View Lincolnshire SCB Procedures View Lincolnshire SCB Procedures

1.2.9 Transfer and Allocation Procedure

AMENDMENT

Section 3, Roles and Responsibilities of this chapter was updated in April 2015, to give greater clarity on the responsibilities on allocating a case following a referral to FAST.


Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Glossary of Terms
  3. Roles and Responsibilities
  4. Transfer of the Lead Social Worker from One Key Team to Another Key Team
  5. Transfer for Looked After Children with a Plan of Permanence
  6. Transfer for Looked After Children within the PLO Process
  7. Involvement of a Practitioner within the Same Key Team
  8. Requesting the Involvement of a Practitioner from Another Key Team
  9. Transfer from the Lead Social Worker using the Assessment for Children in Need and their Families to a Lead Professional using the Team Around the Child Arrangements (TAC)
  10. Transfer of a Child in Need Plan to another Local Authority
  11. Closing the Case to Lincolnshire Children's Services when the Child and the Family have Moved to Another Local Authority

    Appendix 1: Transfer for LAC within the PLO Process


1. Introduction

Allocation refers to these circumstances:

  • The allocation of the case to the Lead Social Worker following authorisation of the referral;
  • The transfer of the Lead Social Worker role to another Lead Social Worker;
  • The involvement of a practitioner to carry out a specific role alongside the Lead Social Worker;
  • The transfer of a child's child in need plan to another Local Authority. 

For the procedure for transfer of a child protection plan to another Local Authority see LSCB procedures. (See Lincolnshire Safeguarding Children Board Procedures, Arrangements for Children Who are the Subject of a Child Protection Plan).

For the procedure for placement of a Looked After Child in another Local Authority see the Notification to Other Local Authorities of Children Placed Out of County Procedure.


2. Glossary of Terms

The Lead Social Worker who is to transfer the case is referred to as the 'current Lead Social Worker'.

The Lead Social Worker who will become the Lead Social Worker following transfer is referred to as the 'receiving Lead Social Worker'.

The Lead Social Worker is a Qualified Social Worker. Please refer to the Case Holding Procedures for Student Social Workers on training regarding allocation to Social Work Students.

The 'involved person' is a practitioner who is allocated tasks and roles but is not the Lead Social Worker.

The Lead Social Worker uses the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families and when transferring to the Team Around the Child Arrangement (TAC) the Lead Professional is the named person responsible for taking the plan forward.


3. Roles and Responsibilities

The Team Manager will ensure that all work is allocated or if it cannot be allocated will record the reason for this and ensure that it is reviewed.

The Team Manager may delegate the role of allocating to the Practice Supervisor.

The Team Manager or if the role of allocating has been delegated to the Practice Supervisor, will ensure a referral to FAST is allocated to a Social Worker on the same day as the referral has been received by the team.

A date to visit the family (following a referral to FAST) is to be agreed in allocation between the Practice Supervisor and Social Worker and if appropriate and contact details are available, a telephone call will be made to the family to arrange a visit.

The receiving Team Manager will not delay transfer to their team and make any interim arrangements necessary to transfer the case to their key team if a Lead Social Worker is not available.

Once allocated the Lead Social Worker will read the entire child's record(s) to ensure he/she is aware of the child and family's history and current situation, and to inform assessment and planning.

If concerns in the referral or any concerns from past history suggest issues of neglect or poor home conditions, the Social Worker should make an unannounced visit.

The current Lead Social Worker will make the receiving Lead Social Worker/Team Manager aware of any specific requirements that the child or family may have. For example such requirements that relate to:

  • Disability;
  • Communication needs/tools/services;
  • Religion including festivals, non working days;
  • Ethnicity;
  • Gender;
  • Sexual orientation.

The following standards shall be applied in all circumstances at the time of allocation to a Lead Social Worker or involved practitioner.

The Team Manager or delegated person shall:

  • Ensure that the allocated practitioner is clear about what is expected of them, what action is required, including any timescales to be met, and that they understand the procedure and associated standards;
  • Ensure that the practitioner allocated the work is suitably qualified and trained or experienced to undertake the work;
  • Ensure that the practitioner knows how their work will be authorised and supervised;
  • Ensure that the case does not have a personal impact on the allocated practitioner;
  • Allocate the case to a team out of area if the subject of the referral directly involves a family who has a connection to Children's Services in a professional capacity or there is a potential conflict of interest;
  • Undertake and record a Health & Safety Assessment including checking and taking into consideration any hazards recorded.

