Gateway Panel


The purpose of this chapter is to provide procedures on the following:

For Gateway Panel forms, see Local Resources.


This chapter was amended in July 2013 to include two new appendices: Appendix 1: Gateway Panel Terms of Reference and Appendix 2: Report Following Review of Gateway Panel. Related forms were also introduced into Local Resources.

1. Gateway Panel

The Gateway Panel is an internal Children's Social Care panel that considers whether children should become Looked After.

The Gateway Panel meets on a weekly basis, the submission of particular documents is required which must be agreed and signed off by a Team Manager prior to submission. The Panel membership comprises the following:
  • Chair - Head Of Service, Children's Social Care;
  • Service Manager, Children's Social care;
  • Service Manager - Family Services;
  • Team Manager - YOT;
  • Team Manager - Young People's Service;
  • Head of Virtual School;
  • Placement Advisor - Fostering Team;
  • Solicitor - Children's Social Care specialist;
  • Housing.

2. Application Form to Gateway Panel

See: Local Resources.

The following document is required:

  • A completed application form in respect of each child;
  • It may be appropriate to also include assessments that have been completed. This could include an up- to-date Child and Family Single Assessment, pre-birth, parenting / risk assessment;
  • Consideration should be given to attaching the Chronology to the application.

3. Process

  • Panel meets weekly on a Thursday afternoon;
  • Social workers and Managers to submit signed documentation electronically to the Panel Administrator by Tuesday lunchtime prior to the Panel Meeting;
  • Emergency requests need to be made via Service Manager to the Head of Service, Children's Social care;
  • Panel Administrator to forward documentation electronically to Panel members on the Wednesday morning preceding the Panel;
  • Decisions will be communicated to social workers and managers verbally at the panel and in writing electronically on the child's file by Friday afternoon, after Panel;
  • If a decision has been made that a child is to become Looked After and a fostering placement is required, a referral will need to be completed for the Fostering Team to undertake a search for an appropriate placement;
  • Please note that the Head of Service or the Service Manager for Looked After Children permission is required to authorise an external placement.

4. Decisions by Panel

  • Agreement to Accommodate under section 20 of the Children Act 1989;
  • Agreement to the initiation of Care Proceedings;
  • Agreement to commence Public Law Outline;
  • To refuse any of the above with a request for:
    • More information to be brought to Panel;
    • Further work to be completed and evidenced to Panel including specialist input e.g. sex offender or psychological assessment;
    • A direction to target resource e.g. TYS, FIT in an effort to avoid accommodation or care with due regard to identified risk factors;
    • Family Group Conference to explore support within family/community (see Family Group Conferences Procedure).

5. Quality Assurance

Practice issues will be highlighted, it is the responsibility of the appropriate panel member to follow the issue up and report back via their management structure the outcome.