1.4 Core Groups: Procedure
This procedure was updated on 30/11/18 and is currently uptodate.
Purpose and Responsibilities
The Core Group is responsible for the implementation and ongoing development of the Child Protection Plan as outlined at the Child Protection Conference (see Child Protection Conferences: Procedure).
All agencies represented at the Core Group have a responsibility to ensure that they fulfil their role effectively and in accordance with Working Together to Safeguard Children.
The Social Worker is the Lead Professional and as such has the responsibility for ensuring that the arrangements for Core Groups are clearly communicated to children/young people, parents/carers, all professionals involved in working with the child and family. However, where a child is subject to a Child Protection Plan, each professional should also be proactive in identifying the dates for Core Groups and ensuring they have relevant information.
The Core Group as a whole also has a responsibility to progress the Core Group, should the Social Worker for any reason be absent, so any drift for the child is avoided. This includes ensuring the meeting goes ahead and providing Child Protection Plan updates to the Social Worker.
The allocated Social Worker and Core Group members are responsible for:
- ensuring that the child’s plan that is in place is a plan of action and progresses in a timely manner avoiding drift
- ensuring that the dates of Core Group meetings are set in advance and that the frequency of all contacts with the child and family are established
- ensuring appropriate professional challenge occurs when there is a lack of progress or concern about lack of resources to meet identified need
- ensuring that the information shared and the discussion that takes place assists with updating the analysis of ongoing risk to the child
- core Group members are responsible for keeping each other up to date with changes in the household composition; either adults or children and any frequent visitors to the address
- all members must ensure that they play their part in the implementation of the plan including attendance at Core Group meetings or provision of a written update if they are unable to attend in person
- monitoring and evaluating progress against the desired outcomes for the child
- make recommendations to subsequent review conferences about future protection plans.
Membership of the Core Group will normally have been identified at the most recent Child Protection Conference and ideally will include:
- lead Social Worker / manager (although core groups can take place without a lead social worker)
- the child/young person if appropriate
- parents and relevant family members
- professionals involved with either the child and/or parent.
Flexibility is required regarding who chairs the core group and should be dependent upon complexity of the case. However, it does not have to be the lead social worker.
Core Groups are important and are an opportunity for developing positive working relationships with children and families and across agencies, and for ensuring children are safer. Where there are conflicts of interest between family members in the work of the Core Group the best interest of the child should always take priority.
The first Core Group must take place within 10 working days of the Initial Child Protection Conference.
Following the initial Core Group meeting further meetings should be within six weeks and every six weeks forthwith. It is important to remember that this is a guide and it may be that four weekly core groups are required dependent upon the needs and age of the child.
Conduct of the meeting
It is the responsibility of the allocated Chair of the Core Group (from whichever agency) to ensure that core groups record actions so that they can evidence implementation of child protection plans.
It is expected that the Social Worker attends, however if they are unable to, the remaining Core Group members must continue with the meeting and send an update on the outcomes and actions of the Child Protection Plan to the Social Worker within 2 working days.
The lead social worker can then update and distribute the Child Protection Plan within 5 working days to all attendees and those invited, and ensure it is placed on the child’s file.
- Progression of the plan – feedback from all members including children/young people and family members, Social Worker, partner agencies
- Any revision/amendments to the plan with the tasks, outcomes and dates for completion clearly detailed
- Confirmation of date, time and venue of next Core Group meeting
- Distribution of updated plan to all parties within 5 working days.
This page is correct as printed on Monday 18th of October 2021 05:11:16 PM please refer back to this website (http://bscb.procedures.org.uk) for updates.