Care Plans, Section 47, Child Protection (CPP), Child In Need (CIN).
You Do Not Have To Answer The Door, And If You Do Remember Section 17, Of The Children Act 1989.
Remember you do not have answer the front door to children services or to even acknowledge that they are there, and if you do answer the door you do not have to let them in if they turn up unannounced you can give them your number and ask them to contact you to arrange an appointment that suits your convenience.
Section 17 of the children act 1989, you do not have to let them in to your home. Legally they have no rights whatsoever to push for entry in to your home they need your full consent. They also need your full permission to carry out an assessment, to speak to, or see your children. You can allow them to see and view your home from the doorstep or living room window, this allows them to see that your home is clean and tidy and also allows them to view your children via a window or door to see that your children are not in danger and that they are clean and happy and they are not in any immediate risk of harm.
Remember Do Not Allow Them To Just Enter Your Property Not Without Checking The Register.
They will usually turn up with a colleague. Ask them to show you there I.D badges make a note of their full names and of their registration number, ask them politely to wait on your doorstep while you go inside and confirm they are who they say they are. Then close the door on them and lock it behind you this is very important never just walk away leaving your door ajar, you will be taking the risk of them stepping inside and gaining entry in to your home. Remember if they get so much as a foot over your doorstep then you have alliwed them access and rights to your home and your family. Once the door is securely shut lock it go back inside. Now you need to check on the new register, it used to be the h.c.p.c register but that has now all changed as of 1st December 2019 it is now called the social work register and can be found by clicking on this link https://www.socialworkengland.org.uk/ its really important that you do this in order to make that the representing social worker is in fact even registered and fit to practice. If they are not on the register I strongly advise you to ask them to leave DO NOT LET THEM IN !!! ask them politely to send another Social Worker who is registered and fit to practice. Remember if they are not on the register they are either a trainee or they have previously been suspended or stuck off the register due to negligence, malpractice, gross misconduct or worse they might have previously endangering a child's life.
Remember The 15 Working Day Rule.
Remember this information about the section 47 assessments.
Remember when you first let let social worker in to your home this is not the initial section 47 assessment, the social worker will ask you lots of questions about the concerns that have been reported to the emergency duty team and to also introduce themselves to you and your family. Remember the social worker is there to gain a information, knowledge and background history on your family and to decide if a section 47 assessment needs to be further carried out or not. The social worker will normally arrange a second appointment to come back out to your home in order to carry out the section 47 assessment. When the social worker comes back out to your home for the assessment they will go in to your family in more depth. They will also want to see and talk to your children usually on there own aswell. They may want to contact your g.p or your health visitor and your children's school to gain more insight and information from them all, the social worker will ask for your permission to do this and I strongly advise that you agree and grant them this permission as it is a trick question just to see if you are willing to cooperate and work with them, because the social worker does not actually need your permission at all they have the right to access all this information from all these third party professionals regardless if you agree to this or not.
Remember your entitled to a full copy of their section 47 investigation/assessment.
Remember you have the right to insist that your social worker contact someone of your own choice friend, family or long standing professional who has worked with your family for a long time.
A little piece of useful information to ask your designated safeguarding officer.
You need to address the designated safeguarding officer at conference and ask her directly no one else in the room just her.
Ask if she feels the key principles of the plan are still effectively working?
Ask her is this not part of her role as designated safeguarding officer?
Ask is it not fair to say that the plan is containing unrealistic aims and timescales?
Ask her as part of her role you want her and only her to ensure that the plan for your case is reviewed?
Failure to do so will almost certainly result in the plan being less effective.
Ask if she feels that this is the case then surely without the plan moving forward then your child maybe subjected to further emotional harm by your social worker?
Ask if she feels this is a fair statement?
Then ask her to lodge a serious case review on the grounds that the focus is being removed from the plan that is in place?
Ask her to raise the case with the Local Authorties Children's Safeguarding Partnership?
State that you feel there is cause for concern over how the professionals have acted in regards to your case for following reasons..
That they are failing your family by not working together to safeguard your child.
That they are failing to move forward in a positive light for the best interests of your child.
They are failing to reach or achieve the same goals which should be aiming to address the issues and concerns.
Now ask her to close your case as all concerns have been addressed and there aren't any concerns now.
Child Protection Plans Explained.
The basics on how it works is...
The child protection plan is the next stage up to a child in need plan and it basically means your child needed a care protection plan and issues needed to be addressed in order to protect your children
Child Protection plans are maintained with case conferences and are held with an independent reviewing officer (chair) which it's very formal with minutes being taken and can seem quite intimidating at the time.
Try to stay calm! The moment you lose your temper they will label you as being mentally unbalanced.
While you are on a Care protection plan you wont have much choice other then to comply with them and to do what they ask of you if you refuse to co-operate then you give them grounds to escalate your case further on to court proceedings called Public Law Outlines.
You will had to attend case conferences with an independent reviewing officer the first conference will be the decider on whether your family need to be placed on a child Protection plan or not if they decide that your children need safeguarding and placed on to a child Protection plan then the second conference will be held 3 months later after that case conferences will be held at every 6 month intervals.
