Quick Exit

What to do if you are worried about a child

Children's guide to child protection enquiries

What is a child protection enquiry?

It's what we do when we need to make sure that children are okay. Sometimes adults or other young people hurt children or make them feel bad or afraid. This shouldn't happen. If it happens to you, tell us. It's our job to listen to what you want to tell us.

Don't worry - we're here to help you

An enquiry into your safety may be upsetting. Just remember:  Everyone involved will do their best for you and your family

What happens next?

We will talk to other people, such as your family. We need to find out what happened and why. Please remember that you have done nothing wrong. You're not in trouble. We just want to help you.

When we've spoken to all the people we need to speak to, we'll decide what should happen. It might be that nothing needs to happen. We might just offer your family some advice. Sometimes we need to call a meeting called a 'Child Protection Conference'.

What is a Child Protection Conference?

A Child Protection Conference is a meeting that is set up when an enquiry has shown that there are concerns about your safety, or a member of your family. The meeting is to decide whether or not there is a risk to your safety. The meeting will give everyone a chance to express their views, so that careful decisions are made about how you and your family can be helped.

  • If the meeting decides that there is a serious risk to your safety, a Plan will be put in place to ensure you are safe and properly cared for.

  • If the meeting decides there is not a serious risk to your safety, and that your family needs some support they could make a 'Child in Need Plan'. The Plan will be agreed by your parents/carers and all the professionals involved. This will ensure that everyone knows what they have to do to keep you safe. You'll be given a copy of the Plan.

Who will be at the Child Protection Conference?

  • You - If you are old enough and you want to. Your views are really important. You can bring an adult friend or advisor with you if you like. Your social worker will talk to you about this.

  • Your parents/carers will be invited and they can bring a friend or legal representative with them if they wish.

  • Social Workers.

  • Teacher/Nursery staff

  • Health Workers such as Health Visitor, G.P, Hospital Doctor, School Nurse etc.

  • Police Officer.

  • Other important people in your life, e.g. Youth Worker, Connexions Advisor.

  • Chair Person - to ensure that everyone is treated with respect and give opinions without interruptions. The Chair Person will lead the meeting. He/she will talk to you in private before the meeting and explain what will happen, and discuss any worries you may have.

  • People at the meeting will have reports about you and your family. You will be given parts of these reports which relate to you. This should be in plenty of time for you to think about what they say.

What is a Child Protection Plan?

The plans says:

  • What's needed to ensure your safety and care.

  • What Social Care and all other agencies will do to help you and your family.

  • What you and your family can do to improve the situation.

  • That a smaller group of people (known as a 'Core Group') will meet regularly to make sure everyone does what they should to keep you safe. If a 'Child in Need Plan' is made you can be involved in these.  

Advice and support

You may find it comforting to talk to a trusted friend, or to talk to one of the following:

ChildLine - Telephone: 0800 11 11

Coram Children's Legal Centre (free legal advice) - Telephone: 08088 020 008

National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) - Telephone: 0808 800 5000

National Youth Advocacy Service Telephone: 0800 61 61 01

Who Cares? (advice and counselling) Telephone: 0500 564 570

Kidscape For parents, guardians or concerned relatives and friends of bullied children

Alateen For young people (aged twelve to twenty) affected by a problem drinker

National Drugs Helpline (Talk to Frank) -Advice and information is available to drug users, family, friends of drug users

Sexwise - Advice line on sex, relationships and contraception for young people aged 18+under


Have your say...

Comments are closed for this article