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3.2.9 Notification to Other Authorities of Children Placed Out of County

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

This procedure indicates the action to be taken when placing a child looked after by this Local Authority in a placement which is geographically within the area of another local authority.

Other related procedures are Notification by Other Local Authorities / Placement Providers of Children Placed within Lincolnshire Procedure and determining which Local Authority is responsible for a child.

RELEVANT GUIDANCE

The Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations - Volume 2: Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (2015)

AMENDMENT

This chapter was amended in July 2015 by adding a link to DfE, Out of Authority Placement of Looked-after Children – Supplement to The Children Act 1989 Volume 2: Care Planning, Placement and Case Review Guidance. This has since been replaced by the new government guidance The Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations - Volume 2: Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (2015).


Contents

  1. Placements to which this Procedure Applies
  2. Approval of Placement by Nominated Officer/Director of Children's Services
  3. Notification of Placements
  4. Emergency Placements


1. Placements to which this Procedure Applies

This procedure applies to any placement of a Looked After child outside the area of the local authority, EXCEPT WHERE the placement is with a Connected Person, or a local authority foster carer approved by the placing authority.


2. Approval of Placement by Nominated Officer/Director of Children's Services

The decision to place the child out of area must be approved by the Nominated Officer. For all children placed out of county of the authorisation of the Director of Children's Services is required.

The Director of Children's Services must be satisfied of the following:

  • That the child's wishes and feelings have been ascertained and given due consideration;
  • That the placement is the most appropriate placement available for the child and consistent with the Care Plan;
  • That relatives have been consulted where appropriate;
  • That the area authority has been notified, or, for a Placement at a Distance, the area authority have been consulted and have been provided with a copy of the child's Care Plan (see Notification of Placements);
  • That the Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO) has been consulted (usually the IRO will discuss with the child after the child has visited the proposed placement and the wishes and feelings of the child has been taken into account).

The authorisation of the Director of Children's Services is obtained via completion of the Decision to Place out of Area/County Form.


3. Notification of Placements

Written notification must be given to the area authority of the arrangements for the placement before the placement is made or, if the placement is made in an emergency, within five working days of the start of the placement unless it is not reasonably practicable to do so.

The notification must include:

  1. Details of the assessment of the child's needs and the reasons why the placement is the most suitable for responding to these; and
  2. A copy of the child's care plan (unless already provided in the case of a Placement at a Distance).


4. Emergency Placements

In the case of a placement made in an emergency, the approval of the Nominated Officer is still required and s/he must be satisfied that the child's wishes and feelings have been ascertained and given due consideration, and must take steps to ensure that within 5 working days: the IRO has been informed; relatives have been consulted (where appropriate) and the area authority notified. The Decision to Place out of Area/County Form must be completed with 5 days of Placement.

End