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Child protection conferences and Public Law Outline (PLO)

A Child Protection Conference is arranged when the Local Authority believes a child is at risk of significant harm.

This conference will involve family members and professionals involved with the family. This could include healthcare professionals, school teachers, police and social workers. Each professional will prepare a report prior to the conference.

The purpose of the child protection conference is for professionals to share their concerns and to agree on a plan to keep the child safe.

The professionals will decide whether a child protection plan is required and, if so, which category this should be under. The categories are physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse and neglect.

The first review conference will be arranged 3 months after the initial meeting and every 6 months after that.

If the Local Authority continues to be concerned about a child they can enter into the Public Law Outline process (PLO). This is the step before court proceedings are commenced and therefore it is very important that parents fully engage with the Local Authority.

The Local Authority will arrange a PLO meeting and parents will be required to attend. At this meeting, the Local Authority will set out their concerns and their expectations of parents. Parents will be provided with a copy of a PLO letter setting out the concerns and they will need to provide this to their solicitor to entitle them to Legal Aid funding. This will allow a solicitor to attend the PLO meeting with the parent.

If parents do not engage and the Local Authority continues to be concerned, then it is likely that they will issue court proceedings.

If you have any questions in relation to the above, please contact

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About the author

TMJ Legal Services

TMJ Legal Services has been helping individuals and businesses since 1986.

TMJ Legal Services

TMJ Legal Services has been helping individuals and businesses since 1986. We offer a range of advice and services. 

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