Social Services meetings and Child Protection Conferences.
Social Workers may invite parents to Initial Child Protection Conferences (ICPCs) if, following their enquiries, they still have concerns about the children’s safety and welfare.
The purpose of an ICPC is to collate information from everyone involved in the family’s life and the care of the children. Naturally the parents of the children and the allocated social worker will be invited to attend. Other people or agencies in attendance will vary depending on the circumstances such as:
health visitor / school nurse / midwife
teacher / nursery worker.
Probation / youth justice worker
Alcohol / drug key worker
Domestic abuse advisor
The meeting will be chaired by an Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO) who is independent of the Social Worker’s team. It is part of their job to make sure every member of the panel, including parents, have their voices heard.
At the end of an ICPC the IRO will decide if a child protection plan is necessary to safeguard the child’s welfare and determine what support can be offered to the family. As part of the plan the local authority, third party agencies, and the family will be expected to do a number of things before the Review Child Protection Conference (RCPC) which is typically held within three to six months after the ICPC.
If you have received an invitation to attend an Initial or Review Child Protection Conference it is important that you seek legal advice before hand. ICPCs are important so it is essential that parents understand everything said during, and the implications of discussions during the meetings.
Here at Bhatia Best one of our specialist care lawyers can assist with preparation for and advice during and after such a meeting.
Legal Aid is available subject to means qualification under the Legal Help Scheme
Don’t forget that we hold a free Family Law Clinic on Saturday mornings at our Nottingham and Derby offices. Drop in on a Saturday or call to make a free initial appointment anytime on 0115 950 3231 (Nottingham), 01332 203000 (Derby), or 01623-427944 (Mansfield).