The allocated practitioner shall:

  • Ensure that they know what is expected of them and how their work will be authorised and supervised;
  • Raise any issues with the allocator that may impact on their role including issues relating to any health and safety;
  • Ensure that they know of all the records/files that exist for the child and that these are recorded correctly on MOSAIC or other child's record including file;
  • Check that the child's record is a complete record and make the Team Manager aware of any gaps in the records and any data/documents that may be missing that are associated with the missed data.

At the time of allocation evidence of the standards being met will be recorded on the child's records at the following events:

  • At allocation if this follows a referral. This is recorded in a case note with the type/heading 'allocation record';
  • In case notes using 'case discussion/discussion' or case 'supervision depending' upon which circumstances the allocation takes place;
  • At a review of a child's plan and recorded when the change of Lead Social Worker or name of the involvement is added to the child's record. This is recorded in a case note with the type/heading 'allocation record'.

The Lead Social Worker or practitioner involved for a specific role shall undertake the following before commencing their tasks and within 5 working days of the date of allocation/involvement:

  • Familiarise themselves with the child's record including any historic files, including any records relating to legal proceedings and record in case notes that this has been completed;
  • Notify all professionals involved and child/young person and family members of their involvement, role and contact details and record in case notes that this has been completed;
  • Ensure all dates specific to the case to which they need to attend are entered onto their electronic diary;
  • Ensure that the core persons details fields are complete and kept up to date, for example ethnicity, religion, disability and if not identify what must be completed, and ensure these are completed within the first ten days of allocation;
  • Ensure that the involvements and relationships are recorded accurately and are kept up to date, with full information including telephone numbers, addresses, postcodes, email addresses;
  • Make arrangements to collate and read any historic files and documentation from other local authorities;
  • Ensure that written confirmation of the outcome of the referral was sent and if it was not sent, send written confirmation to the referrer within 48 hours/two working days of allocation date;
  • If the child and family have received services in another local authority and a request is made to Lincolnshire to continue the service, a referral to Customer Service Centre (CSC) is to be made. If the referral is accepted, a transfer meeting/discussion will be held.

Transfer of the Case from one Lead Social Worker to another Lead Social Worker

Wherever possible this shall be undertaken at the review of the child's plan, or at the Child in Need or child protection core group meeting, and child's record amended within one working day of the date of the review/meeting.


4. Transfer of the Lead Social Worker from One Key Team to Another Key Team

The current Lead Social Worker will notify the receiving Team Manager (who is required to allocate a new Lead Social Worker), of the date and time of the review/meeting and reason for the need to transfer to the new Lead Social Worker.

The notification will be made at least three calendar weeks prior to the date of the review/meeting and will be recorded in case notes. The current Team Manager will ensure a quality audit is completed and the case records are up to date in preparation for transfer. The receiving manager will complete a quality audit to confirm all tasks have been undertaken.

The receiving Team Manager will:

  • Read the child's record and identify a new Lead Social Worker;
  • Inform the current Lead Social Worker of the name of the new Lead Social Worker at least 5 working days before the date of the review/meeting;
  • Request the new Lead Social Worker to attend the review/meeting to then be allocated as the Lead Social Worker;
  • If the attendance at the review is not possible the receiving Team Manager will notify the current Lead Social Worker of the name of the new Lead Social Worker within at least 5 working days of the date of the review/meeting. This is to ensure that a case discussion meeting can take place within 5 working days of the date of the review. The change of the new Lead Social Worker will be made to the child's record within two working days of the case discussion meeting.

Prior to the review the current Lead Social Worker will notify the child/young person and family of the change in Lead Social Worker and the name of the new Lead Social Worker. Evidence of this taking place will be recorded in case notes.

There should be no delay in transferring Lead Social Worker and key team responsibility.

Looked After Children

The current Lead Social Worker and receiving Lead Social Worker or receiving Team Manager if the Lead Social Worker is not available, will jointly visit and meet with the child to introduce the child to the new Lead Social Worker/Team Manager.

In circumstances where it is not possible to transfer Lead Social Worker status at a review of the child's plan.

In circumstances where it is not possible to transfer Lead Social Worker status at a review/meeting of the child's plan the current Lead Social Worker will notify the receiving Team Manager (to which the case is to be transferred).

The Team Manager of the new Lead Social Worker will ensure that the transfer to the new Lead Social Worker takes place within three calendar weeks from the date of notification.

Where the transfer at the review/meeting is not possible the current Lead Social Worker and new Lead Social Worker will meet for a case discussion prior to the review/meeting or within 5 working days of the review/meeting having taken place to ensure that new Lead Social Worker is aware of any:

  • Timescales to be met (in keeping with the three calendar weeks from date of notification);
  • Risks as identified in the health and safety assessment;
  • Assessments, visits, tasks or appointments required;
  • Meetings to attend;
  • Requirements listed within the child's plan;
  • Any specific needs or requirements relating to disability, communication, methods of working etc.

