Practitioners and professionals

Attending a child protection conference or core group

What is a Child Protection Conference?

A child protection conference should be convened where the agencies most involved with a child/red deem them to have suffered or be at risk of suffering significant harm. Conference aims to bring together and enable those professionals and the family themselves to assess all relevant information and plan how best to safeguard and promote the welfare of the child/ren following enquiries under Section 47 of the Children Act 1989. The initial child protection conference should take place within 15 working days of the strategy discussion at which the Section 47 enquiries were initiated.

The Signs of Safety approach has been adopted locally and is endorsed by ERSCP. This seeks to strengthen risk assessments and maximise family participation, to improve the outcomes for children in the East Riding of Yorkshire.

Child Protection Conference - Report Templates

It is important that families do not hear new information at the conference and it is the responsibility of all agencies that have relevant information to make this available to the conference in the form of a written, legible and signed report. The report should be provided to and discussed with parents, and children where appropriate, at least 48 hours in advance of an initial conference and 3 working days before a review conference.

These timescales are to give families sufficient time to prepare for such important meetings about their family life. Please respect them by keeping to these timescales.

Who needs to attend?

Those attending conferences should be there because they have a significant contribution to make, arising from professional expertise, knowledge of the child or family or both.

All children and young people who are 10+ are invited to their child protection conference with advocacy support by the Participation and Rights Team.

Who will chair the conference?

The conference will be chaired by a children's independent safeguarding and reviewing officer (CISRO), who is employed by the independent safeguarding Partnership and unit.

How can practitioners find out more about child protection conferences?

If you have further queries or questions relating to Child Protection Procedures, please use the following contact details:

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tel: (01482) 369999

What is the purpose of the Core Group?

The core group is responsible for developing the child protection plan as a detailed working tool and implementing it within the outline plan agreed at the initial child protection conference.

Core group members should: 

  • attend an initial core group meeting within 10 days of the initial child protection conference to complete the assessments to inform the child protection plan and set dates for subsequent core group meetings;
  • ensure that the conference chair receives a copy of the child protection plan within 20 days of the initial conference and the minutes of all core group meetings throughout the period the child remains subject to a plan;
  • take responsibility, as a group, for developing and implementing the child protection plan;
  • ensure that, wherever possible, the child or young person and relevant family members are involved in the drawing up of the plan;
  • keep the social worker up to date with progress and any changes which may affect the plan;
  • meets monthly to monitor the progress with the plan and ensure the conference chair receives a copy of the core group record;
  • provide a single collective report for subsequent child protection review conferences on the progress of the plan.

The core group record template is available to download:

How can practitioners and volunteers challenge significant issues of concern?

The escalation protocol is a multi-agency document and should be used to address practice issues across all key partner agencies.   

The process is intended to ensure that all professionals carry out their roles and responsibilities appropriately to safeguard and promote the welfare of children/young people and protect them from suffering harm or reduce the risk of them continuing to suffer significant harm in accordance with ERSCP procedures.  

It is hoped that the escalation process will promote good practice, statutory and procedural compliance, so that the use of the process can be limited.  However, should a practitioner continue to breach (i.e. on more than one occasion) the procedures and core standards the formal escalation process will be initiated.

Resolving Inter-Agency Disagreements (pdf 356kb)

Is there training available for all professionals and volunteers?

East Riding Safeguarding Children Partnership deliver inter-agency training for professionals and volunteers attending child protection conferences, core groups and contributing to child protection plans.