Where it has been agreed that a Child’s Plan should be prepared there will be a Lead Professional to make sure that the Child’s Plan is managed properly and to co-ordinate the support described in the Plan.
What does the Lead Professional do?
The Lead Professional will
- make sure that the child and their parent(s) understand what is happening at each point so that they can be involved in the decisions that affect them
- ensure the Child’s Plan is accurate, up-to-date, implemented and reviewed regularly
- consult and work with the child’s Named Person
The Lead Professional will be a practitioner who is chosen because they have the right skills and experience to ensure the Child’s Plan is managed properly, and who can work with the child, their parent(s), their Named Person and the other services who support the child. Depending on the situation, including consideration of the child’s needs, the Lead Professional and Named Person may be the same person.
Information about a child’s needs, specific circumstances and the help they have already received may be shared with the Lead Professional and other services involved in the Child’s Plan.
In most circumstances, the child and parent(s) will know what information is being shared, with whom and for what purpose, and their views will be taken into account. This may not happen in exceptional cases, such as where there is a concern for the safety of a child or someone else.
Who can be a Lead Professional?
The Lead Professional is likely to be someone employed by one of the services involved in supporting the child and family. When a Child’s Plan is being prepared, the managing authority for the plan, which will usually be a health board or a local authority, will consider who is best placed to be identified as the Lead Professional. This will usually involve discussion with the child and parents, and may involve other partners to the Child’s Plan. In making that decision they will need to choose the practitioner who has the right skills and experience, and who can work with the child, the parents, the Named Person and the other services who support the child.
Who is my (or my child’s) Lead Professional?
For most children in the Hearings system it would be expected that the Lead Professional would be a social worker. However this is not always the case, and therefore, if you are unsure who a child’s Lead Professional is your named person should be able to assist and provide you with this information.
If you are unsure who your named person is contact your health board if your child is a pre-school child, or your local authority if your child is a school age child.