6.7.6 Transfer protocol: from Children in Care (including localities and children with disabilities where applicable) and After Care Service Aspire 18+ Team
In November 2015, a note was added into Section 1, Points to consider in respect of Transition Processes explaining that a Pathway assessment (Part one) can now be completed directly onto the young person's records in Liquid Logic.
- Points to consider in respect of Transition Processes
- Allocation of the Aftercare Personal Adviser
- Arrangements for Protracted Transfer during Transition
1. Points to consider in respect of Transition Processes
A number of service management issues emerge about the transition process. Good management information systems are essential in ensuring that Leaving Care Services are aware of all young people who will be eligible under the Children (Leaving Care) Act. Fail safe process is required to ensure eligibility for service is triggered. This is especially helpful for some groups, such as disabled care leavers, care leavers in custody and those who return home after reaching 16. These groups can fall through the net.
The young person's experience of transition is central to good service provisions and it is often first impressions of a Leaving Care Service that can impact on future take up.
Young people describe good transitions as having plenty of time to make decisions, build relationships and prepare to leave care. They want the relationship with the social worker to have a proper ending, marked by an event, such as going out for a meal. Similarly, good introductions to the personal adviser are often seen as important to young people
Access to full case history information for the Personal Adviser enables realistic planning and the proper co-ordination of the Pathway Planning process. Chronologies need to be up- to-date.
Integrating the needs assessment (15+ assessment) into the referral process is valuable in securing the involvement of the social worker. The rider to this, however is that the needs assessment must not be seen as a referral exercise but as a tool to involve the young person, carer and significant others in assessing transition needs and planning for when the young person leaves care.
The new case recording system (Liquid logic) allows for a Pathway assessment (Part one) to be completed on the young person's records electronically by the allocated Social worker. This is a stand alone needs assessment tool that should involve the young person, carer and significant others in assessing transition needs and planning for when the young person leaves care. It is not a referral process.
2. Allocation of the Aftercare Personal Adviser
The Personal Adviser may initially be the young person's allocated social worker. The transition from the social worker fulfilling the role, to the allocation of a new Aftercare Personal Adviser from the Aftercare Service will take place at the latest when the young person reaches 16.5 years, (16) unless particularly complex needs are identified which would benefit from an earlier allocation for a longer period of joint working. This allows for a protracted handover and means that a young person is not leaving care at 18 and having a new worker at the same time.
The social worker will continue to act as the case manager until the young person reaches 18 unless they decide to discharge themselves from Section 20 accommodation. In these circumstances they will become Relevant Young People under the provisions' of Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000 and will have an Aftercare Personal Adviser.
In circumstances where the young person returns home after being Accommodated by the local authority for 13 weeks, they will also be a relevant care leaver until they have remained at home for six months. At this stage their leaving care status will alter to that of a qualifying young person.
3. Arrangements for Protracted Transfer during Transition
All 18 year old care leavers will be provided with an Aftercare Personal Advisers and the social work involvement will cease. However the transfer process will begin at a much earlier stage and at the latest at 16. It will be good practice to convene a meeting at 16 to ensure key documents and issues are available and identified. The following issues should be discussed
- The needs assessment and pathway plan to look at the overall plan post 18 for the young person. If the young person is to remain in the foster placement post 18 need to ensure that the Staying Put policy is discussed and arrangements' for supporting the placement have been clarified by the Placement Panel. The link worker should in these circumstances be invited to the meeting. Similarly if the young person has significant disabilities and is likely to need an adult care package, the adult transitional worker should be invited to the meeting;
- Key documents that the young person needs to have at 18 including passport, National Insurance number, birth certificate and health information;
- Any difficulties meeting the needs of the young person;
- Post 18 accommodation plan to be confirmed. At this stage the young person should be on the housing pathway and they should either have an active application for a tenancy, or have been referred to supported accommodation providers if not remaining in placement. If the plan is to be transferred to an adult placement, the role of the Personal Adviser should be made clear. At this stage the should be clarify regarding whether the young person will meet the threshold for adult services and the likely level of service provision in relation to community care needs;
- Arrangements' for ensuring the young person applies for benefits, where applicable, 2-4 weeks before their eighteenth birthday