Evidence of the meeting taking place and the contents of the meeting will be recorded in case notes by the current Lead Social Worker before the details of the new Lead Social Worker are entered onto the child's record.

The name of the new Lead Social Worker will be added to the child's record within two working days of the case discussion.


5. Transfer for Looked After Children with a Plan of Permanence

For the procedure for Permanence see the Permanence Planning Strategy.

An invite to all initial Looked After Children Reviews to be sent to the Looked After Children/Adoption Team Manager to alert that a child or young person has become Looked After.

For the Looked After cases not in proceedings - each child should have a Permanence Plan by the time of the second Looked After Children Review and the case will transfer to the relevant team at this point.


6. Transfer for Looked After Children within the PLO Process

FAST will retain the lead Social Worker role throughout proceedings except in exceptional cases such as Foster to Adopt, where the adoption Social Worker will be added as an involvement and be responsible for all LAC tasks and relinquished babies.

FAST Social Worker refers to and attends the Support Panel (see Support Panel Procedure) and sets up Legal Planning Meeting. Invites for both will be sent to LAC and Adoption Team managers.

FAST SW will send notification to CAFCASS (see Public Law Outline (PLO) Applications to Court under Children Act 1989 and CAFCASS Plus Lincolnshire Initiative) plus (after Support Panel but before Legal Planning Meeting) for all unborn babies where there are any safeguarding concerns.

Legal Planning Meeting attended by LAC/Adoption and minutes sent to LAC/FAST/Adoption TM's in addition to Head of Service. (N.B. this in an opportunity to consider sibling assessment; this is especially important where there are large sibling groups with possible LAC/Adoption plans). Please refer to the Sibling Assessment held in Children's Services Core Forms.

Decision to issue; all initial evidence to be prepared by FAST, sent to LAC and Adoption with consideration given to joint case discussion and input to initial care plan.

Case Management Hearing provides further opportunity for case planning and assigning of tasks according to roles however, FAST remain the Lead Social Worker with LAC/Adoption added as an involvement.

Three weeks prior to filing Final Evidence the FAST TM/PS will Quality Audit the case file.

The Child Permanence Report (CPR) will go to the Adoption QA meeting 4/5 days prior to Initial Resolution Hearing (IRH) for the Agency Decision Makers decision.

The Final Care Plan must be completed by the FAST SW in consultation with LAC/Adoption teams especially where there are sibling placements.

IRH; Final outcome/decision will be made and will be either:

  • Care Order;
  • Care Order and Placement Order;
  • Supervision Order.

Where a Care Order is made and the child/children remain at home then the case will transfer to LAC team with a clear Care Plan to de-escalate and return to FAST under Supervision Order/ CiN (TAC).

A Signs of Safety mapping will be completed to review the progress of the Full Care Order at home

The case will transfer from FAST to appropriate team one day after IRH provided that the TM/PS in LAC or Adoption have confirmed QA.

Please refer to Appendix 1: Transfer for LAC within the PLO Process.


7. Involvement of a Practitioner within the Same Key Team

The decision of who will be the involved practitioner for the task/role will be made by the Team Manager or designated person.

The Lead Social Worker will add the name and other details to the child's record before the involved practitioner commences their role/task.

The Lead Social Worker and the involved practitioner will meet to ensure the following information is shared:

  • Timescales to be met (in keeping with the three calendar weeks from date of notification);
  • Risks as identified in the health and safety assessment;
  • Assessments, visits, tasks or appointments required;
  • Meetings to attend;
  • Requirements listed within the child's plan;
  • Any specific needs or requirements relating to disability, communication, methods of working etc.

Evidence of the meeting taking place and the contents of the meeting will be recorded in case notes by the current Lead Social Worker before the details of the involved practitioner are entered onto the child's record.


8. Requesting the Involvement of a Practitioner from Another Key Team

In these circumstances the allocated responsibility of the Lead Social Worker is not transferred but another practitioner is required to assist or allocated to undertake a specific piece of work and therefore becomes an 'involvement' and entered onto MOSAIC.

The Lead Social Worker will notify the Team Manager from another key team, outlining the tasks required of the involved practitioner and giving the timescales of when the involved practitioner is required and reason for that timescale.

The Team Manager will:

  • Read the child's record and identify the involved practitioner;
  • Inform the Lead Social Worker of the name of the involved practitioner;
  • Add the name and details of the involved practitioner to the child's record.

