Child Protection Information

All children have the right to be protected from harm and have their basic needs met. If the people who are supposed to look after you don’t give you the things you need or make it hard for you to take care of yourself, then this is neglect.

All adults who have contact with children have a responsibility to ensure they are protected. This includes teachers, nurses, doctors, police, sports and activity clubs.

Adults should raise any concerns they may have if they're worried about a child or young person. Professionals will then work with the parents/carers to create a plan to protect the child/young person. The professionals may include social workers, doctors, teachers etc.

A Child Protection Plan sets out what actions need to take place and by whom, to protect the child or young person.

What is a child protection enquiry?

It is what Social Workers do when they need to make sure that children are OK. Sometimes adults or other young people hurt children or make them feel bad or afraid. This shouldn’t happen – if it happens to you, Social Workers are there to help you and to find out what is going on.

What do Social Workers do?

A Social Worker’s job is to listen to what you want to tell them. Sometimes a Police Officer will come with them. Please ask them questions at any time and tell them what you think should happen.

What happens next?

The Social Worker will also need to talk to other people, such as your family and other professionals. They need to find out what has happened and why. The most important thing to remember is that you’ve not done anything wrong. You’re not in any kind of trouble. They just want to see if you need their help.

When the Social Worker has spoken to all the people they need to, they will decide what should happen. It may be that nothing needs to happen or they may give your family some help and advice. Sometimes, they need to call a meeting called a Child Protection Conference.

What is a Child Protection Conference?

A Child Protection Conference is a meeting which is called when an enquiry has shown that there are concerns about your safety or the safety of a member of your family. If the meeting decides that there is a serious risk to your safety, a plan will be put in place to ensure you are safe and properly cared for. If the meeting decides there is not a serious risk to your safety, they might decide that your family needs some help and support and could make a Child in Need plan. The plan will be agreed by your parents/carers and all the professionals involved. This will ensure that everyone knows what they have to do to keep you safe. You will also be given a copy of the plan.

Who will be at the Conference?

If you are considered old enough and you want to be, you will be invited. You may not be able to be present for the whole meeting, but the Social Worker and/or the Chair of the meeting will explain the reasons for this. You can have an adult friend, advocate or advisor with you if you wish. The Social Worker will talk to you about this.

  • Your parents/carers will be invited and they can bring a friend or legal representative with them if they wish.
  • Social Workers
  • Teacher/Nursery Staff
  • Health Workers such as Health Visitor, GP, Hospital Doctor, School Nurse
  • Police Officer
  • Other important people in your life may be there e.g Youth Worker

How can my views be shared at the meeting?

You may feel worried about talking in front of a lot of people. If you decide to attend the Chair will do all they can to help you and will not allow anyone to upset you in the meeting. They will make sure you are treated with respect.

You may like to write down or draw your thoughts and feelings and a social worker or someone you trust can help you do this. The Chair could read this for you (even if you don’t attend the meeting).

If it has been decided that you should not attend the meeting, or you do not wish to attend, it is still important that people know what you think.

What is a Child Protection Plan?

The plan will set out what is needed to ensure you are safe and properly cared for. It says what Social Care and all other agencies WILL do to help you and your family. It says what you and your family can do to help improve the situation. The Chair will make sure everyone understands what is expected of them.

The plan will be looked at often to make sure things are improving for you at home.

Getting help

If you are affected by child abuse or neglect, it can really help to talk to someone you trust.

Where can I get help?