The child’s wishes and feelings should be ascertained and regard given to their age and understanding when making decisions about what (if any) services to provide. Section 47 enquiries should always involve interviews with the child who is the subject of concern. The child should be seen by the lead social worker and communicated with alone when appropriate. Some children may need to be seen, for example, with an interpreter or a person who can use their preferred method of communication (see paragraph 5.65). Others, such as babies, may need to be seen in the presence of their primary caregiver so as to minimise their distress. In addition, the enquiries should involve interviews with parents and/or caregivers (both with the child present and in the child’s absence) and observations of the interactions between parents and child(ren) (where appropriate in a variety of settings).
Enquiries may also include:
- interviews with those who are personally (for example, wider family members) and professionally connected with the child;
- specific examinations or assessments of the child by other professionals (for example, medical or developmental checks, assessment of emotional or psychological state); and
- interviews with those who are personally and professionally connected with the child’s parents and/or caregivers.