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Attending a core group?

The Safeguarding Board have outlined the function of a core group and useful things for you to know below. A leaflet can also be downloaded:

Core groups - a guide for professionals and family members (word 247kb opens in new window) 

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What is a core group and what does it do?

If a decision is made at a child protection conference that a child is in need of a child protection plan, the core group is responsible for developing that plan and for ensuring that all the recommendations from the conference are carried out.

The core group’s task, via the child protection Plan, is to:

  • reduce the risks (to the child);
  • prevent the occurrence of further significant harm to the child;
  • safeguard the child’s well being – to the point where the child no longer needs a child protection plan.

A copy of the child protection plan should be lodged with the safeguarding unit.

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Who could be part of a core group?

Core group members are usually agreed at the child protection conference and normally include:

  • parents/carers/other adults in the family who have responsibility for providing care for the child;
  • the child who is the subject of the plan, (however, children need to be of an appropriate age and understanding at attend);
  • those professionals who are involved with the child and family, (for example, a social worker, teacher, health visitor/school nurse).

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When and where should a core group take place?

The first meeting of the core group should take place within 10 working days of the initial child protection conference.

The core group should take place at a time and place that is convenient to the child and/or family wherever possible.  A written record of each core group must be sent to all the group members and lodged with the safeguarding unit.

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Roles and responsibilities of the core group

Although the lead social worker holds the responsibility for ensuring the outline child protection plan is developed into a more detailed inter-agency plan, all core group members are responsible for:

  • the formulation and implementation of the plan;
  • refining the plan as required;
  • monitoring progress against planned outcomes detailed in the plan.

 

Plans should be formulated with the specific roles of the core group members in mind, so that everyone is clear about individual and shared responsibilities.

The tasks of arranging core group meetings will be with the relevant children’s social care team and shall be chaired by an advanced social work practitioner or an equivalently experienced professional. 

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The first Core Group meeting

This meeting must be used to complete the detail of the child protection plan.  The plan will set out what each member is expected to do and what work will take place, including visits to the home and further assessments where necessary.

This detailed plan, together with any other actions/decisions agreed at the core group, should be recorded and circulated by the chair within seven working days.  The chair should also set dates for subsequent core group meetings to be held before the first child protection review conference. 

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Subsequent core group meetings

These should be held every six weeks (unless a decision is made at conference for it to be more frequent) and good practice suggests that core group meetings should occur within two weeks of the child protection review conference.

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