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2.1.2 Child and Family Progress Meetings for Children with Disability (CWD)

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.

OTHER RELEVANT CHAPTER

Child and Family Progress Plans and Meetings Procedure

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 was significantly updated in December 2018 to reflect the current process for Child and Family Progress Meetings for Children with a Disability and its re-titling. The chapter should be re-read in its entirety.


Contents

  1. Child and Family Progress Plans for Children with Disability
  2. Child and Family Progress Meetings
  3. Management Oversight of the Plan
  4. Ending the Child's Plan


1. Child and Family Progress Plans for Children with Disability

If a Social Care Assessment (SCA) identifies a child as being a child in need of support as defined by the S.17 of the Children Act 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 a Social Care Assessment (SCA) continues beyond 20 days, a Child and Family Progress Plan will be created.

If at any point during the Social Care Assessment it is identified 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 (but that this is not progressing to a Section 47 Enquiry, 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/ESCO and the child has a TAC/ESCO 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/ESCO plan.

When a child has a Child and Family Progress plan, Child in Need visits are to take place at intervals of once every 12 calendar weeks as a minimum (the child should be visited at home and seen alone wherever possible). Visiting patterns for CWD will be agreed and recorded as a case decision and the rationale as to the visiting frequency. Subsequent changes should be recorded in the same way.

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 this visit is not considered a Child in Need Visit. 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, (see 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.

A Subsequent Child and Family Progress meetings will take place in 3 months' time following this Child and Family Progress meetings will take place no less frequently than once every 6 months.

The Child and Family Progress Plan document will combine the plan with 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 through their current assessment of safety and family situation;
  • To assist families 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 Conferences Procedure;
  • 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 open referrals to Children with Disabilities Team and Team Around the Child /ESCO information sharing should be considered to inform the individual plans. Joint Child and Family Progress meetings  shall be considered;
  • Consideration should be given to young people who are transitioning  towards adulthood and Adult Social Care invited to the Child and Family Progress Meeting;
  • Agree the date, time and venue of the subsequent Child and Family Progress meeting and when possible, will be held at the same time with other statutory reviews for Children with Disability (Education Health and Care Plan reviews, Transition review, etc.

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 initial 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.


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;
  • Consideration should be given to joint supervision with key social care professionals involved in the child and Family Progress Plan not exclusively but could include Occupational Therapist, EHW SEND caseworkers.


4. Ending the Child's Plan

The benefits of a TAC/ESCO 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/ESCO.

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). (Ref: 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