We know that being involved in the child protection system can be a stressful time for families. It’s important that you have an understanding of what is going on and what is happening at every stage and why, and also that you know where you can get independent help and support.
If your child’s name has been placed on the Child Protection Register, you, along with a small number of key workers, will be expected to work together to deal with the issues that raised concerns about your child’s safety, as well as dealing with any other identified needs. This small group is known as the Core Group. It is important that you and your child are fully involved in decisions that affect you both. Depending on your child’s age and understanding they may also be a member of the core group.
The core group will meet shortly after the need for child protection registration has been decided and will work together to prepare a plan that will help to reduce the risk and also deal with any other identified needs. This is known as the Child Protection Plan. It will detail the risks and areas of concern that are affecting your child’s safety and the action to be taken to address these.
The plan will say what is being done, who by, timescales for this and the expected outcome. These things will be discussed and agreed during meetings of the core group. It is likely that there will be things that you are expected to do and workers will help to make sure that you understand what is being asked and provide any other help needed.
While your child is on the register the core group will meet on a regular basis (every 4 weeks). The group will be led by a social worker and involve other key workers who work with you and your child. This might include health visitors, school nurses, teachers or any others who can help to provide support to ensure your child is kept safe and their needs are met. When the group meets it will look at how things are going to make sure that the level of risk and areas of concern are being reduced. You will be invited to attend these meetings and express your views.