4.13 Role of Key Worker
Last updated 14/07/2021
It is important that the role of the key worker is fully explained at the initial child protection conference and at the Core Group.
At every initial child protection conference, where a child protection plan is put into place, the conference chair must name a qualified social worker, identified by the Children’s Services team manager, to fulfil the role of key worker for the child.
Each child who is the subject of a child protection plan should have a named key worker.
The key worker is responsible for making sure that the outline child protection plan is developed by the Core Group into a more detailed inter-agency plan. S/he should co-ordinate the contribution of family members and other agencies to planning the actions which need to be taken, putting the child protection plan into effect, and reviewing progress against the planned outcomes set out in the plan.
The key worker should also regularly ascertain the child’s wishes and feelings, and keep the child up to date with the child protection plan and any developments or changes. However, where other practitioners also have a positive relationship with the child, they too can contribute the wishes and feelings of the child. The child should have some opportunity to talk to other people if that is better for them.
The key worker should:
- Convene the second and subsequent Core Group meetings;
- Ensure a written record is made of meetings and available to for all Core Group members, the conference chair and the Children’s Services team manager;
- Ensure that the outline child protection plan is developed, in conjunction with members of the Core Group, into a detailed multi-agency child protection plan;
- Clearly note and include in the written record any areas of disagreement;
- Produce a written agreement from the child protection plan to be signed by all members of the Core Group, copied to all signatories and maintained on the child’s file;
- Obtain a full understanding of the family’s history (which must involve reading previous Children’s Services files as well as current files in use in Children’s Services, including those relating to other children who have been part of any households involving the current carers of the child – additional information should be obtained from relevant other agencies and local authorities);
- Co-ordinate the contribution of family members and all agencies in putting the plan into action and reviewing the objectives stated in the plan;
- Ensure that the key worker sees the child alone for part of each visit, at least every 4 weeks or at intervals specified by the child protection conference plan (see below);
- Ensure that the child’s bedroom is seen at least once between each conference (see below);
- Ensure s/he sees the child alone (with parents’ agreement) or babies awake at least every 4 weeks or at the intervals specified by the child protection conference plan (if parents refuse the Children’s Services team manager must be informed).