The Lead Professional is the professional whose agency has the greatest responsibility to the child. They may or may not also be the, ‘Named Person’. Who will take on the role is agreed at the relevant meeting, for example at a multi-agency action planning meeting.
For Looked-After Children and Children on the Child Protection Register the Lead professional would typically be the Social Worker.
For children who attend a mainstream school, but have some additional support either from Health, Education or Social Work the Lead Professional would typically be the Guidance Teacher.
For children below school age the lead professional would typically be a Social Worker where childcare concerns are foremost or a health professional when the concerns centre on a medical issue.
The role of the Lead Professional
When two or more agencies need to work together to help a child or young person and family, the Lead Professional to co-ordinate that help.
The Lead Professional will:
- makes sure that the child or young person and family understand what is happening at each point so that they can be involved in the decisions that affect them
- acts as the main point of contact for children, young people, practitioners and family members, bringing help to them and minimising the need for them to tell their story several times
- promotes teamwork between agencies and with the child or young person and family
- ensures the child’s plan is implemented and reviewed
- is familiar with the working practices of other agencies
- supports other staff who have specific roles or who are carrying out direct work or specialist assessments
- ensures the child or young person is supported through key transition points, particularly any transfer to a new Lead Professional
- ensures the child’s plan is accurate and up-to-date.