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Day Two Welcome back!! Welcome back Training aim for today:

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1 Day Two Welcome back!! Welcome back Training aim for today:
Working with families/ children…tools/ pitfalls To provide knowledge and skills in preparing for and making positive contributions to Child Protection Conferences and Core Groups. Any questions from day 1? Need father for role play.

2 Framework for Assessment 2000
What are the strengths of the parents in this family? What are the difficulties/risk factors of the parents in this family? What are the strengths of the children? What are the difficulties/risk factors of the children in this family? It is important to look at strengths as well as weaknesses. Do you like receiving praise? Having your strengths acknowledged? Much of our work with families is about boosting their strengths and reducing weaknesses. Often criticism has more impact than praise (eval forms) However, this is not a simple task! Patrick Ayre’s research. 25 experienced practitioners. – making regular decisions re risk. List what you look for 90% were negative factors Even families where abuse was not thought likely, had more negatives than positives. Also 50% of factors related to the parents and only 25% to observations of the child.

3 Working with Families Motivation to change Highly resistant families
Rule of optimism Cultural diversity How do we help families achieve change? How do we assess their motivation and support them through change? Resistance has been a common feature in Serious Case Reviews How do we notice it and address it? How do we guard against the rule of optimism – thinking the best of people, sometimes regardless of the evidence. How do we ensure a balanced view? Are we sometimes too lenient – not wanting to be seen as racist or not wanting to intrude into cultures that aren’t our own. Or are we sometimes too harsh? Having a belief that a particular culture is dangerous. Taking the mid line of respecting culture and diversity yet safeguarding children is not easy. We do have the law to guide us though.

4 Influencing Change Think about when you have been in a situation where change is taking place i.e. re-structuring; moving house; buying a new car What makes you resistant to change? What makes you open to change? Ask them to read the slide and chat with the person next to them about the questions briefly. Resistance – Not being consulted Being forced into change No information about the reasons for change and the process What can help? Establish rapport Explain reasons carefully Openness and honesty Having a say Time to adjust Praise success Parents generally have change thrust upon them.

5 Motivation to change contd..
When we are helping families through the process of change it helps to understand the process by which we effect change. Explain the diagram using an example such as dieting or exercise.

6 Responses to Change Commitment to change Effort HIGH LOW
Genuine Commitment 'I understand the impact on my child and I can change' (Support; acknowledgement and recording of progress; involvement in decisions; gradual empowerment) Compliance, Imitation Approval Seeking 'I don't really need to change, but I will if it will get you off my back' (Assess long term commitment to change; work on understanding the impact on the child; identify community and family support; stay with CP plan until change sustained) Tokenism 'I want change, but you will need to do it for me’ (Some parents, although willing, may not have the capacity to change. Support change process, but monitor and assess likelihood of change within child's time-scales) Dissent, Avoidance 'I don't need to change and I won't change' (Challenge them; help them understand impact on child; record lack of progress, good multi-agency liaison to gather evidence; explanation of outcome if no improvement) Effort Part of the assessment might be gauging whether families are both motivated and able to put the effort in. Describe the Johari window above. Genuine commitment – the families we all wish to work with. Dissent/avoidance Obvious resistance – sometimes aggressive or argumentative . Don’t understand the need for change and won’t do it. Compliance I’ll do it to get you off my back. Possibility of relapse Able, but not doing it for the right reasons. Tokenism Yes, I’ll attend the appointment – Do not attend May be resistance, but may be lack of skills e.g. learning disability. Parents may be in different boxes. Plans for the family could be informed by assessing motivation and effort.

7 Working with families who present as difficult
Keep yourself safe Think about how best to calm situations without losing focus on what you need to do If it’s frightening to you – how must it feel to the children living with it? Think about how parents may be ‘managing’ you Resistant families. Resistance can take many forms. The first point about working with difficult families seems obvious, and that is to keep yourself safe. You should, with your manager, assess the risks to your safety and put in place any appropriate plans. Have some tips about how to calm people down. We’ve probably all been in situations when we’ve breathed a sigh of relief when it’s over – you’ve perhaps visited a parent at home, and been relieved to get out in one piece because they have been so angry. What we need to remember in that situation is how it feels to the child living with that level of fear on a daily basis. If the parent scares you – an adult, able to walk away, then what does it do to a child who can’t? The risks, physical and emotional, associated with the parental anger need to be carefully thought through. A final consideration about working with difficult families is that they may appear to be very cooperative and engaging, but in reality may be simply ‘manipulating’ professionals. It is a fact that some of the children killed by their parents or carers are presented to professionals numerous times. They are not always hidden away, and a parent may attend a GP numerous times about health concerns or injuries, and may present as a caring parent. So always think about how your relationship with a parent is impacting on your views of them. Check things out/record/set measurable goals/share information

8 The rule of optimism For a variety of reasons professionals want to think the best of the families with whom they work. This can lead to the minimising of concerns, failing to see emerging patterns and so on Wanting to believe the best of all people and missing the true need Often in cases where we know the family well or are sympathetic to their situation. Explain – parents of disabled children seen as ‘saints’. ‘It’s Ok because they love their children’.

