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Child Protection


starsdance
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I am a leader, child protection officer, behaviour manager (you name it and I do it) and have just had a new child start with me. I have today been invited to a Child In Need meeting at his house with mum and his social worker.

 

First things first, I have never done one of these so do I need to take anything with me, have any sort of report prepared or what?

 

Also, do I let my CP officer on my committee know what is happening along with my Chair. My CP officer no longer has a child with me but has stayed on as she has never been called upon to do anything or do I just let my Chair know what is happening?

 

As you can tell I don't really know what I am doing in this case so any tips would be marvellous. :1b

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interesting that they are doing this in the home...normally I do these at SS headquarters!

If the child has just started then you wont have much! hours of attendance/days off and why/progress so far and you might be asked if you feel they are progressing well ...any issues? well fed/clean etc and whether parents are working with you well.

you need to tell your cp committee member that you have a 'live' case but you don't need to give them details (in fact you shouldn't)

 

good luck it's not so daunting but always tricky to build relationships and criticise at the same time ...

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I have previously attended a child in need meeting in the home.

Agree with Finleysmaid in that you probably won't have any immediate information to report on this occasion.

However if you haven't been given any reports you could get all your contact details from those involved with this family, and make contact after to be sent any information or reports.

 

A Chairperson does not need to know any details just that the setting has a child in their care with one.

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Do take your diary and a pen, as at the end of it, the social worker will say "Now let's make a date for the next meeting" and you'll need to check your availability (that probably sounds obvious, but I didn't realise at the first meeting I went to that I could actually say "Well, that day/time isn't the best for me, can we do...?'".

 

With a new child, as finleysmaid said, you probably won't have much to say yet about attendance/behaviour/learning, but if you've got any observations to take, I would. I take a printed copy of the tapestry learning journey (making sure there are no other children visible in the photos) and am prepared to leave it with the parent if they don't have internet access (because I've been asked to give the parent my copy in the past as they don't have internet access).

 

I'd also take a note of what sessions are booked for the child and how they're paid for (sometimes it's not funded at first with ordinary funding, so being able to say that "Early Years have put in special funding for 6 weeks to the end of term, and next term the 3 year funding will kick in" is useful, and more so if no-one's sure what funding does kick in next term. And at this time of the year, the child may be having whatever spaces you had left, but from Sept you can offer sessions that fit mum's needs more.

 

If you're term time only, be prepared to point that out to the social worker if she says "We'll meet again in 6 weeks" and that goes into the summer holidays (I've been to meetings in the summer hols, but that's not always going to be viable for term time only settings!) Also, point out that the child will therefore not be in preschool for 6 weeks of the summer holidays.

 

Make sure you know what the address is and how to get there, especially if it's a flat... Access may not be as straight forward as it looks from the address.

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Thank you for your replies. Some really simple but often overlooked things there for me to remember. He is only with me for 5 weeks as he is going to the local school in September and mum wanted him to meet some children from the locality before he went.

 

When I phoned the SW after I had her email she was surprised that I was phoning in my own time (it was 3.40pm) until I explained that we are a morning only pre school and it's sometimes easier to phone in the afternoons when I am at home as I am not working. Meeting is arranged for 3pm and luckily my children are grown up so don't always need collecting.

 

He has been at a Nursery since he was little so should I contact them to see what records they have or just wait for the meeting. I don't know how long he has been under the SW so the previous setting might not have a lot.

 

I have done a adjustment form for the funding so hopefully this won't be an issue but I will check next week.

 

We are only a small setting (4 member of staff) so Chair will know immediately who the child is when I inform her that I have a 'live' case but this is only to be expected as I am in a very small village and everyone knows everyone. Sometimes, this makes it more difficult as having a local committee they know everything about every child in the village.

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Agree with advice given - re telling your chair - don't give a name, merely explain that you have been asked to attend the meeting and if they ask just politely reply that they really don't need to know who it is and leave it at that. Having been employed by a setting such as yours and being very aware that everyone knows most things about everyone it's best to just give the bare minimum. I used to simply make a statement in my play leader report at meetings that we either have no safeguarding issues currently or that we were dealing with a safeguarding situation as directed by our current policy. If any further questions were asked I simply quoted the policy which states 'need to know'.

 

Hope all goes well!

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I agree with PaseyLtd - I would not tell the chair that it related to a new child. I can see that she will know all about the new child being with you (and in the village?) as you are in such a small environment, but child Protection issues can arise at any time for any of the children in current, previous or future attendance at our settings.

 

On a slightly side note, that's why I do all the funding forms as our 2 year old funding form has a box on the back to say why the child is getting the funding 'tick all that apply' for financial reasons, Child in Need, etc, and a criteria for EYPP is being adopted from care.

 

With regards to records from the previous setting, I've not actually been to a CIN meeting when the child has been at a previous setting! I think I would do what I would do with any other new child and ask the parent (in a private conversation, not in front of other parents or staff) if the previous setting gave them a Learning Journey to pass onto you, and if not, wait till the meeting and ask if it's all right to contact them and ask for it.

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Could I just add a note about your own safety, in our area we are having more and more CIN meetings in the families home. My advice would be to follow your home visits policy if you have one and meet up with SW / Hv and enter the home with them if possible.

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Could I just add a note about your own safety, in our area we are having more and more CIN meetings in the families home. My advice would be to follow your home visits policy if you have one and meet up with SW / Hv and enter the home with them if possible.

what a very sensible suggestion! ;)

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