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2.1.1 Child and Family Progress Plans and Meetings

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

This chapter identifies the procedure for making and reviewing plans for children who have been assessed as being a Child in Need under S17 of the Children Act 1989.

NOTE

The term ‘Child and Family Progress Plan’ replaces that of Child in Need Plan.

The term ‘Child and Family Progress Meeting’ replaces that of Child in Need Meeting/Review.

AMENDMENT

This chapter has been significantly updated in February 2018 to reflect the replacement of Child in Need Plans & Reviews with Child and Family Progress Plans & Meetings. The chapter should be re-read in its entirety.


Contents

  1. Child and Family Progress Plans  
  2. Child and Family Progress Meetings
  3. Management oversight of the Plan 
  4. Ending the Child and Family Progress Plan 


1. Child and Family Progress Plans

If a Social Care Assessment (SCA) identifies a child as being a child in need of support as defined by the S17 of the CA 1989, a Child and Family Progress Plan will be created for the child. The plan will be created at day 20 of the Social Care Assessment and will be in the form of a safety plan with separate service actions identified. The plan may start prior to day 20 to avoid any unnecessary delay in supporting the child and family, however in all cases where an SCA continues beyond 20 days, a Child and Family Progress Plan will be created.

If the outcome of the Social Care Assessment is that a Strategy Discussion is needed, the Strategy discussion will consider the steps to be taken to provide services and protect the child. When the Strategy Discussion decides that the child is a Child in Need of support, the first Child and Family Progress Meeting will take place within 10 working days from the date of the Strategy Discussion.

If at the end of a Section 47 Enquiry it is decided that the child is in need of support and not at continuing risk of Significant Harm, the first Child and Family Progress Meeting will take place within 10 working days from the end date of the Section 47 Enquiry.

If the case is open to Team Around the Child and the child has a TAC plan, this plan will remain open until it is decided, as a result of a Social Care Assessment, that a Child and Family Progress Plan is needed to address the needs of the child. At that time, the Child and Family Progress Plan will replace the TAC plan.

When a child has a Child and Family Progress Plan, Child in Need visits are to take place at intervals of once every three calendar weeks minimum, (the child should be visited at home and seen alone wherever possible). Visits to the child should take place outside of Child and Family Progress meetings, particularly so when the meetings are held at the family home. For further information on visits to children, please refer to the Visits to Children Procedure.


2. Child and Family Progress Meetings

The Child and Family Progress Meeting will be the forum for planning and reviewing the Child and Family Progress Plan and will develop plans that are dynamic where the solutions are built with the children, family and support people always at the centre of planning and action, (You Can't Grow Roses in Concrete, Munro, Turnell and Murphy 2016.) 

The allocated Social Worker will hold the first Child and Family Progress Meeting with the child (if appropriate), family and key agencies within 10 days of the Child and Family Progress Plan starting, or within 10 days of the Strategy Discussion or the S47 enquiry.  The Meetings must be chaired by a qualified Social Worker and, if the case is allocated to a social work student, the initial meeting and subsequently every other meeting must be chaired by an Advanced Practitioner or Practice Supervisor. For further guidance, please refer to the Case Holding Procedures for Student Social Workers Procedure

Subsequent Child and Family Progress meetings will take place every four to six weeks t and no less frequently than once every six weeks. 

The Child and Family Progress Plan document will combine the Plan and the record of the Child and Family Progress Meeting. There will be no separate minutes produced alongside the Plan.

The objectives of the Child and Family Progress Meeting are:

  • To listen to, inform, and involve the children at every step of the Child in Need process;
  • To ensure the Child and Family Progress plan is a dynamic one that is continually reviewed and updated;
  • For professionals to lead the parents, support people and children in developing an everyday safety plan to ensure the children will always be safe when family life could, or does, become dangerous;
  • For professionals to lead the parents, support people and children in continually thinking though their current assessment of safety;
  • To find support people and establish them as a permanent, naturally connected support network around the immediate family who provide a watchful eye and all the support necessary to ensure the safety plan will be permanent. This may include facilitating a family network meeting or Family Group Conference;
  • For parents, support people and children to demonstrate they can, and will, always use the safety plan;
  • To identify and review service actions within the Child and Family Progress Plan;
  • To update on what has worked well, and any worries there have been since the plan started or the previous meeting took place. 

Where siblings have an open referral to a Children Services Team or to Team Around the Child, information sharing should take place to inform the plans. 

Through the use of the clipboard actions on Mosaic, Business Support will assist the allocated Social Worker with the setting up of the meeting, (including contacting professionals for their availability), sending invitations, booking venues and circulating the plan within 5 working days. 

Following the meeting the allocated Social Worker will:

  • Organise a Family Network Meeting or within five working days of the meeting make a referral to Family Group Conference (FGC) where this was agreed at the Child and Family Progress meeting. (See Family Group Conferences Procedure);
  • Update the Child and Family Progress Plan within five working days of the date of the meeting and circulate to all those involved with the plan.


3. Management oversight of the Plan

Oversight of the effectiveness of the Child and Family Progress Plan will be through supervision. The focus of supervision in Child in Need cases will be on the Child and Family Progress Plan.

The Team Manager (FAST) will review all Child In Need cases open more than 9 months in a joint supervision/mapping. This joint supervision/mapping will be undertaken with the SW and PS (FAST) and if involved, the EHW and Senior EHW and/or YOS Practitioner and PS.


4. Ending the Child and Family Progress Plan

The benefits of a TAC plan will be considered for every case that is closing and additional needs are identified. A Child and Family Progress Meeting will be held to transfer to a TAC.

When in the cycle of Child and Family Progress meetings, the decision to close a case should usually be taken at such a meeting. This will be when everyone judges the safety to be high enough and permanent (usually everyone scoring 7 or above on the safety scale). You Can't Grow Roses in Concrete, Munro, Turnell and Murphy (2016).

If a case is closed between Child and Family Progress Meetings (for example if a parent declines to receive a service) the rationale will be recorded as a case discussion decision in a case note by the Team Manager/Practice Supervisor on the child's Mosaic file.

At the point of closure, closure letters will be sent to children, parents and professionals confirming the case closure.

The Child and Family Progress Plan will be closed on Mosaic by the Team Manager/ Practice Supervisor when they close the referral.

End