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1.2.10 Post Placement Arrangements

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

The chapter summarises the key arrangements that must be made after a child becomes Looked After. See also Decision to Look After and Care Planning Procedure.

AMENDMENT

This chapter was slightly updated in September 2011 in regard to Placement Plan recorded on the Placement Information Record.


Contents

  1. The Care Plan
  2. Agreement to Accommodate
  3. Notifications
  4. Risk Assessments in Foster Care
  5. Health Care
  6. Education
  7. Complaints and Advocacy
  8. Care Planning Meetings
  9. 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) to be drawn up, as set out in Section 2, The Care Plan of Decision to Look After and Care Planning Procedure.


2. Agreement to Accommodate

Every Looked After Child is only placed in the Looked After Service after a full assessment of their needs has been carried out, other than in an emergency when a full assessment is not possible.

A Head of Service Approval Form should be completed and together with completed assessments should be sent to the Head of Service who will make a decision as to whether a child should be accommodated.

A clear Placement Plan (recorded on the Placement Information Record) must drawn up by the social worker, which identifies how the placement will meet the child’s needs in relation to age, gender, race, culture, disability and sexual orientation. All placements should provide appropriate, high quality care.

Permanence should be achieved as soon as possible either through the child’s return home or through permanent substitute care. See Permanence Planning Strategy.

2.1 Assessment

All Looked After Children must have been subject to a Social Care Assessment. This should normally have been completed prior to a child becoming Looked After, but should be completed after placement if this is not the case. All needs should be raised within the Social Care Assessment in relation to the child's age, gender, race, culture, disability and sexual orientation. Once a child becomes a Looked After Child an Assessment and Progress Record must be commenced (See Assessment and Progress Record Procedure).

2.2 Planning

Placements will be made in a planned way wherever possible. Appropriate Plans will be in place - see Decision to Look After and Care Planning Procedure.

2.3 Quality Assurance

All placements will be identified and monitored by the Local Authority, including where children are placed with their parents for a residential assessment. The Commissioning Manager in consultation with the allocated social worker and team manager, will draw up and agree contracts with all external providers. 

Placements will be made within the child’s family network wherever possible.

Placements will be in in-house resources and local (within 20 miles of the county) wherever possible.

Placement moves will be avoided where a placement needs to be ended the Social Worker will convene a meeting to discuss the causes leading up to this. Where the placement was intended as permanent, the Fostering or Adoption Service will convene the meeting. Please refer to the Disruption Placement Procedure.

2.4 Permanence

The child should be returned home as soon as possible where this is in his or her best interests.

Permanent substitute care will be planned at an early stage with adoption considered for every Looked After Child.

Plans for Permanence for children will be considered at the child’s second LAC Review.

No placement with an external provider will be regarded or confirmed as permanent except in exceptional circumstances.

Social workers should not discuss this possibility in any depth with carers from external providers or with children unless and until this has been agreed by the Head of Service.


3. Notifications

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 Supervising Social Worker must also notify the Children and Family Finance Team when a child is placed with foster carers that have been approved by the Fostering Panel to ensure that payments are made.

If the child is placed outside the authority, Children’s Services Department in the area where the child is placed should be notified. (Notifications must be in writing, notifying them of the placement decision and the name and address of the person with whom the child has been placed).


4. Risk Assessments in Foster Care

Children and young people who are being placed in foster care or those who are moving foster placements must be the subject of a risk assessment. (See Risk Assessments when placing children in foster care).


5. Health Care

The Social Worker should arrange for the child to have a Health Care Assessment (see Health Care Assessments and Health Care Plans Procedure) and ensure the child is registered with a GP, Dentist and Optician.

NB Where a child is placed outside the county, the child should be registered with a GP who is local to their placement.


6. Education

The Social Worker should ensure that there is minimal disruption to the child’s education. If the child can not continue to attend his/her previous school, the Social Worker should ensure the child is registered with a school or that his/her educational needs are addressed. This will include ensuring that an electronic Personal Education Plan e-PEP is drawn up within required timescales: See Personal Education Plans (PEP) Procedure.


7. Complaints and Advocacy

The Social Worker should ensure the child is given literature/information about:

  • The Children's Services Complaints Procedure;
  • Advocacy Services provided by the authority;
  • Access to Records.


8. Care Planning Meetings

Following the placement being made a Care Planning Meeting should be held within 7 days of the placement.


9. Support and Monitoring of Placements

If the child is placed out of hours, the EDT Worker must provide necessary immediate support to the placement.

The Social Worker must undertake a visit within a week of the placement and then at intervals required in Visits to Children Guidance.

If the child is placed with Foster Carers, the Carers will receive support and supervision as set out in the following chapter: Supervision of Foster Carers Procedure.

End