The core group is a small group of inter-agency staff with key involvement in the case who meet on a regular basis with the parents to review progress and make arrangements for implementing the child protection plan. The core group is a device for sustaining inter-agency involvement following registration.
Core groups have a pivotal role in implementing and reviewing child protection plans, engaging parents and fostering inter-agency partnerships. The core group is accountable to the child protection conference. It is a sub-system of the child protection conference and undertakes commissioned tasks.
Where the initial child protection conference has made an explicit and written child protection plan the core group is responsible for ensuring its implementation.
The core group must meet regularly to review and revise the plan and collectively report back to the review child protection conference.
Each re-evaluation of the plan should consider the following:
- supports and resources required, in particular access to specialist resources
- the process of monitoring and reviewing.
- Outcomes to be acheived
- Contingency plan
A member of the core group can request an additional core group meeting to consider new or deepening concerns. The team leader should decide on whether or not to grant this request. If this is refused the core group member should be advised that he/she can discuss this with the co-ordinator, children services.
The chairperson should ensure that all in attendance at the core group meeting and those invited but unable to attend should receive a copy of the child protection plan within five working days of the meeting. A copy of CP9 should be sent to the Co-ordinator, Children Services within seven days.
If a parent, relative or other relevant person in relation to the child is in an institution (e.g. prison, hospital) the Co-ordinator, Children Services should write to the head of the institution and advise of the relevant details including who should be contacted if this person absconds or is about to be discharged.