Strength Based Initial Child Protection Conferences
In consultation with Plymouth Safeguarding Children’s Board, Plymouth City Council now operates a Strength Based Model for our child protection initial case conference and review meetings. A strengths based child protection meeting is about working in partnership with families to enable them to come up with a plan that will keep their children safe.
What is a strength based child protection meeting?
These meetings take place when worries for a child are so serious that professionals and the family come together to decide if a child is at risk of significant harm and in need of a Child Protection Plan. The meeting talks about what the strengths and worries are for the child as identified by the family, child and professionals and how these strengths can be built upon to help reduce the risk of harm.
The main aim of using the new model in child protection conferences is to establish a partnership between families and professionals, so that they will cooperate and work towards mutually agreed goals. Families attending conferences should feel respected, listened to and actively involved. Focusing on strengths does not mean ignoring challenges, or spinning struggles into strengths.
Practitioners working in this way have to work in collaboration – helping people to do things for themselves. In this way, families and children own and can become co-producers of their support, not passive passengers of support.
How does it work?
The Chair will be stood for the majority of the conference populating the white boards with information as issues are discussed. All the way through elements of a plan will be drawn out. The conference rooms will just have chairs (no tables) and three whiteboards at the front. These whiteboards will address key headings such as:
- Child/young person’s views
- Family & friends
- What are we worried about?
- What is going well?
- What make life more difficult?
- Areas of grey
- Plan and action
- By whom and by when
As professionals working with the family you will be required to submit your report in advance and to have informed the family of what to expect during the conference. Please click on the link below to access the Professional Report Template.
The PSCB Young Safeguarders have produced a film of a shortened “mock conference” which can be used as a training tool for professional and to show you how conferences will be run and what will be expected of them.