A strategy discussion may take place at a meeting or by other means (for example, by telephone). In complex types of maltreatment a meeting is likely to be the most effective way of discussing the child’s welfare and planning future action. More than one strategy discussion may be necessary. This is likely to be where the child’s circumstances are very complex and a number of discussions are required to consider whether and, if so, when to initiate Section 47 enquiries, as well as how best to undertake them. Such a meeting should be held at a convenient location for the key attendees, such as a hospital, school, police station or children’s services office. Any information shared, all decisions reached, and the basis for those decisions, should be clearly recorded by the chair of the strategy discussion and circulated within one working day to all parties to the discussion.
Local authority children’s social care should record information in the child’s file which is consistent with the information set out in the Record of Strategy Discussion (Department of Health, 2002). Any decisions about taking immediate action should be kept under constant review.