Keeping families involved

The investigating social worker and/or police officer should leave his/her name, address and telephone number in writing with the family so that they can make contact later if they wish. Social workers should give parents and children the appropriate South Ayrshire Child Protection leaflets.

Throughout the investigation efforts should be made to give the family as much information as possible without jeopardising the investigation or endangering the child’s safety.

In complex cases where large numbers of families, parents, carers and children are involved the local authorities should make special arrangements to keep them informed of events and plans to avoid the spread of unnecessary rumour and alarm. There may be a need to restrict information to avoid prejudicing criminal inquiries.

Advising relevant parties of outcomes

The team leader or social worker should inform the parents or carers, and the child, where appropriate (having regard to his or her age, maturity and understanding), of the outcome of child protection investigations. Where a child protection conference has been convened parents will receive a copy of the full minute, or part of the minute, at the chairperson’s discretion. If part of the minute is withheld, this discretion should be based on the need to avoid jeopardising further investigation or legal proceedings or other reasons relating to the safety and needs of the child.

All relevant agencies will be emailed and advised re: the outcome of child protection investigations in writing.

The team leader should advise members of the public who have made a referral that the matter has been investigated an appropriate action taken. He/she should advise that no further information can be disclosed as it would breach confidentiality.

Communication with the media and public

In complex cases all agencies involved should meet and agree a strategy for communicating and liaising with the media and general public. There may be a need to restrict information to avoid prejudicing criminal inquiries.