Immediate strategy discussion

Immediate strategy discussion

Key points

Although the purpose of the strategy discussion is usually to decide whether to initiate a Section 47 enquiry, there may be occasions when urgent action is thought necessary and so an immediate discussion is needed with the police, other relevant agencies and the referrer.

Where urgent action is required it is unlikely that there will be time to hold a full strategy meeting. Where there are immediate concerns it is more likely that any strategy discussion will have to take place by telephone.

In very rare circumstances a single agency (most likely the police) may have to take action to protect a child before a strategy discussion can be held. If this happens, a strategy meeting should be held as soon afterwards as possible.

The immediate strategy discussion should share information and agree which agencies should take action to protect the child. Guidance about full strategy discussions should be followed as much as possible.

How to do it

Where there is no time for a meeting there should be telephone discussions with other relevant agencies, in particular any referring agency and (where a medical examination may be needed) a senior doctor from the service that would conduct the examination.

The immediate strategy discussion should cover

  • which agencies will be taking action
  • what legal steps may be taken and who will be getting the relevant legal advice
  • whether a medical examination or treatment will be required urgently
  • whether a criminal offence may have been committed and how evidence of that will be protected
  • whether there is any further information that should be sought before seeing the child.