It is critical, that all Local Children’s Safeguarding Boards (LSCBs) and Children’s services have robust procedures in place, both to identify the children most at risk and then to effectively manage their protection.
The very nature of the work dictates that the most successful preventative action is taken if these children are identified pre-birth. This early warning system can only operate in a meaningful way if there is an agreed interagency commitment to the importance of this area of Child Protection and that professionals work together to assess and manage the response to this high-risk group. As prescribed in Working Together (2015) the key agencies in terms of identification and intervention are Childrens Services, Maternity Services; Primary Care Services; Adult Mental Health; Community Drug and Alcohol Services; Probation; Police and Learning Disability Services.
The Guidance should support all professionals in identifying risk factors and assist in constructing meaningful plans in partnership with parents that will protect the unborn child from harm.
Where required, advocates and or language communication interpreters should be made available to the parents throughout the process.
This guidance aims to:
- Clarify what is meant by Pre-birth Child & Family assessments and the circumstances in which they should be used
- Set out the procedures in relation to them
- Provide a framework for the content of such assessments
Click to view the Pre-birth assessment guidance (updated 2017)