The CP1 is an initial assessment of risk and need of a child or children where concerns regarding their safety have been raised. All children living in the household where a disclosure or incident has occurred should be subject to any investigation or enquiry carried out. Accumulation of concerns should also where appropriate trigger the need for Child Protection Proceedings where risks are believed to be significant. CP1 enables practitioners to assess and record those risks and assist in a systematic way in line with South Ayrshire’s Child Protection Procedures.
Time scales for completion of a CP1
As stated in South Ayrshire’s Child Protection Procedures, the CP1 should be completed within five working days from the alert to the Child Protection Register. The CP1 is an Initial Assessment of risk of need for a child, provides a structure to record and gather information, provides framework for the identification of risk and protective factors and records the child’s and parent’s view regarding event and their views for the future.
Child or children’s details
The referral date of the CP1 is the date of the alleged incident to the child or children. In the case of the accumulative concerns the date of when the decision was made to implement Child Protection procedures to assess risk of significant harm to the child.
The current legal status should be recorded and any conditions stipulated within the legislation.
All children where risk needs to be assessed and considered should be detailed and should include all children living in the same household.
Ethnicity should be recorded and any additional support needs including behaviour or additional support within an educational setting should be recorded.
The linguistic needs of the child should be recorded and considered including any barriers to communication.
The distinction is made between the birth parents of the child and other relevant adults which specifically include other adult carers for the child or other adults who are part of the child’s household, or care arrangements even when this is not on a permanent or full time basis.
Other children to be considered should include those children who are siblings or half siblings who are living outwith the family home. Birth children of adults living with partners should be considered where that child or children have contact within any household where concerns are identified.
Professionals and agencies involved with the family should be recorded, note that agency or professional’s involvement with any family members should be recorded for both adult and children. Telephone contact and emails contact should be recorded where possible. E.g. Mental health’s input for female carer and CAHMS input for child and family, should both be specified.
Child protection and looked after episodes
Any Child Protection or Looked After episodes should be obtained from SWIS records, from LAAC and Child Protection icons. A check to the West of Scotland Central Register should be undertaken in ALL cases and any registration details and alerts to the register will be obtained. Telephone contact 0141 3056700
N.B Historical registration information relating to the family or Child Protection episodes outwith the authority will be held by the Central Register and should also be recorded.
The start and end date respond to the date alerted and de-alerted from the Child Protection Register. It should be noted that no child is never de-alerted from South Ayrshire Register without a CP1 having being completed.
Child affected by:
All issues impacting on the child should be identified within the grid, across each relevant section should be added. The grid enable the distinction to be made about the impact to the child from others, as well as capturing information regarding the child his or herself. The child affected by section will inform patterns of need for children referred under Child Protection proceedings, and links to future service development.
Full South Ayrshire Chronology Guidance is available, and incorporates recent SWIA Guidance in respect of chronology recording. The purpose of CP1 recording, a significant event in the child’s life should be recorded to inform patterns of concerns and risks evidence from events. It is important to stress the chronology is not a case note, and should be a brief entry of event and any subsequent action taken. For example, event – observed bruising on child’s forehead. Action – Discussion with parent and health visitor consistent with fall during play. No further action required.
N.B – All referrals to social work should be contained within the chronology regardless of any subsequent action taken.
The chronology is not a meetings diary and only where the meetings are relevant to the outcome for the child should they be recorded i.e. supervision requirement made or Child Protection Case Conference convened. Core Groups, Planning Meetings, Case Discussions and any other Multi Agency Forums, are not usually events in the child’s life, but reflect business processes surrounding management of care plan. They do not give insight or understanding into patterns of potential risk to a child.
Reason for initial assessment
Full referral details should be recorded of the events which have necessitated to the Child Protection Investigation and Enquiry. Who has made the referral and when, what was the reported concern, and full details of the event or events which have impacted on the child should be recorded. The referrers contact details should be obtained. Child’s present whereabouts and any immediate concerns which have been identified should be recorded within the referral information. Any areas requiring clarity or yet to be concluded within the referral information should be made explicit with timescale of when the information may be available.
Action to ensure safety section should include any emergency measures or actions required to ensure the immediate safety of the child whither this has been by the police, or subsequently by Social Work Services or other agencies. Any temporary living arrangements in place for the child should be made explicit, including legislation that is relevant, timescales which may impact on the arrangement, and any threats to the ongoing protection or safety of the child should be considered.
Medical Information section should state whether a medical was undertaken and any known outcomes from the medical.
Tripartite Referral process will have been initiated for all Child Protection cases and is the responsibility of the team leader. Feedback from the Child Protection Health Team should be recorded. The Tripartite process is to ensure the health needs for all children subject to Child Protection enquiries are considered.
N.B the health needs of a child can be considered in subsequent medical follow requested even where police have concluded there enquires and no forensic or emergency medical was deemed necessary.
The recorded outcome may be that the child’s health needs have been fully considered or that a development and there is no further action required, or that a developmental medical is being progressed.
Details of all relevant health information should be recorded in the CP1, and where there is a delay in written information being provided by the Child Protection Health Team then this should not delay the recording of relevant information as verbal feedback prior to the completion of the CP1 is sufficient particularly given the tight timescales.
