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DerbyChildren's Social Care Procedures Manual

Amendments

August 2017

Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details

Children in Need Guidance for MAT Teams and Social Work Staff

A document which summaries the process for the allocation of Child in Need (CIN) cases has been added.

Children and Young People 0-25 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

This guidance has been revised to reflect the outcome of a court judgment in relation to Ordinary Residence which was included in the updated DoH, Care and support statutory guidance (December 2016).

Private Fostering

Appendices have been added containing letter templates, guides for young people, parents and private foster carers and guidance to help determine whether a young person is being privately fostered.

Placements with Connected Persons

Section 3, Approval of Immediate Placements of Looked After Children with Connected Persons has been updated to include a reminder that one of the matters which should be considered when placing a child with a Connected Person is an initial risk assessment of any pets, together with the environment in which the pet is kept.

Placements with Parents

Section 1.2, Assessment and Checks before Placement (has been updated to include a reminder that, as part of the assessment before a child is Placed with Parents, consideration should be given as to whether the home environment is safe for the child and this should include, where relevant, the need for a risk assessment of any pets and the environment in which they are kept.
Documentation for use when planning and making Placements with Parents has been added in the Appendices.

Contact with Parents, other Adults and Siblings

Section 1, Approving and Planning Contact has been updated to include the following:
If contact is more than 24hours, where the plan is not to gradually return the child, a full viability assessment is required, and must be approved by the DhoS. This is inclusive of contact with parents, extended family and connected persons.

Placements in Secure Accommodation on Welfare Grounds

This procedure which applies to the placements of Looked After children in secure accommodation under Section 25 Children Act 1989 - often referred to as being 'on welfare grounds', has been reviewed and updated throughout.

Advocacy and Independent Visitors

A link to the Children's Society 'Advocacy Services for Children and Young People – A Guide for Commissioners' has been added. The guide outlines the legislative requirements placed on local authorities in relation to the provision of advocacy support to Children in Need and Looked After Children.

Appointment and Role of Independent Reviewing Officers

This chapter has been updated in relation to the role of the Independent Reviewing Officer in line with the Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations - Volume 2: Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (2015). In particular, the IRO being sensitive to the close and active involvement of parents of a child who is looked after in a series of Short Breaks and problem-solving where there are any difficulties or issues.

Social Visits (Including Overnight Stays)

This procedure has been reviewed and updated throughout.

Supervision and Support of Foster Carers

Section 5, Support Provided by the Supervising Social Worker (During Placement) has been updated to reflect that the Safer Caring Plan should be updated as and when required to reflect any changes in household circumstances and / or any health and safety issues including the addition of any new pets.

Assessment and Approval of Prospective Adopters

Section 5.3, Assessment has been updated to include that, where the applicants have pets, a risk assessment should be conducted and any associated risks should be taken into account in relation to both the pet itself and the environment where the pet is kept. Where necessary, an independent assessment should be undertaken by a vet to establish whether the dog falls within the scope of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. A link to the BAAF Pet Assessment Form has also been added.

New Chapters
Chapter Name Details

Children's Consultation and Participation

Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015 states clearly that one of the key principles underpinning safeguarding should be: "a child-centred approach: for services to be effective they should be based on a clear understanding of the needs and views of children." It is essential therefore that children and young people are enabled by professionals to participate in matters that affect them, particularly any plans or arrangements that will affect them and/or their family and are consulted with regard to processes designed to improve services both to them individually and more generally. This new guidance considers the benefits of, and barriers to, promoting the involvement of children and young people in the work of Children's Social Care.

Emotional Health and Well-being Service – The Keep

This new chapter contains referral information about the Keep which is a new emotional health and well being service. The Keep is a single integrated health and social care team based at Leopold Street providing emotional well-being and therapeutic services for Children in Care and other groups of vulnerable children and young people. The key aim of the service is to improve emotional well being and to reduce placement breakdown.

Leaving Care Financial Procedures (2017)

This document has been added to the manual.

Next update: February 2018

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