Child Protection Guidance 2021

Part 3: Identifying and responding to concerns about children 123 National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland 2021 Version 1.0 September 2021 Chronologies Definition and outline guidance on use of chronologies in child protection assessment and planning. 3.172 A chronology is: • a summary of events key to the understanding of need and risk, extracted from comprehensive case records and organised in date order • a summary which reflects both strengths and concerns evidenced over time • a summary which highlights patterns and incidents critical to understanding of need, risk and harm • a tool which should be used to inform understanding of need and risk. In this context, this means risk of significant harm to a child 3.173 A chronology may be: • single-agency • multi-agency 3.174 A multi-agency chronology must comply with information sharing guidance and protocols in the way that it is developed, held, shared and reviewed. It must be accurate, relevant and proportionate to purpose. 3.175 A multi-agency chronology: • is a synthesis which draws on single-agency chronologies • reflects relevant experiences and impact of events for child and family • will include turning points, indications of progress and/or relapse • will inform analysis, but is not in itself an assessment • may evolve in a flexible way to integrate further necessary detail • may highlight further assessment, exploration or support that may be needed • is a tool which should be used in supervision 3.176 A chronology, whether single- or multi-agency: • is not a comprehensive case record and cannot substitute for such records • is not a list of exclusively adverse circumstances 3.177 The lead professional will consolidate a multi-agency chronology for each Child Protection Planning Meeting. Contribution to the chronology is a collective responsibility. Forming a chronology should assist a shared understanding with and between those involved in developing a Child Protection Plan about strengths, needs and concerns over time, for the purpose of reducing risk of significant harm to a child. 3.178 The lead professional must therefore be clear about the purpose of the multi-agency chronology; the nature and sequence of the facts that should be captured at this juncture. The perspective of child and family at the centre of the child protection process should be explored to gain understanding of impact of events and to check their perception of accuracy.