1.4.3 Social Work Report for Initial Child Protection Conference
Social Services should provide to the conference a written report which summarises and analyses the information obtained in the course of the initial assessment and S 47 enquiries, guided by the framework set out in the `Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families.'
The report should be succinct and analytical in style rather than narrative. Sufficient detail should be included to enable conference members to make an informed decision about registration. However a report that is very lengthy is difficult to absorb, loses focus and causes unnecessary delay at the beginning of the conference. The writer should take care to distinguish between fact, observation, allegation and opinion.
The family's ethnicity, culture, religion, language and any disability should be included and reference made to how these relate to the assessment, the needs of the family and their experience. If the family has experienced any form of oppression such as racism or homophobia this should be included.
Minutes of other meetings should not be appended, but should be summarised. Copies of court reports should not be submitted as they are the property of the court and should not be shown or given to anyone who was not party to the proceedings.
The report should be e-mailed to the Chair at least 3 days before the conference. The key worker should ensure that the family is given a typed copy of the report at least 48 hours beforehand. The key worker should offer to go through the report with the parents / carers / young people. The report should be translated into the family's preferred language if necessary.
Social Worker Report for Initial Child Protection Conference
Name of Family and Date of Conference
Family details and composition
- All members of the household - names (including aliases), dates of birth, relationship, schools attended
- Ethnicity, culture, religion, language and any disability
- Parental responsibility
- Any other significant members of the extended family
- Chronology of significant events - include previous contact with social services and any previous child protection conferences and any previous child protection plan or registration, stating which child and category.
- Legal information e.g. Emergency Protection Order, care proceedings, Residence and Contact Orders
- Any Schedule 1 offenders in the family network with relevant details of the offences and any contact with child/children who are subject of the conference
- Outcome of police checks
Reason for the Conference
- Incident - description of the incident giving date of referral and if appropriate source of the referral
- Dates of interviews with child/children and family members
- Dates of contact with other agencies
- What did each child say
- Parental attitude to incident
- View of the alleged perpetrator (if different to parental view)
- View of extended family members if they are significant to protection of the child
Each child's developmental needs
- Health - Is the child growing and developing satisfactorily? Are there concerns about any aspect of their development?
- Education - Is the child's cognitive development progressing according to their age and ability? What is the child's school attendance record?
- Emotional and behavioural development - How does the child respond to others? Appropriateness of behaviour in relation to age and stage of development?
- Identity - Are there any concerns about the child's sense of who they are and the development of their self esteem?
- Family and social relationships - How does the child relate to family and friends? What is the quality of attachments and their sense of belonging and security?
- Social presentation - Is the child developing age appropriate social skills in relating to others? Is the child clean and appropriately dressed?
- Self care skills - Is the child acquiring age appropriate skills, developing competence and independence?
How have the concerns that have led to this conference impacted on the child's developmental needs either now or likely to in the future? What is the harm to the child? What are the protective factors?
- Basic Care - How well does the parent/carer provide for the child's physical needs and medical care?
- Ensuring Safety - Does the parent/carer ensure the child is adequately protected from harm or danger?
- Emotional Warmth - Does the parent/carer demonstrate a positive, warm and loving regard for the child and promote secure attachment? Any concerns?
- Stimulation - Does the parent/carer promote the child's learning and development through play, education, activities and encouragement?
- Guidance and boundaries - Does the parent/carer model and demonstrate appropriate behaviour? Are appropriate limit setting boundaries given to the child?
- Stability - Does the parent/carer provide consistency of care and emotional warmth?
What attitude does the parent/carer have to the task of parenting? What is their response to professionals' concerns? What is the potential for positive or negative change thus decreasing or increasing the likely harm to the child?
Family and Environmental Factors
- Family History and Functioning - What is known about parental history and life events? What is the impact of these on parenting and family functioning now? What is known about the current parental relationship?
- Wider Family - What is known about the wider family? What is their role and significance to the child and parents/carers? Include the role of any "absent parent".
- Housing - Does the accommodation meet the family's basic needs? Does the condition of the home impact upon the child's safety and well-being?
- Employment - How does work or absence of work impact on family members? Is it a source of stress?
- Income - How is the family's income managed? Are there extreme financial difficulties which impact upon the child's well-being? Is it a source of stress for the family?
- Family's social integration - Significance of social networks, level of isolation, acceptance in community. Are these a source of stress for the family?
- Community resources - What is the availability and accessibility of facilities and resources in the neighbourhood? Do the family use these resources?
How do the combined effects of single or multiple stressors from family and environment impact on parental capacity? To what extent do support networks enhance the quality of parenting?Analysis of risk
What is the significant harm or risk of significant harm to each child? Do the parents /carers accept the concerns and has there been some movement towards improving the child's welfare and quality of life? Has the family been able to use professional help in a positive and productive way which has promoted change? What is the likely outcome for each child if their needs remain unmet?Recommendation about registration for each child
Proposed plan for future work with the family
Who will be the key worker? What areas of the assessment still need to be completed? What services may be provided by the local authority? What are the parents/carers' views about the proposed plan?
Signature of social worker ...............................Date ........................Signature of group manager .............................Date ........................