CHILD PROTECTION PLAN: Initiation & Purpose of Section 47

Child protection plan
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A child protection plan is an effort under Section 47 of the Children Act 1998 to protect children, particularly those who are victims of abuse or domestic violence. It is beyond every reasonable doubt that whatever trauma or abuse a child experiences as a child remains with him or her. Not only that, but it has a significant impact on the child’s future. To avoid this, the best solution for parents and other professionals dealing with children is to implement a child protection plan. Continue reading to understand about Section 47 initiation and inquiries as they concern child protection plans for children who have seen domestic violence.

What is Child Protection Plan?

A child protection plan is the process of protecting individual children who are suffering domestic violence or are at risk of suffering serious harm as a result of abuse or neglect. It entails methods and procedures aimed at preventing and responding to abuse and neglect. 

A child protection plan outlines the decisions made during the child protection conference in order to keep a child safe. It is therefore critical that you follow the plan, otherwise, the social worker may petition the court to initiate care procedures. The organisational child protection plan is continually evaluated and improved upon based on reports of concerns, responses, and analysis of occurrences.

Read Also: CHILD PROTECTION POLICY: How Schools Can Ensure Child Protection Policy

What Does a Child Protection Plan Include?

The Child Protection Plan must explain to the child, family, and other relevant experts the specific nature of the issues that led to the child’s need for the plan. It should also specify what work it requires, why it needs the work when it should be ready, and by whom. The plan should:

  • Include precise, attainable, child-centred outcomes designed to protect and promote the kid’s welfare while reducing risk to the child.
  • Determine who will be the lead professional and who will be a part of the core group.
  • Outline the suggested plan for kid protection. The plan’s details will be worked out in the core group.
  • Set a date for the first core group meeting, which must happen within 10 days following the conference.
  • Make it clear who should be accountable for what activities, including those taken by family members, and within what timeframes.
  • Describe the child’s assessed developmental needs and the therapeutic interventions that are necessary.
  • Outline realistic strategies and concrete measures for achieving the desired goals, including any additional professional examinations of the child and/or family.
  • Set forth the monitoring arrangements, including the nature and frequency of professional contact. Routine contacts will be made by GP’s, health visitors, and teachers. There are other specialists who can help children and family members.
  • Determine when to review and how to measure progress
  • Be culturally aware and accepting of people with impairments.
  • Outline a contingency plan and the circumstances that might necessitate its use.

How it Works

At the child protection conference, a group of people comes together to ensure that they adhere to the plan. This is the core group. It will be a small group consisting of you, your social worker, professionals close to your child – such as a teacher or a health professional – and possibly some of your family members.

Afterward, the committee will decide who will do what and when. Then they will meet on a regular basis to assess how the plan is working and whether things are improving. It is essential, however, that you attend each meeting as a parent so that you are aware of how things are progressing.

If, for any reason, you don’t agree with the plan, possibly because you don’t believe it is necessary. Or perhaps, if you believe they are missing crucial evidence, you should discuss your concerns with your social worker. Alternatively, you could seek legal counsel if none of this works

Furthermore, if you get certain benefits or have a low income and do not have savings of more than £8,000, you may be eligible for free legal help. You should get legal counsel from a member of the Children’s Panel. When you call to schedule an appointment, they will be able to tell you if you are eligible for a free legal consultation.

Keep in mind, though, that if you don’t stick to the plan, the social worker may take your case to court and request that a judge order you to stay clear. So, when you’re looking for legal help, it’s better if you stick to it until you find one.

Child Protection Plan for Domestic Violence

Domestic violence means any form of controlling, coercive, or threatening behaviour between persons who are or have been in a relationship, regardless of gender or sexual orientation. Physical, sexual, psychological, emotional, or financial abuse can also occur among adults who are related to one another. 

Domestic violence can include:

  • Rape and sexual abuse
  • Punching, kicking, cutting, or hitting with an object. 
  • Withholding money or preventing someone from earning money 
  • Exerting control over aspects of someone’s daily life, such as where they go and what they wear.
  • Reading emails, text messages, or letters 
  • Threatening to kill or harm them, a partner, another family member, or pet

Each child who has been the subject of a child protection case conference and the decision is that they have suffered serious harm, or are at risk of suffering serious harm, must have a child protection plan

pro forma child protection plan

Domestic violence always has an effect on children, hence the reason for Section 47 of the Child Protection Plan. Child abuse is being a victim of domestic abuse as a child.  The experience of domestic violence can be direct, but it can also be indirect by:

  • hearing the slander from a different room
  • witnessing the injury and/or distress of someone they care about
  • discovering damage to their living environment, such as shattered furnishings
  • getting hurt as a result of being caught up in or attempting to prevent the abuse

Children who have endured substantial harm may continue to suffer the consequences of that harm regardless of where they live; whether they remain with their family, or whether they are in new families. Therapeutic work with the child should continue regardless of where the child is to ensure that they meet the child’s needs appropriately.

