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section 47


finleysmaid
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ok i have been requested by SS to do a section 47 report for one of our children,,,,haven't done one before,,,anyone got any advice/things i should/shouldn't put in etc?? I know what it's for and ive been given a report form (do i have to use this or can i print it on the computer?)

can anyone help?

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im just bumping this in the hope that someone has some advice...i suspect it's one of those things that schools do more than pre-schools . I only have 5 days to respond and they sent it to me at 4.30 last night!!(don't even know why i was still at work!)

(by the way section 47 is a report for core assessment to determin whether a child is 'in need' or at risk.... :huh: )

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Hi Finleysmaid.

The decision to carry out section 47 enquiries will probably have come from a Strategy Discussion meeting, which you may (or not it sounds like) have attended. This stage is to gather information from a range of sources that have contact with the family. The turnaround time is very quick...14 days I think, hence needing your report quickly.

You LA should have guidance on this, and you should be able to seek advice from them or from the Social Care team.

There may be a form you need to complete.

 

You would largely be commenting on the child's developmental needs, how they are developing in your professional opinion. You would need to indicate how long you have known the child, what sessions they attend, and include things like intermittent attendance, lateness, failure to collect, health issues, any signs of neglect..ill fitting clothing or dirtiness for example. etc. You would also need to share any information you have on any pre existing injuries or significant events. You need to be clear and include dates where possible. (for example if you have made a referral yourself at any point; or f the child is collected late, indicate how often this is). You also include if you have made any referral to speech and language or any other agency or have any concerns about their development . If you have any doubt as to whether or not to include something, then either ask for advice, or include it, don't sit on it thinking its not that important.

 

This can be a very difficult time for you and particularly the child's key person (if this isn't you), and this is exactly why regular supervision is important as support for your team is not just practical but emotional as well. You need to look after yourself too, if claims are substantiated, and the case goes onto a child protection conference, it is emotionally and mentally draining, and if this is your first such case, doubly so.

 

Have a hug to get you going..

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Mundia ...thank you so much. Your information is really helpful. We are fortunate that we know this family well enough to have VERY frank discussions and i have made it very clear that i am not favouring either party and that i will keep no secrets....unless i'm told to !! Although i've been doing this job for a long time and have had SS involvements with families before i've never got to this stage. I have spoken to their social worker several times already and she seems quite easy to deal with so i'll have another chat with her on Monday just to clarify a couple of details.

Thank you for the hug...can i give you one back to say thank you! It's difficult in situations like this i can support my staff fully but then who supports us! ...Don't worry i'm fine i have wide shoulders xD

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Just adding my good wishes finsleysmaid - this is not anything that I have been called on to do (touching wood as I type) - great advice there from mundia and I have stored it somewhere in my addled brain for future reference.........xxx

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I find is best to share before the conference as the parents will be there and will get a copy of all the reports anyway so best it's aired before IMO - we have a format we follow and the parents have a box to add comments and sign anyway - so they see it all beforehand.

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thanks redjayne....no box for parents comments on my paperwork though! i asked the council if i could do it on the computer because my writings a bit awful! My natural instinct in this case would be to share but i wasn't sure if i was allowed!

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Sharing does make it easier at the meeting I find because there are then no nasty shocks or things the parents might be angry about - remember that if the conference decision involves ongoing work with the family your relationship with them has to remain workable as much as possible and nasty surprises can ruin this.

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We absolutely always share our report with parents before the conference. As Redjane says, there are then no nasty shocks for the parents at the conference which is simply fairer to them.

A case conference can be quite a daunting event for parents, with a large number of people discussing their affairs, even though they will have met most of them before. It can also be a bit daunting if you have not been to one before. In my authority I would tell someone attending one for the first time that:

1. The conference Chair meets with the parent/s before the meeting starts, so s/he can explain what will happen.

2. Arrive early. We are always given copies of all the reports that have been sent in and have to skim read them in the reception area. It does not matter if time runs out and you do not get to read them all but I always start with the Social Worker's one as that usually gives the best overview.

3. We are then called into the room. The Chair explains the meeting format and goes round the table asking everyone to introduce themselves and say why they are there. I always address my introduction to the parent/s as in my view they are the most important people there.

4. The Chair usually asks the Social Worker to talk first and to explain what has led to the conference. The parents are given lots of opportunities to respond but the Chair will also ask each person to summarise their report (so be ready!).

5. The Chair will note agreed actions from the discussions which will later feed into any plan.

6. Before the conference finishes the Chair will go round the table asking every single person if they think it should be a Child Protection Plan / Child in Need and what category (physical, emotional, sexual) - so be ready with your decision!

Hope that is helpful.

Good luck

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Fantastic info gruffalo2 thank you so much, so glad you told me about being early (i have a reputation for being late or just scraping by!) I've done lots of Tac meetings so am happy to address everything to the parents as that is the way i feel too!. Bit worried about the outcome....could go either way as there are issues on both sides. Will re post when it's all over

Thank you all for the support i really appreciate it :wub:

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fab advice so far - and so wish we'd had it when we were presented with this situation :ph34r:

 

we were told to also take some time after the meeting to relax, reflect and recoup our emotions - it hits you harder than you ever imagine and at the end of the day we have to continue to have relationships with the parents (and you learn so much more about personal circumstances in these meetings) - but watch out for the child as a priority first and foremost

 

I think, like you, honesty and being upfront is the best policy; things have to/are going to come out at the meeting and it would be worse for the parents to think you have no issues only to find out differently at the meeting. We said to our parents that we can only talk about the things you do - in terms of "if you're doing what is being asked etc then it will be good...if you're not then we have to say that"

 

If you have any prior reports/history/chronologies from the social worker they are often good starting points for identifying what the Social worker is looking for/identified issues etc

 

It's an awful but necessary time...look after yourselves :wub:

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