When should a Strategy Discussion be Called and Who Should Attend?
A Strategy Discussion must be called by Social Services whenever there is reasonable cause to suspect that a child has suffered or is likely to suffer Significant Harm.
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The purpose is to decide whether a Child Protection Enquiry is required and if so, to develop a plan of action for its execution.
The Strategy Discussion should involve, at a minimum, the Children’s social worker and their manager, the Police, and may include the referring agency. Other agencies involved with the family should be included as appropriate for example Health professionals and /or Education.
If the child is a hospital patient (in-patient or out-patient) or receiving services from a child development team, the medical consultant responsible for the child’s health should be involved, as should the senior ward nurse where the child is an in-patient.
Where a medical examination may be necessary, or has taken place, a senior doctor from those providing services should also be involved.
In the case of a pre-birth Strategy Discussion, this should involve the midwifery services, hospital based and/or community based.
If the child lives outside of the area all agencies that have information about the child and family must be invited to attend or contribute to the Strategy Discussion.
Where required, a legal adviser should be invited or legal advice sought to inform the Strategy Discussion.
Consideration should also be given to the need to seek advice from or invite a practitioner with expertise in the particular type of suspected Significant Harm.
Where parents or adults in the household are experiencing problems such as domestic abuse, substance misuse or mental illness, it will also be important to consider involving the relevant adult services practitioners.
Those participating should be sufficiently qualified to be able to contribute to the discussions of the available information and to make decisions on behalf of their own agency.
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 you need a Care Proceedings Solicitor to help you, contact Brendan Fleming today: