Promoting and supporting child-centred, high quality social work practice, for the best possible outcomes for children
The Safeguarding, Care and Quality Assurance team consists of Independent Reviewing Officers for Children Looked After, Child Protection Chairs (CP chairs) and Children’s Advocacy service.
In Somerset, Independent Reviewing Officers and Child Protection chairs are referred to as ISROs (Independent Safeguarding Reviewing Officers). ISROs and advocates are committed to achieving the best outcomes for all children and young people in Somerset. They do this through participation, support, review and challenge.
Our service covers
Our vision is to promote, and support child centred, high quality SW practice, that ensures the best possible outcomes for children.
We will achieve this by
As a team, we will make the best use of resources and technology for maximum impact and value.
In all aspects of our work, we will promote and adhere to the following values
All our Practice Standards are underpinned by a value base which promotes care and respect for children, young people, families and colleagues. We keep the child at the centre of what we do, continually asking ourselves and others, ‘Would this be good enough for my child?’.
What is a Child Protection Conference?
A Child Protection Conference is not about taking children away from their parents.
A child protection conference is a meeting that is held when a social worker, or a teacher, or a health visitor, or a nurse, or the police, or any other professional who knows a child, believes the child to be at risk of significant harm. They may feel that extra support is needed for the child and family to ensure the child’s safety.
The meeting will be chaired by someone called a child protection chair. Their job is to make sure that any decisions reached, or plans made at the child protection conference is done fairly and that everyone, including the child, has a chance to have their say.
The purpose of the conference is to make sure that everyone fully understands the worries for the child and is clear about the things that are going well.
Who will attend this meeting?
Children who have some understanding of the worries are able to attend their meeting if they want to. If children want to come to their meeting, they will be able to attend for some or all of the meeting. It is important that people know how children and young people feel about what is happening in their life. Children and Young people will be offered an advocate who will meet with them to understand their views and who will attend the conference on their behalf or with them.
Parents and carers who look after the children will come to the conference. Anyone involved in a child’s care will be invited.
Any people working with the child and family will be invited. Professionals such as the police and GP will also be invited even if they have not directly worked with the child or family.
What happens at the meeting?
Before the meeting starts, the child protection chair will meet the young person if they attend and will meet with parents or carers. The Child protection chair will go through how the conference will be run.
You can ask any questions that you may have about the meeting and let the child protection chair know if there is any way in which they can support you, to make sure that you can attend and take part in all of the meeting.
All the information shared at the meeting will be recorded on a whiteboard. This is what will be recorded on the whiteboard:
The meeting will decide what needs to happen to keep the children safe.
What happens after the meeting?
After the meeting, regular meetings with Children’s Social Care will take place to look at any other help that may be needed for the child and their family.
The child’s social worker and the child protection chair will explain the purpose of these meetings and agree the dates with you and other professionals at the end of the conference.
Advocates can help any child age 4 years and above to share their wishes and feelings at any meeting concerning child protection.
The advocates role is to enable and empower children and young people to have a voice when meetings are taking place concerning their care.
The advocate is independent of children services and they can only present the child’s or young person’s views.
They have no say in any decision making.
Advocates will listen carefully and make sure that people who make decisions about the child or young person’s life listen to what the child or young person have to say.
Advocates work for children and young people and no-one else.
Route1 offers advocacy services to all children and young people who are involved with Somerset Children Services. Its purpose is to enable and empower children and young people to have a voice and participate within any decision-making processes.
Route1 work to ensure that the rights of children and young people receiving services from Somerset Children’s Services are upheld in accordance with the Children Act 1989, Children Leaving Care Act 2000, The Care standards Act 2001, The Adoption and Children Act 2002, Children Act 2004, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child 1991 and the Human Rights Act 1998.
Advocacy services apply to:
Your social worker should ask you whether an advocate is required or you can email Route1advocacy@somerset.gov.uk or phone 01749 822801
Find out more about Route1 Advocacy
Mind of My Own – Better care and support happens when children are better listened to
Somerset Children in Care Council and Somerset Leaving Care Council
Somerset Leaving Care Local Offer
Somerset Choices 0 – 25
Somerset Young People’s Voice
A Young Person’s Guide to Working Together to Safeguard Children
Independent reviewing officers’ handbook: young people’s guide
Somerset Local Safeguarding Children’s Board
Language that Cares
Independent Reviewing Service
Email us at CentralCPBS@somerset.gov.uk or CentralCLABS@somerset.gov.uk
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