The outcome of child protection enquiries must be established at the completion of the Section 47 enquiry.
Based upon this outcome, there are a number of avenues of action that social services would follow.
Child Protection Enquiries will result in one of the following outcomes:
- Concerns are unfounded;
- Concerns remain for workers but no real evidence to substantiate;
- Concerns are substantiated but child not judged to be at continuing risk;
- Child judged to be at continuing risk of significant harm.
What Effect Will the Various Outcomes of Child Protection Enquiries Have?
Where the concerns prove to be unfounded, the decision must be made that that no further action is necessary. Before this conclusion may be drawn, the child, any other children in the household and the child’s carers must all have been seen and spoken to. This outcome would represent the end of the core assessment.
Where there is no real evidence that harm has been caused to the child, but social services maintain concerns over the welfare of the child, a Section 17 multi-agency plan will be drawn up to address the child’s safety as well as welfare needs. Part of this may include the establishing of arrangements to monitor the child’s welfare.
In certain circumstances, it may be established that the child has indeed suffered significant harm, but evidence is that there is no continuing risk of harm to the child.
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Such circumstances would include:
- The family’s circumstances have changed;
- The person responsible for the harm is no longer in contact with the child;
- The significant harm was incurred as the result of an isolated abusive incident e.g. abuse by a stranger.
Where concerns are substantiated, but it is agreed that a child protection conference is unnecessary, a plan must be still be drawn up to set out:
- Who is responsible for which actions;
- The intended outcomes for the child’s health and development;
- The timescale for the actions;
- How progress will be reviewed and by whom;
- What course of action should be followed if the plan is not being successfully implemented.
Should it occur that the risk assessment finds that the child is at continuing risk of significant harm, a child protection conference must immediately be convened. An interim care order should be drafted and issued to safeguard the child on an immediate basis. Waiting for a child protection conference to take place would be inappropriate as this may leave the child open to receipt of significant harm in the meantime.Contact Us Now
Brendan Fleming Solicitors are nationally recognized as a leading choice in the area of care work. We are justifiably proud of our expertise and our success rate. We are contracted to the Legal Services Commission for this type of work and are considered to be one of the leading national firms for publicly funded services.
Our principal, Brendan Fleming, has won a reputation for his innovative approach, spearheading many new ways of securing justice for families caught in the care proceedings trap. He is a member of a select children’s panel and recognized and approved by the Law Society.
If your child has been subject to a child protection enquiry from social services and you need a Care Proceedings Solicitor to help you, contact Brendan Fleming today.