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1.2.57 Pre-birth Assessments

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

This chapter should be read in conjunction with the London Child Protection Procedures.


Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Who Carries Out a Pre-Birth Assessment?
  3. Pre-Birth Assessments and Child Protection


1. Introduction

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A pre-birth assessment enables professionals to analyse and identify the potential risks to a newborn baby, the capacity of the parent(s) and carer(s) to change to meet the newborn child's needs and the support that they will need to do so.

Pre-birth assessments should be undertaken early in the pregnancy to allow sufficient time for whatever actions need to be taken in order to ensure a safe home environment after the baby is born.

The London Child Protection Procedures.

Outlines under what circumstances a pre-birth Single Assessment should be undertaken and whether a strategy meeting (discussion) is appropriate. All pre-birth referrals should be recorded on ICS as a referral.


2. Who Carries out a Pre-Birth Assessment?

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Pre-birth assessments are normally undertaken by the Whittington Hospital Social Work Service.


3. Pre-Birth Assessments and Child Protection

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If, following a Single Assessment, safeguarding issues are identified, the social worker and her/his manager must ensure that a pre-birth child protection conference is held as soon as practical and at least ten weeks before the expected date of delivery. This will ensure appropriate multi-agency planning can take place within correct time-scales.

If, following a Single Assessment, no further action is required the social worker should notify the professional network, in writing, outlining the need to re-refer should circumstances change. The social worker should record this outcome on the Further Action section of the Single Assessment. The manager should then approve the outcome and close the case on ICS.

For guidance on when to convene a Strategy Meeting in relation to an Unborn child see London Child Protection Procedures.

For guidance on undertaking a pre-birth section 47 enquiry and Single Assessment, see London Child Protection Procedures. For guidance on the procedures in relation to pre-birth child protection conferences, see London Child Protection Procedures.

Where a social worker is concerned that a child may be born at home, they should refer to the London Child Protection Procedures following the required timescales.

End