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Integrated Children's System

Record of Strategy Discussion

There are three exemplars concerned with child protection:

Record of the Strategy Discussion;

Record of Outcome of s47 enquiries;

Initial Child Protection Conference Report.

They specifically relate to Working Together to Safeguard Children (Department of Health (1999) from the time of the strategy discussion to the holding of an initial child protection conference. They are intended to support the ongoing assessment process that takes place following the raising of concerns about a child’s safety until the initial child protection conference. This concern may be raised at any time during work with children and families.

RECORD OF THE STRATEGY DISCUSSION

A strategy discussion should be held whenever there is reasonable cause to suspect that a child is suffering or likely to suffer significant harm (see paragraphs 5.28 – 5.32, Working Together to Safeguard Children). The Record of Strategy Discussion records the decisions made at a strategy discussion/meeting. Such discussions may take place following a referral to social services and initial assessment, or at any other time, if concerns about significant harm emerge in the course of social services work with a child and family.

View Integrated Children's System Record of Strategy Discussion (PDF format)

Completing the Record of Strategy Discussion

A strategy discussion may take place at a meeting or by telephone. Where more than one strategy discussion is held in relation to a child or young person, a separate Record of the Strategy Discussion should be completed for each discussion. If more than one child or young person in a family is the subject of a strategy discussion, a separate record should be completed for each child or young person. It will be important for these records to be collated and that further actions identified for individual children or young people are co-ordinated. Where an action applies to more than one child or young person, it should be recorded within each record. This will help to ensure that actions (and the recording of these) do not become separated from the individual children and young people to whom they apply.

It is the responsibility of the person chairing the strategy discussion to ensure that a record of the discussion is completed and copied to all those involved in the discussion.

Key Features

  • Child or young person’s details

    Where the child or young person is already known to social services their case number, CSSR number, should be recorded.

  • Discussion details

    It will be important that full details of those involved in the discussion are also recorded in the child or young person’s Referral and Information Record.

  • Reason for and purpose of strategy discussion

    Records the concerns that have lead to the strategy discussion and the issues to be covered in the discussion.

  • Decisions

    More than one box may be ticked. For example, where it is alleged that a child or young person has been seriously assaulted by a parent social services may undertake s. 47 enquiries whilst the police investigate the assault.
Example 1: Social services receive a referral from the local accident and emergency unit that Ahmed Aktar, aged 18 months, had been brought to the clinic by his mother. Ahmed’s mother, Mrs Aktar told nursing staff that she and her husband had been drinking and had become annoyed at Ahmed who was crying. Mr Aktar had pulled Ahmed out of the room and hit him. Following an X-ray it was noted that Ahmed had a green-stick fracture to his right forearm. A full skeletal survey had discovered that Ahmed had several healed fractures to his ribs of different ages.
The decision of the strategy discussion was:

DECISION(S) (Please tick appropriate box(es))

S47 Enquiries including Core Assessment Core assessment (s17)
Police investigation(s) Referral to other agency
Disciplinary procedures No Further Action
  • Reasons for decisions

    The reason for each action should be recorded.

  • Further actions

    The exemplar records specific details where a medical examination or Achieving Best Evidence Interview is required. A plan should be made for all Achieving Best Evidence Interviews. The exemplar records whether a Child Interview Plan has been completed. Where a plan has not been completed details of when the plan will be completed along with the details of the person responsible for its completion should be recorded.

    Other actions that may be required are then recorded in a simple table, which identifies the action person responsible and date for completion.

    The chair of the discussion should sign the completed record.

Links to other records in the Integrated Children’s System

  • Record of Strategy Discussion and the Initial Plan, Child’s Plan or Care Plan

    If the decision of strategy discussion(s) is not to initiate s.47 enquiries, but that further services should be provided to support a child or young person and an Initial, Child’s or Care Plan is already in place, the actions identified at the strategy meeting should be incorporated into the existing plan for the child.

    Where a plan is not already in place the further actions identified at the strategy meeting should be used to inform the plan, this may be either an Initial Plan or Child’s Plan, depending upon the child or young person’s circumstances.

  • Record of Strategy Discussion with the other child protection exemplars

    Where the decision of the strategy discussions is to initiate s47 enquiries the Record of Strategy Discussion should be used to inform the enquiries.

    Where the outcome of s47 enquiries is a decision to convene an initial child protection conference, information from the Record of the Strategy Discussion and Record of Outcome of s47 Enquiries, along with any other existing information, should inform the completion of the Initial Child Protection Conference Report.

Further guidance on the purpose and conduct of strategy discussions can be found in paragraphs 5.28 – 5.32 of Working Together to Safeguard Children.
 
 
 
By Steve Walker, David Shemmings and Hedy Cleaver
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