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Derby CityChildren's Social Care Procedures

Amendments

March 2019

Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details

Children's Services Policies, Values and Principles

A new section on Corporate Parenting has been added to reflect the DfE publication Applying Corporate Parenting Principles to Looked-after Children and Care Leavers – Statutory Guidance (Feb 2018).

Recording Policy and Guidelines

Section 1, Recording Practice has been updated in Mar to take account of Judge Greensmith’s comments in the case of M and N (Children: Local authority gathering, preserving and disclosing evidence) around good practice in relation to note-taking and record-keeping, and disclosure of relevant evidence to all parties.

Child in Need Plans, Work and Reviews

A new Section 5, Children in Need Moving to Another Authority – Principles has been added to emphasise the importance of information sharing and communication between the respective local authorities when a Child in Need Moves. This should help to ensure appropriate services continue for the child and family and, where relevant, any risk of harm is recognised and identified with the receiving local authority.

Care and Supervision Proceedings and the Public Law Outline

This chapter has been updated to reflect HHJ Greensmith’s comments in the case of M and N (Children: Local authority gathering, preserving and disclosing evidence) [2018] EWFC 40 (1 June 2018)). (See Section 9, Good Local Authority Practice During Proceedings for further details).

It has also been updated to provide additional emphasis on parents who lack capacity and a link has been added to the President of the Family Division, Family Proceedings: Parents with a Learning Disability note, as well as a links to guidance on working with parents who have a learning disability, and Practice Direction 3aa - Vulnerable Persons: Participation in Proceedings and Giving Evidence.

Death of or Serious Harm to a Child

This procedure has been updated to reflect the introduction of the national Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel and the Child Safeguarding Incident Notification System. Local authorities must notify the Panel, via the Child Safeguarding Incident Notification System, within 5 working days of becoming aware of a serious incident.

Application for Special Guardianship Orders

This procedure has been updated to reflect provisions from the Children and Social Work Act 2017 and related statutory guidance which require schools, through the Designated Teacher to provide support to ’Previously Looked After Children.’

A Previously Looked After Child is one who is no longer looked after in England and Wales because they are the subject of an Adoption, Special Guardianship or Child Arrangements Order which includes arrangements relating to with whom the child is to live, or when the child is to live with any person, or has been adopted from ‘state care’ outside England and Wales.

It has also been updated to reflect the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman good practice points to follow when working with Special Guardians.

Decision to Look After and Care Planning

Additional information has been added in to Section 2.3, Section 20 Accommodation, in line with recent case-law which considered the use of Section 20 Accommodation by local authorities. These cases were clear that:

  • A local authority failing to permit a parent to remove a child in circumstances within section 20(8) acts unlawfully; and

  • The relevant information that a parent would need to be able to understand, retain and weigh up in order to have competency to consent to the accommodation of a child is as follows:

    • That the child will be staying with someone chosen by the local authority, probably a foster carer;

    • That the parent can change their mind about the arrangements, and request the child back from accommodation at any time;

    • That the parent will be able to see the child.

Children in Care in Contact with Youth Justice Services

This guidance has been updated to reflect the role of the Youth Custody Service in sourcing placements for young people who are remanded or sentenced to custody, including handling requests for transfers.

Remands to Local Authority Accommodation or to Youth Detention Accommodation

This chapter has been updated in relation to placing young people in custody, see Section 2.3, How to Request a Transfer or Placement Review.

Education of Children in Care

This guidance has been updated to reflect amendments made by the Children and Social Work Act 2017 relating to the status of Previously Looked After Children.

A Previously Looked After Child is one who is no longer looked after in England and Wales because they are the subject of an adoption, special guardianship or child arrangements order which includes arrangements relating to with whom the child is to live, or when the child is to live with any person, or has been adopted from ‘state care’ outside England and Wales. The chapter includes a new Section 15, Mental Health, and a new Section 6, Safeguarding Children in Care at School.

Responsibilities of the Local Authority to Former Looked After Children and Young People in Custody

This chapter has been updated in relation to placing young people in custody, see Section 3.8, How to Request a Transfer or Placement Review.

Ceasing to Look After a Child

This procedure has been updated in line with the Children and Social Work Act 2017 and revised statutory guidance.

These changes relate to the status of ‘Previously Looked After Children’. A Previously Looked After Child is one who is no longer looked after in England and Wales because they are the subject of an Adoption, Special Guardianship or Child Arrangements Order which includes arrangements relating to with whom the child is to live, or when the child is to live with any person, or has been adopted from ‘state care’ outside England and Wales.

Previously Looked After Children are entitled to support from their school through the Designated Teacher (see Section 2.5, Children Who Move into Permanency).

Adoption Support

This guidance has been updated in line with the Children and Social Work Act 2017 and revised statutory guidance which requires schools, through the Designated Teacher for Children in Care, to offer support to ‘Previously Looked After Children’.

A Previously Looked After Child is one who is no longer looked after in England and Wales because subject of an Adoption, Special Guardianship or Child Arrangements Order which includes arrangements relating to with whom the child is to live, or when the child is to live with any person, or has been adopted from ‘state care’ outside England and Wales.

Adoption Case Records

Section 3, Security, Retention and Sharing of Records has been updated in line with Adoption and Care Planning (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2018, which provides that an adoption agency may disclose an adoption case record to another adoption agency for purposes related to either agency’s functions as an adoption agency. Further information was added in relation to adoption records where an Adoption Order is not made.

Life Story Books

This guidance has been reviewed throughout and updated as needed.

Later Life Letters

This chapter has been updated.

Derby City Permanence Policy

This policy has been updated in line with the Children and Social Work Act 2017 and revised statutory guidance.

These changes relate to the status of ‘Previously Looked After Children’. A Previously Looked After Child is one who is no longer looked after in England and Wales because they are the subject of an Adoption, Special Guardianship or Child Arrangements Order which includes arrangements relating to with whom the child is to live, or when the child is to live with any person, or has been adopted from ‘state care’ outside England and Wales.

Children subject to an Adoption, Special Guardianship or Child Arrangements Order are entitled to support from their school, through the Designated Teacher.

Next update: September 2019

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