Relevant matters will include:
- agreeing a plan for how the core assessment under section 47 of the Children Act 1989 will be carried out – what further information is required about the child(ren) and family and how it should be obtained and recorded;
- agreeing who should be interviewed, by whom, for what purpose and when. The way in which interviews are conducted can play a significant part in minimising any distress caused to children and increase the likelihood of maintaining constructive working relationships with families. When a criminal offence may have been committed against a child, the timing and handling of interviews with victims, their families and witnesses can have important implications for the collection and preservation of evidence;
- agreeing, in particular, when the child will be seen alone (unless to do so would be inappropriate for the child) by the lead social worker during the course of these enquiries and the methods by which the child’s wishes and feelings will be ascertained so that they can be taken into account when making decisions under section 47 of the Children Act 1989;
- in the light of the race and ethnicity of the child and family, considering how these should be taken into account and establishing whether an interpreter will be required; and
- considering the needs of other children who may be affected – for example, siblings and other children, such as those living in the same establishment – in contact with alleged abusers.