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June 2017

Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Retention of Documentation and Destruction of Files This chapter was updated to note the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse requires all institutions to retain their records relating to the care of children for the duration of the Inquiry (see Section 3, Disposal).
Short Term Breaks - Care for Disabled Children This chapter was updated in to add a link to Children’s Society, Friendship For All – Increasing friendship in the lives of children. Please reference as required.
Placements with Parents Section 2.4, Assessment and Checks before Placement was updated to include consideration should be given as to whether the home environment is safe for the child including where relevant, the need for a risk assessment of any pets and the environment in which they are kept.
Placements with Connected Person Under Regulation 24 This chapter was updated to indicate that when considering placing a child with a Connected Person an initial risk assessment of any pets, together with the environment in which the pet is kept should be included, (see Section 4, Assessment and Checks before Immediate Placement).
Secure Accommodation Procedure (Including Reviews) This chapter was amended to update the placement finding address and acknowledge that Schedule 1 of the Children and Social Work Act (2017) now enables local authorities to make placements in Scotland under Sect 25 (Children Act 1989) and comes into force with immediate effect.
The Review of the Child's Plan for Looked After Children This chapter was updated to note The Law Society guidance ‘Attendance of solicitors at local authority Children Act Meetings’ and their Code of Conduct where the child or family who attend reviews are supported by a legal representative. (See Section 5, Action Prior to Subsequent LAC Review Meetings).
Health Care Assessments and Health Plans This chapter was updated by adding a link to Nice Guideline (NG26) Children’s Attachment. This guideline covers the identification, assessment and treatment of attachment difficulties in children and young people up to age 18 who are adopted from care, in special guardianship, looked after by local authorities in foster homes (including kinship foster care), residential settings and other accommodation, or on the edge of care. It aims to address the many emotional and psychological needs of children and young people in these situations, including those resulting from maltreatment.
Social Visits (Including Overnight Stays) This policy and procedure was updated and applies to Looked After Children placed in foster homes in relation to social visits and where overnight stays with friends are planned. The chapter replaces a similarly named chapter but focuses on the social contacts Looked After Children have that promote them ‘being treated as any other child’ and acknowledges the issue of parental consent.
Supervision of Foster Carers This chapter was updated to include, (along with Health and Safety and practical reasons) the addition of any new pets and the environment in which they are kept. (See Section 3, Agenda).
Special Guardianship Orders

This chapter was amended. The DfE has updated the Special Guardianship Guidance to include details of the Adoption Support Fund as the Fund now covers therapeutic support for children, living in England, who were previously in care immediately before the making of a Special Guardianship Order. See also Section 4.1, Special Guardianship Support for Families.

Additionally, two notes have been added to those who can apply, (see Section 3.1, Referral).

Assessment and Approval of Adopters The chapter was updated, particularly with regard to the adoption register contact details (‘First4Adoption’) and additionally, Section 5.3 Assessments was updated to include that where the applicants have pets, a risk assessment should be conducted and any associated risks should be taken into account with regard to the pet itself and where the pet is kept. Where necessary, an independent assessment should be undertaken by a vet to establish whether the dog falls within the scope of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.
Placement for Adoption This chapter was updated to reflect revised timescales within the Placement for Adoption process, viz. the child's social worker must arrange a date for the case to be referred to the Adoption Panel within 6 weeks, and, the match is to be identified and recommended by the Adoption Panel and approved within 4 months.
Inter Country Adoption

This chapter was updated in in line with GOV.UK Adopting a child from overseas guidance.

In Section 3, Initial Meeting the DfE have published Intercountry Adoption and Resident Status Requirements which set out the minimum requirements, however entry clearance requirements vary depending upon the circumstances of each case and prospective adopters will need to obtain their own independent legal advice to establish the requirements that apply to their individual circumstances.

In Section 4, Formal Application, a link was added to Intercountry adoption: means test form which contains information on how to apply for a fee reduction for people who wish to adopt a child from overseas and who earn £45,000 per year or less.

In Section 12, After Approval information has been added on the Intercountry Adoption Forms: checklist for adoption which details the paperwork adoption agencies must include in the intercountry adoption applications they submit to DfE.

Links to GOV.UK Adopting a child from overseas and the Adoption Support Fund can be found in Relevant Guidance. Please fully reference.
Child Trust Funds and Junior Individual Savings Accounts for Looked After Children

This chapter was updated to note the maximum limit for paying into a Junior ISA in any year is £4128.

Note - A single link is now provided to go to the ‘GOV.UK Junior individual saving accounts for looked-after children’. This enables access to the Statutory guidance, Child Trust Funds and Junior ISA sites.

Please re-reference.

New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Children's Consultation and Participation

Working Together 2015 states clearly that one of the key principles underpinning safeguarding should be: ‘’a child-centred approach: for services to be effective they should be based on a clear understanding of the needs and views of children.’’

It is essential therefore that children and young people are enabled by professionals to participate in matters that affect them, particularly any plans or arrangements that will affect them and/or their family and are consulted with regard to processes designed to improve services both to them individually and more generally.

This chapter seeks to emphasise the importance and value of direct consultation with children as a way of achieving positive outcomes for them and progressing their Plans in all situations that Children’s Services are involved.

Throughout the Manual
Keyword: Child Sexual Exploitation Note new keyword and reference as required.

Next update: December 2017


2017 Amendments

2016 Amendments

2015 Amendments

2014 Amendments