Traveller and Romani Advice and Information Network 

Meanings of different Social Services meetings

What is a Strategy Meeting?

A Strategy Meeting is for Social Workers and other professionals to plan what they are going to do next about a case. Parents and advocates are not invited.

What is a Child Protection Case Conference (CPCC)

This is an important meeting. A Child Protection Case Conference is held when Social Services think a baby or a child might be in some sort of danger at home. The person in charge of the meeting is the Independent Reviewing Officer (the IRO). The child’s social worker goes to the Conference. Parents usually go. Your advocate can go. People from other agencies go. There might be a doctor or a nurse there, the police, a teacher or a health visitor. There might be a grandparent. It depends on the particular family.

The IRO explains why they are having the meeting. Everyone says who they are. Everybody takes their turn to say what they think. Parents can have their say. But people should not talk over other people. When everybody has had their say the IRO will ask each professional if they think the child is considered to be suffering significant harm. Only the professional people can vote. Advocates can’t vote, because the Advocate is there to say what the parent thinks. If most people think NO the child will not be supported by a child protection plan. If most people think YES, the child will be supported by a Child Protection Plan

When applied, the child’s family has to agree to stick to the Child Protection Plan. Social Services might offer the parents some support. They will expect the parents to accept, it and work with them. Sometimes a child might have to go into foster care, or live with someone else, so Social Services feel sure it is safe. This might be for a short time or for a long time.

After the first conference, a Review Conference is held 3 months later, then every 6 months after that. At the end people vote again, and the child’s either remains supported by a Child Protection Plan or not. Even if everything is going really well, people might still vote for the the Plan to remain. This can be very disappointing. It is often because Social Services want to be sure that changes are going to last. If your child is supported by a Child Protection Plan, it is really important to do everything Social Services say. Take any help they offer.

What is a Core Group Meeting?

If your child is being supported by a child protection plan, Core Group Meetings will be held every month. The social worker is in charge of the meeting. Family and professional people in the child’s life will be invited to the meeting. Everybody can have a say, but you can’t talk over other people. Core Group Meetings are to check how the Child Protection Plan is working and to make changes to it, if changes will help the child. If the Core Group thinks the Child Protection Plan is not working, they might hold the Child Protection Case Conference Review early. At the end of the Core Group Meeting, they will fix a date for the next one.

What is a CIN Review?

CIN stands for Child In Need. Sometimes Social services think a child doesn’t need a Child Protection Plan. But they think the child needs extra support, to grow and develop properly, or if the child is disabled. That child is referred to as a 'Child In Need'. If your child is a Child In Need, there will be regular meetings to check the plan to support it is working. Parents and the child should attend these meetings. Advocates can go too. The meetings are held where it’s best for the child. This might be at home, in school, or somewhere else.