9 1.EXPERIENCE ‘The Story’ Engage with/observe worker’s experience
4. PLANS AND ACTION Identify goals plans and services What is the next chapter in the ‘story’? 2.REFLECTION Feelings about the story Previous stories 3.ANALYSIS: What does the ‘story’ mean? Enable worker to explore context of experience Kolb’s learning cycle helps us to understand what is happening. Often in supervision we go straight from the story to plans and actions – missing out reflection and analysis. Important to express feelings as can influence our analysis and actions. Helps us to be clear about cultural differences Reflection and analysis helps you to understand if you are biased. Good supervision helps workers to be clear about their purpose and tasks, and helps workers reflect on the emotions generated and meaning of their work

10 Neglect What makes neglect difficult to assess?
What is the impact on the child? Therefore, what things do we need to do well? Ask each question and take feedback. Bring out the impact on attachment and brains What we need to do: Observe Record Check out Listen to child – when I arrive at school the teacher opens the window because I smell. Share info Compile – build a picture Multi-agency approach

11 Messages from a Blackpool review of cases
Neglect Messages from a Blackpool review of cases Keep children at the centre Neglect harms older children too Express your concerns clearly and directly Challenge and conflict Show them the recent learning about working with neglect. The key points are on the slide. We’ll be looking at these pints in more detail as we cover Case Conference and Core Group work today. 10.15 am Hand over to Nicola

12 Case Conference Have you ever attended a Child protection Conference? If so how many and how recently? What positive and negative experiences have people had of attending child protection conferences OR what hopes and fears do they have about attending? Have a discussion in small groups then take feed back in the large group. Some points which tend to come out are how unprepared people felt; that they didn’t realise they would need to make a decision; that they felt uncomfortable expressing honest concerns in front of parents; they felt uncomfortable talking in a big meeting; they felt embarrassed for parents at having sensitive information aired in public; depends on how the meeting is chaired

13 When will a conference be held?
Safeguarding enquiry shows that there is a risk of significant harm There are concerns regarding an unborn child Child subject to child protection plan in another authority moves to Blackpool It should take place within 15 working days of last strategy discussion Useful to give the current numbers of CP plans and LAC in Blackpool. Blackpool is the 6th most deprived area in the UK. Highest numbers of LAC in country for population.

14 What is the purpose of an initial child protection conference?
Provides inter-agency setting where information from safeguarding enquiries can be analysed Assesses parental capacity to safeguard child Assesses future risk to child Makes decision concerning whether a child protection plan is needed Decides current and future action necessary to safeguard child Highlight the importance of evidence based reports – the next step might be Court. Main category neglect. Highest % of children subject to plan in the country.

15 The decision making process
Is the child at risk of significant harm? Does the child need a child protection plan to safeguard them? Majority decision or Chair’s discretion if agreement not possible Each practitioner’s responsibility to give all relevant information and opinion at conference.

16 Attendance Chair All relevant professionals
Anyone with parental responsibility Child Quorum is a social worker and at least 2 other professional disciplines who have had contact with the child and family (but conference can go ahead in exceptional circumstances if not quorate) OFSTED – people representing others at conference was a problem Include birth fathers even if they don’t live with the child.

17 Exclusions Parents can be excluded by the Chair if:
Their presence may seriously prejudice the welfare of the child, e.g. where information shared could further victimise the child or increase the child’s vulnerability to further abuse There is evidence they may behave in such a way as to disrupt the conference e.g. by being violent, threatening or being in an unfit state due to substance misuse or acute mental illness Exclusion at one conference is not reason enough for exclusion at further conferences Rare a year

18 Roles of professionals involved in the process
All professionals invited to child protection conference have a role in sharing, and assessing information; and making decisions about the child's future Often it is only when information from a number of sources is shared that a full picture becomes clear

19 Roles of professionals involved in the process
All professionals should submit written reports to child protection conference, particularly if they cannot attend. Must distinguish between fact, observation, allegations and opinion There is now a multiagency CP report form for completion by professionals Must be available to Chair at least one working day before conference Unless containing confidential information (and non-disclosure agreed with Chair), report must also be discussed with parents/child 2 days before conference Multi-agency format for report on BSCB website

