Child Protection Plans - Lead Social Worker Role and Responsibilities


Child Protection Plans Procedure

Core Group Practice Briefing August 2019 – this briefing explains the roles and responsibilities of all Core Group members throughout the period a child has a Child Protection Plan.

Core Group Flowchart -  this flowchart sets out the process and timescale for Core Groups.


This chapter was updated in March 2020 with the additional guidance regarding call group practice.

Prior to Conference

The allocated Social Worker will write a report which includes a detailed analysis of information for the child's safety, health and wellbeing. This will include:

  • A chronology of significant events and agency and professional contact with the family;
  • Information of the child's current and past state of developmental needs;
  • Information on the capacity of parent's and other family members to ensure the child is safe from harm and ability to meet the child's developmental needs;
  • Views and wishes of the child, parents and other significant family members;
  • An analysis of information gathered during the S47 enquiry regarding risks to and the needs of the child and the implications for the child's future safety and developmental needs.

This report should be shared with the family and CP Chair 2 working days prior to the Initial Child Protection Conference and 5 working days before the Review Child Protection Conference.

It is important that the role of the lead social worker is fully explained at the Initial Child Protection Conference and at the Core Group.

At every initial conference, where a Child Protection Plan is put into place, the conference chair must name a qualified social worker, identified by the Team Manager/Assistant Team Manager, to fulfil the role of lead social worker for the child.

The lead social worker should complete the assessment of the child and family, securing contributions from core group members and others as necessary. They should co-ordinate the contribution of family members and other agencies to plan the actions which need to be taken, put the child protection plan into effect, and review progress against the planned outcomes set out in the plan. It is important that the role of the lead social worker is fully explained at the initial child protection conference and at the core group.

The first Core Group must be within 10 working days of the conference and must produce an outcome focused detailed protection plan for the child.

Further Core Groups should be at 4 weekly intervals and must review the progress of the child protection plan and identify future action.

The Lead Social Worker should also regularly ascertain the child's wishes and feelings, and keep the child up to date with the child protection plan and any developments or changes.

The lead social worker should:

  • Undertake visits to see the child in accordance with the child protection plan and minimum requirement, which is every 10 working days;
  • Convene and chair the core group meetings;
  • Identify which professional will provide a written record of meetings for all core group members;
  • Ensure that the outline child protection plan is developed, in conjunction with members of the core group, into a detailed multi-agency protection plan;
  • Clearly note and include in the written record any areas of disagreement;
  • Obtain a full understanding of the family's history, which must involve reading previous children's social care files as well as current records in use in children's social care, including those relating to other children who have been part of any households involving the current carers of the child. Additional information should be obtained from relevant other agencies and local authorities;
  • Complete the statutory assessment of the child and family, securing contributions / information from core group members and any other agencies with relevant information;
  • Co-ordinate the contribution of family members putting the plan into action and reviewing the objectives stated in the plan.