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5.2.15 Resources for Children Panel - Terms of Reference


This chapter was added to the manual in June 2014. It outlines the process for managing requests for external placements and support services for Children Looked After.

See the Documents Library for Forms used in relation to external placements for Children Looked After.

This chapter is currently under review.


  1. Aim
  2. Function
  3. Membership
  4. Accountability
  5. Frequency of Meetings
  6. Review

    Appendix 1: Process Flowchart

    Appendix 2: Panel Process

1. Aim

To manage the requests for external placements and support services by:

  • Effective monitoring and scrutiny of external placements and support services to ensure wherever possible children are placed within the borough;
  • Allocating resources to support the best possible outcomes for Children Looked After and care leavers, through a mixed economy of in house and independent provision based always on the needs of the child;
  • Promoting placement stability by getting the right resources and accommodation in place straight away to meet every child’s individual needs;
  • Making best use of local resource to meet the placement accommodation and support needs of Children Looked After and care leavers in Calderdale;
  • Ensuring that all partner agencies provide the necessary resources to meet specialist, complex or additional needs.

2. Function

The Panel will, where appropriate:

  • Decide on external placements for new admissions to care from Gateway Panel;
  • Decide on new applications for supported living placements;
  • Ratify emergency external placements, including remands, where decisions were made outside the Resources for Children Panel;
  • Consider and agree if appropriate the extension of current external placements;
  • Consider and agree if appropriate changes to external care placements, including moving from an internal to an external placement;
  • Decide whether or not additional resources should be allocated to support a current placement or an internal placement which might attract health or education finding.
  • Review all external placements and support packages over time;
  • Review all Out of Area Placements and ensure children placed ‘at a distance’ continue to be supported to a high standard.

The key tasks of the Panel are as set out in the flowchart attached at Appendix 1.

Cases will be presented in line with the guidance issued to officers presenting cases.

3. Membership

The membership of the Panel will be as follows:

  • Service Manager - Children Looked After (Chair);
  • Virtual School;
  • Children Looked After’s Health Designated Nurse;
  • Looked After and Adopted Children Health (LAACH) service;
  • Residential Service team manager;
  • Fostering Team (Placement Finding Team);
  • Clinical Commissioning Group representative*;
  • Special Educational Needs representative*;
  • Youth Offending Team;
  • Finance;
  • Children’s Commissioning team officer.

The Panel is serviced and supported by the Children’s Commissioning team.

Children’s Social Care Team Managers/Practice Supervisors will attend to present cases coming forward to the Panel from their own caseload.

*The Clinical Commissioning Group and Special Educational Support Manager to attend for those parts of the meeting dealing with placements relevant to their funding.

4. Accountability

The Panel is accountable to:

  • Children Looked After and care leavers whose cases are considered by the Panel;
  • Head of Service Early Intervention and Safeguarding;
  • Corporate Parenting Panel.

5. Frequency of Meetings

The Panel will meet fortnightly.

6. Review

These terms of reference were agreed at 24 April 2014 and will be reviewed after twelve months of operation, to be completed by 30 April 2015.

Appendix 1: Process Flowchart

Click here to view Appendix 1: Process Flowchart

Appendix 2: Panel Process

  • The agenda will be agreed with the Chair of the Panel at least one week before the meeting, and timings for attendance will be emailed by the Children’s Commissioning Team to Team Managers and social workers within 3 days of the meeting;
  • Where cases may attract a contribution from Health or Special Educational Needs these, where possible, will be discussed at the beginning of the meeting to ensure best use of partner’s time in attending the Resource for Children Panel. Notification will be given to the appropriate representatives at least 3 days prior to Panel as to whether they are required to attend;
  • Officers presenting cases to Resources for Children Panel must complete the proforma and return it to the Children’s Commissioning Team 5 working days before the scheduled Panel;
  • There must be one form per child, even for sibling groups being placed together. The forms can be linked together for consideration by the Panel so that a holistic decision is made;
  • The purpose of the form is to provide the Panel with enough information to make an informed decision and to document the reasons for that decision;
  • Team managers will have quality assured the referral form before it is presented to the Resource for Children Panel, making sure that:
    • All actions from previous meetings have been picked up;
    • The form is fully completed;
    • The voice of the child is included;
    • Factors that should affect the Panel’s decision are explained clearly and succinctly.
  • Officers are encouraged to contact the Children’s Commissioning Team as soon as possible to discuss any unavoidable clash with other commitments;
  • The Children’s Commissioning Team will provide the minutes for the Chair to sign off as the official record of the meeting within 5 working days of the meeting;
  • The Children’s Commissioning Team will upload the minutes of the meeting onto CASS within 7 working days.