Child Protection Guidance 2021

Part 3: Identifying and responding to concerns about children 112 National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland 2021 Version 1.0 September 2021 Child protection assessment and planning 3.130 Terminology: ‘Child Protection Planning Meeting’ (CPPM) is used in this Guidance in preference to ‘Child Protection Case Conference’. For families, this term plainly describes the purpose of the meeting. Professionals should ensure language used in child protection processes is non-stigmatising and understood by children and families. 3.131 The CPPM is a formal multi-disciplinary meeting, which must include representation from the core agencies (social work, health and police) as well as any other agencies currently working with the child and their family, including education. The child and relevant family members should be invited and supported to participate, as appropriate in each situation. Where they are unable to participate in person their views must be sought and represented at the meeting. Where possible, participants should be given a minimum of five days’ notice of the decision to convene a CPPM. 3.132 The purpose of the meeting is to ensure relevant information is shared (where it is proportionate to do so), to carry out a collective assessment of risk, and to agree a plan to minimise risk of harm to the child. The CPPM must decide whether the child is at risk of significant harm and requires a co‑ordinated, multi-disciplinary Child Protection Plan. 3.133 Where a Child Protection Plan is required, the child’s name must be added to the child protection register. In addition, CPPMs must consider whether a referral to the Principal Reporter is/is not required if this has not already been done. Where the CPPM has identified immediate risk of significant harm to the child, action should be taken without delay, using emergency measures. Any decision to refer to the Principal Reporter should be actioned straight away. A referral to the Principal Reporter should include relevant and proportionate information, including the reasons for the referral, and where possible including the child’s plan and a full assessment of risk and need. 3.134 Prior to the CPPM, agencies will have been working to an Interim Safety Plan since the point of IRD. The CPPM should review this plan and develop a Child Protection Plan. 3.135 Consideration should be given to immediate and short-term risks as well as longer term risks to the child. For the avoidance of drift and uncertainty of purpose, it is recommended that the Plan’s objectives be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timebound, Evaluated and Re-evaluated (‘SMARTER’). Interventions should be proportionate, and linked to intended outcomes in ways understood by all involved, especially children and parents. 3.136 The Child Protection Plan must: • be developed in collaboration and consultation with the child and their family • link actions to intended reduction or elimination of risk • be current and consider the child’s short-, medium- and long-term outcomes • clearly state who is responsible for each action • include a named lead professional • include named key contributors (the Core Group) • include detailed contingencies • consider the sensitive direct involvement of children and/or their views