The aim of the following procedures is to ensure that inter-agency collaboration continues throughout the ongoing work with the child(ren) and the family after registration. When a child’s plan is converted into a child protection plan or when a new child protection plan is developed for the first time, the plans should set out in detail:
- the perceived risks and needs;
- what is required to reduce these risks and meet those needs; and
- who is expected to take any tasks forward including parents/carers and the child themselves.
Children and their families need to clearly understand what is being done to support them and why.
The child protection plan should make reference to the following areas:
- significant issues identified at the child protection case conference
- objectives and prioritisation of objectives
- key people involved and their responsibilities
- supports and resources required, in particular access to specialist resources
- the process of monitoring and reviewing.
- outcomes to be acheived
- contingency plan
The social worker should carry out the tasks allocated to him/her in the child protection plan.
The social worker should usually visit the family home not less than weekly and ensure that he/she sees the child. Any variation should be authorised by the team leader.
The social worker should offer support and assistance to the family while continually assessing the level of risk to the child and other children in the household.
If the social worker becomes aware of further abuse or has deepening concerns for other reasons they must be shared with the team leader.
If the social worker experiences difficulty in seeing the child or children, this must be discussed with the team leader or co-ordinator, children services as soon as possible
The social worker should maintain regular contact with staff from within the department and key agencies involved with the child and share relevant information. Such contact should be made at least once every two weeks an recorded. It has been agreed within the GIRFEC framework that health and education personnel involved have a duty to maintain contact with the allocated social worker and record information shared.
The social worker must keep a record of work with the family and present it to the team leader fortnightly for counter signing. The co-ordinator, children services should read and sign the case records every three months.
The social worker should make him/herself available for supervision.
If significant changes occur, for example, the arrival of a new cohabitee in the household, the social worker should advise the team leader and record this information.
If a court or children’s hearing makes a decision which appears to be inconsistent with the recommendations of the child protection conference the social worker should inform the team leader. The latter should alert the child protection review co-ordinator who should consider convening a review child protection conference.
All further alleged instances of child abuse should be investigated in the same way as specified in these procedures. If investigation reveals that further abuse has occurred or is likely to have occurred then the co-ordinator, children services should consider convening a child protection conference.
If it is thought that a crisis is likely to occur outwith normal working hours the social worker should advise the team leader and place an alert with the standby service using the appropriate form. (See Form CP11).