A pre-birth child protection conference is the same as an initial child protection conference, with the only difference being it is called to plan for the welfare of an unborn child.
Those family members, advocates and professionals normally in attendance at an initial child protection conference must similarly attend the pre-birth child protection conference. Additionally, representatives of the midwifery and relevant neo-natal services would also be asked to attend.
Where it is decided that a protection plan is required to safeguard the unborn child, this must be explicitly laid out in terms of actions to be taken across the duration of the pregnancy and following the birth.
Where a child protection plan has been deemed necessary, social services need to coordinate with hospital staff at a separate planning meeting to lay out the steps to be taken to ensure the safety of the child immediately after the birth.
What is Addressed at a Pre-Birth Child Protection Conference?
- That legal advice should be sought where necessary;
- That the hospital is to inform social services when the baby is born;
- The expectation that the parent will follow medical advice regarding discharge of the baby from hospital;
- The name of any identified person who should not have contact with the baby;
- A statement to say whether the baby should go home with the parent or not;
- Where the plan is that the baby should not go home with the parent, the action to be taken should there be any attempt to remove the baby from hospital, including consideration of Police Protection or Emergency Protection Order;
- Where the baby is not to go home with the parent, the contact arrangements and whether this is to be supervised and by whom;
- Where appropriate, details of alternative carers;
- Contingency plans if the Child Protection Plan does not progress according to plan.