Post Placement Arrangements
SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER
The chapter summarises the key arrangements that must be made after a child becomes Looked After, including placements with parents or Connected Persons.
AMENDMENTThis chapter was updated in June 2014 in line with the Children's Homes and Looked after Children (Miscellaneous Amendments) (England) Regulations 2013. Additional information was added to Section 7, Support and Monitoring of Placements.
1. The Care Plan
Where a decision is made to look after a child, the child must have a Care Plan.
The child's Social Worker should have made arrangements for the Care Plan and other plans (e.g. Placement Plan/Placement Information Record) to be drawn up, as set out in Section 2, Decision to Look After Procedures.
2.1 All Placements
After the child becomes Looked After (including changes in placement or placement endings), the Social Worker should also notify all those consulted and involved in the decision-making process. If not consulted in the decision making process, the Social Worker must notify the child's Parent(s), significant relatives or friends and previous Carers.
The Social Worker should ensure that the following notifications are made in writing, notifying them of the placement decision and the name and address of the person with whom the child has been placed:
- The Health Trust in the area where the child is placed;
- Local Education Authority in the area where the child is placed and child's school;
- If the child is placed outside the authority, Children's Services Department in the area where the child is placed (see Section 2.2: Contacting Other Children's Social Care);
- The Independent Reviewing Team, so that arrangements can be made to convene the Child's Looked After Review (see Looked After Review Procedure);
- If the child is placed in Secure Accommodation, it will be necessary to arrange a Secure Criteria Review, see Secure Accommodation (Criteria) Reviews Procedure;
- The child's Independent Reviewing Officer.
2.2 Contacting Other Children's Social Care
The Team Manager should write to the relevant manager in the area authority requesting their agreement to supervise the placement on Calderdale's behalf and asking for a meeting to discuss these arrangements.
NOTE: If the local authority in whose area the child is placed refuses to supervise on behalf of Calderdale, then the supervision of the placement remains the responsibility of Calderdale.
The meeting should consider the following:
- State legal status of the child and the status of the placement;
- State what arrangements the Team Manager is proposing and what requirements this would place on the other authority;
- What information would be provided e.g. CLA's documents, court care plan;
- Contact person in Calderdale;
- That child care reviews would continue to be chaired by Calderdale's reviewing officers;
- Financial arrangements - N.B. These must be notified to the Finance Team 1st Floor, Northgate House, Northgate, Halifax HX1 1UN;
- That Calderdale will require a written record, including the dates of statutory visits and health assessments;
- Arrangements in the event of placement disruption.
When the transfer of responsibility has been agreed the arrangements should be confirmed in writing in the form of a written agreement covering the points above and signed by both local authorities.
3. Health Care
The Social Worker should arrange for the child to have a Health Care Assessment (see Health Care Assessments and Plans Procedure) and ensure the child is registered with a GP, Dentist and Optician.
The Social Worker should ensure that there is minimal disruption to the child's education.
The Nominated Officer must approve any change of placement affecting a child in Key Stage 4, except in an emergency/where the placement is terminated because of an immediate risk of serious harm to the child or to protect others from serious injury.
If the child can not continue to attend his/her previous school, the Social Worker should liaise with the Carer/Home to ensure the child is registered with a school or that his/her educational needs are addressed. This will include ensuring that a Personal Education Plan (PEP) is drawn up within required timescales: See Education of Children Looked After and Previously Looked After Procedure.
5. Complaints and Advocacy
The Social Worker should ensure the child is given literature/information about:
- The Children's Social Care Services Complaints Procedure;
- Advocacy Services provided by the authority.
6. Placement Planning Meetings
The first Placement Planning Meeting in relation to a placement should be held before the placement or, where this is not possible because of the urgency of the situation, within 72 hours of the placement.
7. Support and Monitoring of Placements
If the child is placed out of hours, the EDT Worker must consult Carers/the Home and provide necessary immediate support to the placement.
The Social Worker must undertake a visit within one week of the start of any placement and then at intervals required in Social Worker Visits to Children Looked After Procedure. However, if the child is placed outside Calderdale, consideration should be given to requesting support from the local authority where the child is placed. In such circumstances, the Team Manager should write to the manager of the Children's Services Team where the child is placed and, if they are amenable to providing assistance, convene a meeting to make suitable arrangements. Any agreement to provide support or assistance must be set down in writing.
If the child is placed with Foster Carers, the Carers will receive support and supervision as set out in the following chapter: Supervision and Support of Foster Carers Procedure.
Where there are concerns in relation to the progress of the placement, consideration should be given to seeking additional resources to assist the carers.
Where there are any changes to the type of placement or to the child's legal status during the placement, the child's social worker must update the child's electronic records.
The records should be monitored for quality, adequacy and retention.
A Looked After Review should be convened where:
- The child is, or has been, persistently absent from the placement;
- The placement provider, parents or area authority are concerned that the child is at risk of harm; or
- The child so requests, unless the Independent Reviewing Officer considers that the review is not justified.
See also: Child Looked After Reviews.