It should be noted that the role of lead professional will be used in other areas of children’s services where children have contact with two or more agencies but there are no concerns relating to a child’s safety. The information below is focussed on children where there are concerns about safety but much of the information is transferable to the lead professional role for other children with complex needs.
As stated above, Lead Professionals will be a professional identified at a multi-agency meeting and their role will be to:
- coordinate the implementation of the Child Protection Plan and the Multi-Agency Child Chronology;
- monitor the effectiveness of the Child Protection Plan;
- arrange multi-agency reviews of the Child Protection Plan; and
- provide professional assessment and recommendations to subsequent multi-agency meetings.
To identify the lead professional the following factors should be considered;
- statutory responsibility for the case;
- the reason for the involvement of agencies in the child’s life;
- who has positive relationship with the child and family;
- who has most contact with the child and family;
- the child’s views; and
- who has ability to fulfil coordination role.
Lead professionals have the responsibility to pull practitioners together as an effective team supporting the child therefore other practitioners have to ensure that they delivery an effective service as detailed in the Child Protection Plan.
Where a child needs help from two or more agencies, the Lead Professional is the person who co-ordinates inter-agency planning and makes sure that the different services provide a network of support around the child in a seamless, timely and proportionate way.
At deregistration the child or young person may continue to have a lead professional if they still require ongoing multiagency planning of support The agency taking on responsibility for the lead professional role may sometimes change at this point. Alternatively if there is no longer the need for a Child's Plan the responsibility for ongoing monitoring and co-ordination of information will return to the named person
Role of Lead Professional
A Lead Professional will be nominated within the Child Protection Plan to co-ordinate the agreed tasks. Any changes in the child/family's circumstances should be communicated to the lead professional who will take necessary action, including requesting early reviews. In most cases the lead professional will be a member of Social Work staff, although staff from other key agencies may be nominated as lead professionals. This decision should relate to the predominant needs of the child. Therefore in some instances if a child had extremely complex health needs the lead professional may be a health practitioner.
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