The Referral Process
What do we do?
As you would expect, the local authority (Children's Social Care) takes all reports or 'Referrals' of abuse seriously. This summarises the procedures that will be followed if Children's Social Care receive a referral that a child may suffer or has suffered abuse:
Stage 1 - Initial Assessment
All Referrals will be considered by a Social Worker in Children's Services, and an Initial Assessment may be conducted. It may be necessary to take immediate action to protect you or the children involved, in the extreme, this can result in children being temporarily cared for by a Foster Carer. If this happens to you and your brothers and sisters, you usually be cared for by the same foster carers.
Stage 2 - Strategy Discussion
If it looks like abuse has happened or might happen, the social workers and others, like teachers or the Police, will hold a meeting called a Strategy Discussion to decide whether a Child Protection Enquiry is necessary (see the next stage).
Stage 3 - Child Protection Enquiry
If a Child Protection Enquiry is started, this will involve a Social Worker and the Police assessing the concerns or allegations, the Child(ren) and Parents will be involved in this process.
Stage 4: Initial Child Protection Conference
At the end of the Child Protection Enquiry, an Initial Child Protection Conference will be conducted, chaired by an Independent Manager. You might be invited to this meeting.
You have rights too...
If you are unhappy about any aspect of the meeting, you should talk to the chair of the meeting to discuss your views. If you feel you haven't been properly informed or involved, seek advice from a Solicitor, Liverpool Citizens Advice Bureau or you can make a complaint. More information to follow...