk of harm to a child'
Rose & Barnes (2007) highlighted issues of maintaining a child focus when there are complex & pressing adult issues & needs.
'See the Child'
Legal Options
Welfare Checklist needs to be applied to Court application

For all proceedings under CA 1989 when the Court considers a question of the child's upbringing.
s.20 voluntary agreement (foster care)
Police Protection Order : s.46 72 hours
Emergency Protection Order : s.44
8 days + 7 day extension
Interim Care Order s.38 : 7 days
Children Act 1989
legal conference

LA would convene a legal conference to determine next stage of intervention

This is often about gaining more legal control to safeguard child / siblings
lack of support
and / or

mental health
learning difficulties
History of being parented
Unresolved loss & grief. Behavioural difficulties. Low tolerance / high stress.
Behaviours &
temperament of child
Drug & alcohol misuse. Disordered / discordant relationships.
Rejecting of agency support.
Physical ill health
(parent or child)
Pre-Proceedings /
Public Law Outline
Following the Family Justice Review (Norgrove, 2011), the legal expectation is that Care Proceedings are concluded by
26 weeks
Parents sent 'letter before proceedings' inviting them to attend a Public Law Outline meeting.

Letter details current concerns & provides advice to seek legal advice
Legal advice is free at this stage under public funding
Details of father :
who has parental responsibility ?
Extended family & friends

Family Group conference.
'connected carers assessment'
Needs of parent :

is specialist assessment required eg. drug alcohol / psychiatrist
Special Needs of child :
medical needs / paediatric input
Child Protection issues / concerns :
Drink, drugs, neglect, DV , abuse etc.
Summary & learning points :
What has been the most important content in this presentation ?

Spend one minute writing a summary of these
Many thanks for your co-operation and contributions throughout this presentation
Full transcript