Processing and investigation
Full details of the joint interview should be recorded not verbatim but state when the child was seen, what the child’s accounts of events are and who was interviewed during the process. Any interview with carers or relatives should also be recorded here and known outcomes specified i.e. was anyone charged as a result, have bail conditions altered, the adults currently living with the child.
The process of investigation section should also be completed where accumulative concerns are evident and action taken leading to Child Protection Procedures being implemented. In essence where no single child protection event or enquiry has triggered proceedings, the events leading to child protection concerns should be recorded.
This section should contain relevant background information of the child’s birth family and any associated carers. Social work records should be checked in all cases and a summary of significant events for the family recorded. Information relevant to the child or children’s carer or parent should be recorded here in relation to previous family breakdown, substance misuse, looked after episodes, known criminal convictions, and domestic violence which provides a contextual background for initial assessment of the child’s family environment.
Assessment of the child
To be completed for each child subject of referral
Initial assessment of the child’s development and progress and any known delays or learning difficulties related to the child should be recorded.
Initial assessment of the parent’s capacity to parent the child should be recorded. Potential barriers to effective parenting such as substance misuse, domestic violence, and poor motivational or observed parenting skills should be recorded. Separate to this the assessed impact on the child should be recorded. For example the child’s basic care needs are not being met, maybe an impact of a parents inability to manage routines or health appointments for the child.
Environmental issues for the child such as housing, education and extended family supports should be considered as part of the child’s wider environment.
Risk, protection and resilience
To be completed for each child subject of referral
The Resilience Matrix is a tool to make explicit the factors of risk and adversities that are relevant and impacting on a child. The tool should be used to ‘break down’ the practitioners thinking about the child’s situation and to identify and list what is:
- A protective factor for the child
- What are the child’s particular vulnerabilities i.e. their age and stage
- What resilience does the child demonstrate
- What adversity or factors in the child’s living situation are relevant to the child i.e. loss of parent or carer
This section of risk should enable social workers to be guided in there thinking about being explicit about what are the risks to the child and what are the protective factors identified. Validated research can be referenced in this section, linked to assessed risks and the evidence for this.
This section relates to risk to self and others and should be completed where concerns are that the child or young person:
- Self harm
- Presents risk to other children or young people
Clearly young people subject to child protection enquiries can be both victims and potential perpetrators of abuse to others. When neither of these factors are relevant to the child the section should be completed with ‘no identified risk factors.’
N.B The Risk Assessment within the CP1 should reflect the culmination of all the information obtained regarding the child and his/her carers, and known information about any alleged harm to the child.
The Resilience Matrix tool of the Risk Assessment section should be utilised in order to make risks explicit which is the key function of any Child Protection assessment. The risks considered should focus on the future risk of significant harm to the child, the assessment of risk needs to be based all the know information gathered about the child, the identification of factors protecting the child and the age and developmental stage of the child as well as the capacity for the child’s carers to prioritise the child’s needs and protect him/her. Questions such as does the child have a ‘voice’ in relation to their situation. Does the child have an adult in their life in whom they can trust and what meaningful co-operation is evident from adults which caring responsibility? The risk assessment should be utilised to bring together and analyse key information regarding future risk of harm to the child.
In the five day time scale for the completion of the CP1 documentation, extensive information regarding the parents and child’s views may not be know, however consideration should ALWAYS be given to what the parent or care giver understands regarding the issues impacting on the child whether there is a willingness to engage in service delivery, and if appropriate what would be there want to happen next.
Similarly the child’s views should be obtained for any child who is able to articulate or communicate a view, regarding their wishes for the future, and what they would want to change. A child perception of their own safety, and any concerns that they have should be recorded.
Summary and recommendation
Clear recommendations about what should happen next and whether a case conference is required should be made explicit. Consideration should be given to the child’s immediate safety, health needs, whether there is evidence of the child being nurtured within their family setting. The summary and recommendations do not need to address all seven wellbeing indicators in respect of the child, and should be proportionate and appropriate to the purpose of the assessment. In the case of the CP1 the child’s safety, health and immediate care needs require to be explicit and address. If immediate concerns exist regarding the child’s safety, then these must be discussed with the Team Leader regarding suitable and appropriate action as appose to waiting for a case conference being convened.
If a child is in need of multi agency service delivery, however no child protection concerns have been identified, recommendations can consider the need for multi agency planning forums to meet the assessed need.
Recommendations should be explicit, however where emergency measures are required, these should not be delayed to await appropriate forums.
The action plan for the child should clearly state the planned outcomes of what actions are required to be put in place to meet those outcomes.
N.B a planned outcome may be about reducing risk to the child, and linked to that outcome there may be three or four actions required. One planned outcome does not equate to one action.
For child protection recording purposes, planned outcomes again should focus on safety, health needs of the child, care and nurturing required.
The action plan should be a specific and detailed as possible with emphasis on the planned outcomes, timescales and person responsible.
Contingency Plans should ALWAYS be completed if an event of the action plan is unable to be progressed, and may be in some instances returning to Multi Agency Forum.