20 Coffee break During the break find someone willing to play the father at the conference.

21 The Initial Case Conference
Get into single agency groups Read the background history and role cards As a group, write a brief report to share with the case conference for the role you have been given Decide who will play the role and attend the conference It is a good opportunity for anyone who has not attended a conference to do so!! There will be tasks for everyone!! The conference role play begins with the above tasks. The trainers will need to ensure that every agency is represented at the ‘conference’ even if not represented among the participants. Each agency group needs to think about what they want to happen at conference e.g. decisions – actions. Marion, Robin, SW, Police, HV, Housing, CPN, Solicitor, School Health, Designated Teacher, Nursery Manager, Youth Worker, Minute taker, Hospital consultant.. Once they have had time to prepare, run the conference as a role play. Nicola will chair. Those not involved in the role play are given observation tasks and will be involved in the feedback about how the conference went. Spare trainer makes a note of the recommendations for the Core group exercise later During feedback – ask how the child’s views could be best represented. Who has the most power? Was everyone able to express their views? Was it difficult to challenge?

22 Possibly white shirt pass.

23 Case Conference - discussion
De brief from conference role play if not already done. During discussions about how nervous people felt, bring in the findings of the recent Parental Feedback Report. Stress the importance of: Prior to the conference - an explanation of the reasons for conference that parents can understand A copy of the reports and an explanation of them (2 parents who had seen the SW report, felt they did not understand it – some reports from other agencies were not seen before the conference). Enough notice to make arrangements for child care etc. Information about the possibility of having support at conference (relative, friend, Women’s Aid, Advocacy Service) The value of meeting with the Chair before the conference The value of children completing a conference pack (where appropriate) During the conference – acknowledgement that it is scary for parents. One mother felt people were ganging up on her/staring at her. One felt unable to ask to go to the loo.

24 Challenge and conflict
Why do we find it hard to challenge? How can challenge help protect a child? Ask the whole group why we find it hard to challenge. Responses may include: It’s uncomfortable May be unsure May feel less qualified, less powerful May want to ‘go with the flow’ Don’t like conflict How can challenge help protect a child? Frank exchange of views increases understanding Clarifies the level of concern Leads to clear decision making, effective planning and appropriate action being taken There is a local concerns resolution protocol within the Pan Lancashire procedures resolution“

25 Asch experiment Short re lines 5 mins Lift old and modern Lines 1970s 5.40 mins best one if outdated! 12 minutes modern re conformity. Shows old one too 4.30 mins Physics class. Not very clear 2.40 mins. Modern

26 CORE GROUPS Presentation by Nicola Cross re the role and practicalities of Core Groups. Ask them to read through the Blackpool SCB Core group guidance. There is guidance re case conf reports.

27 At the conference Establish core group
Set meeting date for core group (must be within 10 working days of conference) Appointment of Lead Social Worker Set date for review conference Outline Child Protection plan agreed

28 Following the Initial Child Protection Conference:
The core group meets to translate the broad recommendations into an operational written agreement: a child protection plan. It is expected that agencies will agree to undertake various components of the child protection plan that relate to them and communicate with the lead worker as necessary. Audit of core group work in Blackpool: Too much ‘update’ discussion– not enough focus on plan Plan should be updated according to changing need Contingency planning essential if plan not working Poor distribution of record of meeting Need to share writing of the record of the meeting and the updated plan Look for impact on child of core group activity

29 The Child Protection Plan
Multi-agency Addresses child’s need and risks to the child SMART planning Everyone should be clear what their role is including parents

30 SMART planning S Specific M Measurable A Achievable R Relevant T Time-bound Example Improve school attendance Attendance every day, on time, breakfast, wash, appropriate clothes. family support, 5 days a week for 2 weeks to help with routines then 2 days a week for 2 weeks Mother/father – up with alarm, provide breakfast, a wash, clean suitable clothes, take to school Collect from school, parents

31 Core group members must meet within 10 working days of the case conference and at least every 4 weeks thereafter. Any core group member can request a meeting and that should include the parents.

32 What is the purpose of the core group?
The Core Group’s task is to reduce the risks, or prevent the occurrence of further significant harm to the child, and safeguard the child’s well being to the point where the child no longer requires a Child Protection Plan.

33 The core group achieves this by…
Developing the Child Protection Plan as a detailed working tool Carrying out the actions specified in the Plan Engaging effectively with the family to ensure their co-operation with the plan Meeting regularly (4 weekly) to monitor progress and update the plan Providing reports for Review Conferences Requesting an earlier conference if the plan cannot be achieved or needs to be significantly altered There are electronic systems for recording CP plans. The Parental Feedback Report noted that all parents interviewed (5) understood the role and purpose of the Core Group. Reinforce that core group members should try and reach a consensus and make recommendations to the Review CPC if at all possible (although it is acknowledged that this can not always be achieved). The request to emphasise this in training comes from learning from a recent core group audit.