The timescales for adding the involved practitioner will be completed in line with any other procedure, for example Private Fostering. If the involvement is to assist with undertaking an assessment for example the Social Care Assessment, the Team Manager must identify and add the name of the practitioner to the record within 5 working days or a timescale that is agreed by the allocated Lead Social Worker.


9. Transfer from the Lead Social Worker using the Assessment for Children in Need and their Families to a Lead Professional using the Team Around the Child Arrangements (TAC)

The transfer can occur when there is no longer a role for Social Care, but the child and family require ongoing support. Please see the TAC handbook for further information (Lincolnshire Children website).

This includes transfer within Lincolnshire and to another local authority.

The Allocated Social Worker arranges the transfer to TAC (Team Around the Child) including the identification of agencies and Lead Professional and convenes with the assistance of Business support the first TAC review meeting by booking the venue and sending out invitations. The Allocated Social Worker attends the initial TAC meeting if this is considered appropriate.

The Lead Social Worker supplies the following documents to the TAC members:

  • Recent assessment, or minutes of the most recent CIN meeting including current plan, or minutes of Child Protection Conference and Plan;
  • Contact list for the family and all professionals involved in the child’s plan.

The Allocated Social Worker notifies the TAC Administrator that the transfer has taken place and gives details of the first scheduled TAC meeting and identity of the Lead Professional.

Case is closed by Social Care and TAC details then completed on MOSAIC by the TAC Administrator. The Lead Professional takes over responsibility for co-ordination at this point.


10. Transfer of a Child in Need Plan to another Local Authority

A transfer will take place when the carer/parent has consented to information being shared and wants continuation of service from another local authority. If the carer/parent does not consent or does not want a service from another local authority consideration shall be given to whether the discontinuation of the child's plan will result in safeguarding issues. In these circumstances a referral will be made to the other local authority.

The transfer to another Local Authority wherever possible should be planned and take place at a review of the child's plan or at a transfer meeting organised by Lincolnshire. The receiving Local Authority will be invited to attend. If unplanned, the other Local Authority should be notified and a meeting/discussion should take place.

The Lead Social Worker will send the receiving Local Authority a letter notifying them of the details of the transfer enclosing a copy of the latest Social Care Assessment, child's plan, the chronology and any other relevant documents. The notification should include details of the transfer meeting. This shall be sent in all circumstances, planned or unplanned moves.

A note should be made on the child’s MOSAIC record confirming what documentation has been sent by whom, to whom and when (by secure email or hard copy).

Where the post is used a receipt of posting should be acquired and scanned in. In circumstances where a family has moved to another authority after a referral has been accepted but not activated, then the details of the referral should be forwarded to the new Local Authority and a note made on MOSAIC to this effect.

The Lead Social Worker will send a letter notifying the Lincolnshire GP, Health Visitor, school and any other agencies involved of the details of the move, including the date and new address. This shall be sent in all circumstances, planned or unplanned moves. A note should confirm this on MOSAIC.


11. Closing the Case to Lincolnshire Children's Services when the Child and the Family have Moved to Another Local Authority

The referral (case) will be closed by the Lead Social Worker within 10 working days following the date of the move.

The Lead Social Worker will:

  • Liaison to take place with the receiving local authority;
  • Parents/carers have been seen and spoken to by a social care practitioner within the 7 days of the date that the notification is made to the Team Manager to confirm that the child's record is ready for closure. A record of the visit will be recorded in case notes using title 'closure visit';
  • The child/young person has been seen and spoken to alone by a social care practitioner within the 7 days of notifying the Team Manager that the child's record is ready for closure. A record of the visit will be recorded in case notes using the title 'closure visit';
  • The accommodation which the child/young person is living in has been seen by one of the professionals involved in the provision of a service listed in the child's plan. A record of the visit will be recorded in the child's record in case notes using the title 'accommodation seen'. The Lead Social Worker must record a request to the professional undertaking the visit to provide a written record of the visit within two working days;
  • Update and ensure the child's record is accurate and up to date at the time of closure.

The Lead Social Worker will notify the Team Manager that the child's record (referral) is ready for closure.

The Team Manager/Practice Supervisor will complete a QA on the case.

The Team Manager will read the child's record within 5 working days of the notification and record on Case Note discussion/decision of whether closure is agreed or if further action is required.

The Team Manager will check that there is evidence on the child's record that the Lead Social Worker has completed the actions above.

Following the Team Manager confirming closure agreement within 5 working days the Lead Social Worker will complete all the sections of the child's record required to close the referral.

The child, parent(s), carer(s) and all other professionals involved and the other Local Authority will be provided with a copy of the closure record exemplar following the closure of the referral. This will be sent within two working days of the date of the closure.


Appendices

Appendix 1: Transfer for LAC within the PLO Process.

End