Will a child protection process begin if there are concerns a parent is misusing alcohol or drugs?
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If children’s services think a child is at risk of significant harm or is suffering significant harm then they must investigate. This is called starting child protection enquiries. When children’s services make child protection enquiries they aim to:
- Gather information about the child and their family
- Assess the family’s situation
- Decide whether they think the child is suffering ‘significant harm’
- Decide whether they think the child is likely to suffer ‘significant harm’
- Decide whether they should take any action to keep the child safe and promote their welfare.
Where enquiries show a child is suffering, or at risk of suffering, significant harm, an initial child protection conference must take place. This is a meeting arranged by children’s services. It decides whether a child should be placed on a child protection plan. See our Child protection page for more information about the child protection process.