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1.5.3 Discontinuation of Child Protection Plan

RELEVANT CHAPTERS

Lincolnshire Safeguarding Children Board Procedures Manual, Initial Child Protection Conferences Procedure

Lincolnshire Safeguarding Children Board Procedures Manual, Child Protection Review Conferences Procedure

AMENDMENT

This chapter was updated in April 2019 to include additional guidance on the process for Looked After Reviews on Children who are subject of the Child Protection Plans. (See Section 2.1, Looked After Reviews on Children who are subject of the Child Protection Plans). Where a child becomes Looked After and is already subject to a Child Protection Plan, there should only be a single plan, unless there are exceptional circumstances. Consideration must be given to ensuring that the multi-agency contribution to the review of the Child Protection Plan is addressed within the review of the Care Plan.


Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Process


1. Introduction

The Lincolnshire Safeguarding Children Board supports the principle that where children looked after are also subject to a child protection review the overriding principle must be that the systems are integrated and carefully monitored in a way that promotes a child centred and not a bureaucratic approach.

There are concerns that two sets of planning processes operating simultaneously may be unproductive for families, carers and children and that two processes may not be an effective use of the resources for all the agencies involved. To minimise this concern, the following procedure applies for discontinuing a child protection plan


2. Process

At the Initial or a subsequent Review conference it may be apparent or planned that the child's welfare will be or is being safeguarded by their being looked after, or in the case of an unborn baby this is proposed at birth, under S.20 Children Act with the plan that the Local Authority are initiating Care Proceedings and applying for an Interim Care Order. In these circumstances:

  • Once the Order is made;
  • Once the decision that the no order principle should apply;
  • Once the child is looked after under Section 20.

It may no longer be necessary for a child protection plan to exist in addition to the looked after plan, as the court will be overseeing all planning for the child.

2.1 Looked After Reviews on Children who are subject of the Child Protection Plans

In exceptional circumstances where a looked after child remains the subject of a Child Protection Plan, there should be a single planning and reviewing process, led by the IRO, leading to the development of a single plan.

Consideration should be given to the IRO chairing the Child Protection Conference where a looked after child remains subject to a Child Protection Plan. Where that is not possible, it will be expected that the IRO will attend the Child Protection Review Conference. See Lincolnshire Safeguarding Children Board Procedures Manual, Child Protection Review Conferences Procedure.

The Looked After Review, when reviewing the child protection aspects of the plan, should consider whether the criteria continue to be met for the child to remain the subject of a Child Protection Plan.

Consideration must be given to ensuring that the multi-agency contribution to the review of the Child Protection Plan is addressed within the review of the Care Plan.

In some exceptional circumstances a child may be subject to both a Child Protection Plan and LAC Plan for a short period of time. In these circumstances the child will require a combined Child Protection Conference and Looked After Review meeting.

Please refer to the Signs of Safety Combined Agenda

See also Lincolnshire Safeguarding Children Board Procedures Manual, Child Protection Review Conferences Procedure, Appendices

The LSCB considers that if the child/ren becomes subject to legal proceedings and / or become looked after by the Local Authority, discontinuation of the child protection plan is appropriate except in exceptional circumstances.

2.2 Decision to End the Child Protection Plan at the First Review

When children are subject to a child protection plan if there is any consideration that a recommendation by the social worker to the first child protection review at 3 months would be to remove the plan, this will be discussed and agreed with a senior manager within children's services and the decision recorded prior to the recommendation by the social worker being proposed in the report for conference or at the review child protection conference. Child protection plans should not be ended when significant assessments and pieces of work have not been completed.

In either circumstance of an ongoing Child and Family Progress Plan being assessed and reviewed for the child, there is a concurrent requirement to monitor the delivery of the service in respect of ethnicity, first language, cultural and religious and other needs.

If the above circumstances apply, the social worker must discuss the case with their manager and if managerial agreement for de-registration from a Team Manager is obtained, the Social Worker should discuss / write to the Independent chairperson Safeguarding the Conference explaining how the child is being safeguarded and why it is appropriate to discontinue the child protection plan.

If the Independent chairperson Safeguarding is in agreement to discontinue the child protection plan, the chair should discuss the case with the Independent Reviewing Officer and if in agreement, the Independent chairperson Safeguarding will write to all agencies involved to consult on this proposal using the LSCB Notification of Intention To Discontinue a Child Protection Plan.

Unless an objection in writing is received by the Independent chair Safeguarding within 10 working days of the information being distributed, the protection plan will be discontinued. After this time, the chair will arrange for the minute taker to complete the LSCB Notification to Discontinue a Child Protection Plan which will be sent to all those consulted which will provide formal notification that the protection plan has been discounted. The minute taker will end the Child Protection Plan.

The Safeguarding and Review Team will use this notification to cancel that planned conference on the system. This will also act as notification to agencies as a cancellation of future planned conferences. An LSCB Notification of Discontinue of a Child Protection Plan will be sent to parents / those with parental responsibility to notify them of the decision by the minute taker.

Objections will normally result in a review case conference being held.

A Child and Family Progress Plan will continue under the LAC Plan. A further assessment and analysis of the child's circumstances to inform planning may be necessary.

The above process should be completed within 10 working days. If there is 10 working days or more between the decision to propose that the child's protection plan is discontinued in this way, the above process should be used. If there is NOT 10 working days available, the planned conference should be held.

End