Inbetween the case conferences you will had to attend another set of meetings regularly which are called core group meetings and these are held every 4-6weeks. They are not as formal as the case conferences and are usually held at your childrens school, children's services office or can even be held at your home. These are purely to check that the case conference plans are being met and kept and what progress is being made.
They may insist that you do a parenting assessment.
They may request that you have a psychological assessment.
They may ask you to attend parenting classes.
They might carry out unexpected spot checks.
They might insist on a hair strand test for the misuse of drugs.
They might even insist on regular weekly urine tests for the indicator of any misuse of drugs, This can be over a very lengthy period of time, anything from a few months right up to a year.
They might insist that you work with an outside agency like swift or similar.
They may ask you to attend cognitive behavioral therapy counselling.
They will also set out what the situation is with your partner aswell and who can and cannot be around your children supervised or unsupervised.
Remember you case runs silently for a further 3 months without your knowledge.
Advice on how to help get your case stepped down from Child Protection plan to Child In Need Plan.
If you are looking at having your case reduced down from care protection plan down to child in need plan then you should have been given a form to fill out called "notes for conference".
This is what the independent reviewing/chair officer iro/ico needs to hear from families and what they will be looking for first before they will even consider stepping down any case.
You have to play it smart they hate handing these forms out infact very few families even know they exist.
Print off the form at the top of this post and fill it in.
On this form you will have sections to fill out which are as follows..
Why are people worried about my children?
Write the original concerns in this box as this show you have insight of the concerns raised and you have the understanding of them.
What things do people need to know more about?
I can understand where the original concerns have come from and can see why children's services felt the need for a child Protection plan and to work with my family.
What things work well in my family?
I have worked hard with all the professionals involved with my familys case and we have learnt a lot from children service's during this time on child Protection plan and while working with them.
Are my children safe?
Yes I now feel I have done everything asked of me and everything possible to address all the concerns that have been raised.
What things do I need to know more about?
I believe I have learnt a great deal while working with children Services and I think that I have gained knowledge and insight and there is nothing that has not been covered in the work I have completed but of course I would not hesitate to contact the childrens services if any other concerns arise.
What things need to change? And who can help us to make those changes?
Nothing I have had all the changes ask of me by children service's and i feel that I have achieved a lot in order to be a better mother.
You also get a blank box for you to add you own comments in.
My advice for this box is to add the following..
Thank you for all your help and input but at this present time i do not feel that my children need to stay on a child Protection plan any longer as there is nothing now that cannot be maintained via a child in need plan. i thank all the professionals who have helped and worked with me.
Child in Need Plans Explained.
While on a child protection plan it basically means it is agreed by the professionals working with your family that your child needs a care protection plan because issues and concerns need addressing in order to protect your child, once your case is lowered down on to a child in need plan it means that they feel that your child does not need protecting with a child protection plan any longer and the protection concerns and issues have now been addressed and resolved it means your child’s needs can now be met and maintained through supporting your family with a child in need plan through core group meetings alone instead of a child protection plan. Being lowered down from child protection plan on to child in need plan is not a voluntary option not if it is decided at your case conference that you are to be placed down on to a child in need (of support) plan and most definitely not if you have been lowered down to a child in need plan from a care protection plan, not unless you have specifically asked for a support network to be put into place because you are finding it hard to cope. Then it's done through an early help assessment if you reach a level one criteria which is the lowest level of needs on the safeguarding curriculum criteria. Usually social workers won't even get involved if your are assessed as a low level need. Instead a Multi Agency Support Hub known as a M.A.S.H team of support from a range of different agencies and services are set up to support you, unless they see any safeguarding concerns then there's no reason for social care to get involved.
child in need is nothing like being on a care protection plan where you don't have a choice, you have to do what they ask of you, With child in need they are supposed to just be there to support you and if you ask for support they should support and help you by providing you with that help and support, but if they do say that you need to do something like they would in a care protection plan then remember you don't have to do what they ask of you, you have the right to say "no I really don't feel that its necessary or beneficial" unlike child protection plans where they hold a case conference and all the people invited like an independent body taking the minutes of a case conference, an independent reviewing officer known sometimes as an independent chair, your social worker, usually the school's designated safeguarding officer, maybe a health visitor /worker/ midwife or a school nurse, your gp will also be invited aswell as a police representative attending the first case conference. Your first case conference is the initial meeting then after being held at 3 months and then every 6 months thereafter which are formal with an independent reviewing officer known sometimes as an independent chair with minutes being formally recorded like there are on a care protection plan.
With child in need they hold small informal core group meetings every 4-6 weeks and have to run a minimum of 3 months before they even consider your case can be closed with only a few of the above listed there is no independent reviewing officer or anyone there taking the minutes of the meetings. They should if there are no further concerns and with all professionals agreeing close your case at the 3 month core group meeting you will then receive a letter through the post stating officially that your case is closed.
REMEMBER you don't have to do everything they ask of you work with them but you dont have to comply with everything you have the right to say no In fact they should only be there to offer you there support when you ask for it or if they feel they can offer you support. It is always easier to go along with the social worker at this stage and to co-operate try to work with them because at this stage you are so close to the finishing line why fluff that up and risk being put back up to care protection plan and having to go through all that hell all over again for nothing. It's all about finding an equal balance.