34 Things to consider prior to a core group meeting
Below are some of the matters which should be included in such an agreement: Membership – practitioners who have direct contact with the family Frequency of meetings – meetings should be booked ahead for three to four months at a time, rather than at one meeting for the next. Whom to contact if unable to make a meeting and commitment by all members to put information in writing in such circumstances, wherever possible. Appointment of a person who will take on the role of organising venues for meetings etc. One participant in the Parental Feedback found that having meetings in her home helped her with childcare. Another found Core Groups less daunting than conferences. Bring out the importance of including fathers. One parent said that core groups took place when the father was working so he could not attend. Bear in mind that some parents may not agree with the need for or the content of the Plan. (3 out of 5 in the feedback) However 2 parents stated that they wished social services had become involved sooner.

35 continued Establishment of a system for recording the meeting, perhaps on a basis of rotation Procedure to be followed if one member wants to call an earlier core group meeting. Commitment to undertake the tasks agreed by the core group within the required timescale. Strategies for resolving any difficulties which may occur Contingency planning if the plan isn’t protecting the child.

36 The meeting should be chaired by the Lead Social Worker, who should not be responsible for the record of the meeting. Even though there is a lead worker, core groups are everyone’s responsibility. If the Social Worker is not available a representative from Social Care who is familiar with the case should attend the meeting. The meeting should not be cancelled. The other workers still have a responsibility to meet and review the child protection plan.

37 How the child is seen MUST be part of the child protection plan.
Contact with the child How the child is seen MUST be part of the child protection plan. Lead worker to see child at home at least every 4 weeks (unless plan specifies otherwise) Child’s bedroom must be seen Child is seen alone (or babies awake) every 4 weeks (unless plan specifies otherwise) A mobile child should be seen walking “a seen child is not always a safe child” Difficulty with access to the child should be reported to the SW Team Manager and CP plan reviewed. Consideration should be given to an early Review or legal action. Social worker can request a Child Protection Case Conference is re-convened early if a Child Protection plan is not working

38 Agreeing the plan with the child
The CP Plan should be explained and agreed with the child in a manner appropriate to their age and understanding by using the Child’s Conference Pack Interpreter if necessary May not be the role of lead SW. May be another core group member that the child trusts. Working Together 2013 Emphasises the importance of: Putting children's needs at the centre of the system And Each professional playing their part Services being evaluated to demonstrate the impact they are having on outcomes for the child Early intervention Information sharing A single assessment process The importance of supervision


40 Tea break Back in 15 minutes

41 The Child Protection Plan
We are now going to write part of a CP plan for the case study family.

42 Make sure they are SMART
Case study Imagine you are a Core Group and you are meeting for the first time after the conference. The trainers will allocate you roles within the group and ask you to concentrate your discussions on plans for one of the children or the parents You need to come up with at least 2 actions as part of the child protection plan. Make sure they are SMART Put them in 5-6 multi-agency groups for this role play exercise. Go through the recommendations that were made at the end of the role play conference. Two groups can write plans relating to Poppy 2 group write plans relating to Jasmine 1 – 2 groups can write plans which address the parents needs. Each group writes 2 SMART plans of action. Feedback should include – checking if their plans are SMART Ensuring everyone knows who is doing what Ensuring parents have tasks and understand what is expected of them and what could happen if they don’t manage their tasks.

43 Resilience Good to end on a positive note.

44 Resilience Qualities which cushion a vulnerable child from the worst effects of adversity in whatever form it takes and which may help a child or young person to cope, survive and even thrive in the face of great hurt and disadvantage (Gilligan 1997) Resilience is not fixed in time

45 Protective factors in 3 areas
Psychological/dispositional attributes Affectionate, good natured, communicative, sociable, independent, reflective thinking, coping strategies including humour, female, can recruit surrogate parents Family support and cohesion Close bond with at least one person, affectionate ties with other care givers, involved with sibling care giving, faith (gender differences) External support systems Friends, school, responsibility (girls), structure and control (boys)

46 6 Areas of Focus Encouraging purposeful contact with family members and key adults Encouraging positive school experience Encouraging friendship with peers Actively fostering interest, involvement and talents in sport, music, hobbies or cultural pursuits Helping the child to rehearse, dissect and discuss problem-solving and coping skills and strategies Promoting pro-social qualities in the young person 3 fundamental factors: Security of attachment Self esteem Self efficacy Faith – a belief in a broader value system – life has meaning. Beware of apparent resilience. Children can learn to mask their vulnerabilities and distress.

47 The end

48 Eileen Munro

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