Within 10 days of a CPC deciding on a Child Protection Plan (CPP), the social worker should convene a Core Group Meeting, which you are entitled to attend, as well as any close family members who are supporting you, and professionals who are involved in your child’s life. Always take a supportive person/advocate with you and remember that you can record the meeting! The aim of the meeting is to go through the CPP and you have the right to ask for it to be changed if you don’t agree with what’s being said or asked of you. You are entitled to get the CPP translated into your first language if it’s not English. The same tips apply as we have discussed above about the CPC.
At this stage the social worker can convene a Family Group Conference (FGC). A family group conference is a process led by family members to plan and make decisions for a child who is considered to be at risk. Children and young people are normally involved in their own family group conference, ideally with support from an advocate. It is a voluntary process and families cannot be forced to have a FGC. Families, including extended family members are assisted by an independent family group conference coordinator to prepare for the meeting. At the first part of the meeting, social workers and other professionals set out their concerns and what support could be made available. In the second part of the meeting family members then meet on their own to make a plan for the child.
See who among your family and friends can help and support you. This might be helpful if you have supportive family and/or friends; if you don’t, it might go against you. Keep in mind that the main issue is to establish what support you have, it’s not a place to argue your case. The child and the child’s advocate should always be invited to attend.