Items and actions
1/. The National Child Protection Review Group met for the second time on 27 September 2016. The meeting was to consider further feedback on the role of Child Protection Committees and to begin discussions about Child Protection Registers and Child Protection Case Conferences. A background paper outlining the research, policy, legislation and practice developments on the role and function of Child Protection Registers and Child Protection Case Conferences was circulated prior to the meeting to inform discussions.
2/. The group spent the first part of the meeting sharing feedback from their wider networks about the role of Child Protection Committees (CPCs). This included feedback from CPCs and Child Protection Lead Officers. The group used this feedback to begin to scope potential recommendations in relation to CPCs.
3/. The group then had a short presentation on children and families’ experiences of child protection processes. It was agreed that a paper on this would be shared with the group before the next meeting.
4/. The group then discussed the role and function of the Child Protection Register and Child Protection Case Conferences. In particular the group looked at:
- the advantages and disadvantages in using Child Protection Registers across Scotland
- whether we should consider creating one National Child Protection Register
- how Child Protection Registers reflect the prevalence of abuse and neglect in the community and whether any groups of children or types of abuse are under-represented
- the strengths of Child Protection Case Conferences and areas for improvement
- whether there are particular evidence-based models or approaches that should be used in Child Protection Case Conferences and Core Groups
- children and families’ experiences of Child Protection Registration, Case Conferences and Core Groups
- whether Child Protection Registers, Case Conferences and Core Groups are critical in protecting children at risk of significant harm or whether there are alternative approaches
5/. Some of the issues emerging from the discussion included:
- the importance of considering Child Protection Registers with fresh eyes and the need for more evidence on how they were working
- both advantages and disadvantages were identified in relation to Child Protection Registers and many review members described themselves as ‘on the fence’ about the value offered, but considered that if there was not a Child Protection Register something else would be needed in its place
- concerns about ‘false positives’ - where being on the register provides professionals with a false reassurance that everything is in place, or not being on the Register is assumed to mean that there is not a child protection concern
- a need to consider the relationship between Child Protection Registers and the Children’s Hearings System
- questions about how effectively we identify children at risk, particularly the many children who will not go near the system
- the importance of family support
- the importance of looking at models of engagement with families and how they can build on strengths, not just focus on deficits
- the need to consider children and families are prepared and supported to participate in case conferences
6/. Members of the group agreed to share the issues emerging from the discussions with others in their organisations and networks and bring back feedback to the next meeting.
7/. The next meeting of the review group will be held on 18 October 2016. The group will further consider the role and functions of the Child Protection Register and Child Protection Case Conferences and will go on to look at Initial and Significant Case Reviews.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org – Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit
The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House