Following a referral being made to the local authorities social services department, perhaps following Police involvement with your family, an initial assessment is undertaken within 10 days of receiving the referral. A strategy meeting will then be held to decide whether any further investigation is necessary and if it is then a full assessment must be completed within 35 working days. In addition, within 15 days of deciding that a full assessment is required the local authority will set up a Child Protection Conference.A Child Protection Conference is a meeting at which all the agencies involved with your family, for example the children’s schools, GP/nurse, health visitor and Police, will meet to share information. Such information will be used to make a decision as to the whether or not your children will be subject to a Child in Need Plan or a Child Protection Plan or no plan at all. If the local authority decide that no further action is required they will close their case.In most cases you as parents will be invited to attend this meeting and a family solicitor who is representing you can go along such as a specialist family solicitor at Heaney Watson who represent clients in Manchester, Liverpool and everywhere in between. You will have an opportunity to give your views, although they will not form part of the decision making process. Ultimately a decision will be made as to the whether your children are at risk of significant harm.
It will also be decided at the meeting what future action is required to protect and promote the welfare of your children and how that action will be taken forward and with what intended outcomes.
For more information and advice contact a specialist family advisor at Heaney Watson at firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting http://www.heaneywatson.com/site/services/care-proceedings-solicitors/ .