The child protection plan can serve as evidence in any legal action to demonstrate the efforts taken to collaborate and lower the level of danger.

Child Protection Plan Section 47 Enquiry

If a social worker suspects that a child is suffering from domestic violence or is likely to suffer significant harm from a referral or assessment, they should immediately conduct a protection plan discussion conference to discuss whether to commence inquiries under Section 47 of the Children Act 1989. Early strategy discussions/meetings should take place in order to meet the child’s needs.

Child protection plan Section 47 inquiries can take place via a multi-agency assessment. The assessment begins at the time of referral and must continue until they meet the Section 47 criteria. An initial child protection conference must take place within 15 working days of the strategy meeting following the launch of the inquiries, while the assessment must be ready within 45 working days.

Section 47 Enquiries must be led by local authority social workers. Police, doctors, teachers, and other professionals should assist the local authorities in their investigations. Following a strategy discussion, the children’s social care manager must authorise a Section 47 Enquiry.

Purpose of Section 47

The child protection plan section 47 enquiry’s purpose is to see if they require any additional steps to protect and promote the welfare of the child or children suffering from domestic violence who are the subject of the investigation.

Also, if a section 47 enquiry is necessary, it would be done concurrently with the police investigation. An additional strategy discussion would take place to decide how to conduct the child protection plan section 47 investigation.

Decision to Undertake a Section 47 Enquiry

The children’s social care services manager must first confirm the Section 47 enquiries using the available information. Following a strategy discussion, the decision to commence a section 47 enquiry must be made. However, this could happen if the criteria in section 2 of the section 47 enquiry’s purpose are met, for example:

  • When a Referral is made;
  • During the early stages of a Referral’s consideration;
  • During a Child and Family Assessment; or during a Child and Family Assessment
  • When the criteria are met at any point throughout an open case.

Furthermore. the manager must consider the following elements in determining whether or not a section 47 enquiry is justified:

  • The gravity of the problem(s);
  • The confluence of issues;
  • Concerns that recur or last a long time;
  • The child’s vulnerability (due to their age, developmental stage, disability, or other predisposing circumstance, such as being looked after);
  • Source(s) of concern(s);
  • The child’s living situation, such as whether there is another kid in the household who is the subject of a Child Protection Plan;
  • Any predisposing conditions in the family that may indicate a higher level of risk, such as mental health issues, parent/carer substance abuse, or domestic abuse;
  • The impact on the health and development of the child.

FAQs’ On Child Protection Plan

What happens if I refuse a child protection plan?

If you do not adhere to the plan, the social worker may take your case to court and request that a judge initiate care proceedings. So it’s ideal if you keep to it while you’re looking for help.

Can a social worker stop me seeing my child?

Your partner cannot legally prevent you from seeing your child unless continuing access would be detrimental to your child’s wellbeing. Until a court order is obtained, one parent may attempt to prohibit the other from having contact with the child. If this occurs, your primary concern should be your child’s well-being.

What do social services look for in a home visit?

Physical components of the home environment are assessed by social workers. 2. This scale may appear to be judgmental, but staff must make decisions regarding the safety, order, and cleanliness of the environment in which the kid lives.

What are the 4 types of child neglect?

  • Neglect of the body. A child’s fundamental requirements, such as food, clothing, and shelter, are not supplied, and they are not adequately monitored or kept safe.
  • Neglect in education. A parent does not make certain that their child receives an education.
  • Neglect of the emotional kind… 
  • Neglect of the medical kind.
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  • Neglect of the body. A child's fundamental requirements, such as food, clothing, and shelter, are not supplied, and they are not adequately monitored or kept safe.
  • Neglect in education. A parent does not make certain that their child receives an education.
  • Neglect of the emotional kind… 
  • Neglect of the medical kind.
" } } ] }
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