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Derby CityChildren's Social Care Procedures

6.3.1 Placement Planning and Disruption Meetings

AMENDMENT

In September 2020, additional detail was added into Section 1, Placement Planning Meetings setting out what should be covered in the Placement Plan and discussed / agreed at the Placement Planning Meeting. Children placed in Derby City Children's Homes will also have an Enhanced Case Management Meeting; this will take place after the first Placement Planning Meeting. Please see Appendices for the relevant guidance and template.

Derby City Council uses a Strengths Based Approach for all work with children and families.

Contents

  1. Placement Planning Meetings
  2. Disruption Meetings
  3. Appendix 1: Children's Social Care Risk and Network Meeting Guidance
  4. Appendix 2: Enhanced Case Management Meeting Template

1. Placement Planning Meetings

Placement Planning meetings should be convened as part of the process of identifying and placing a child - as set out in the Placement in Foster Care Procedure and the Placement in Residential Care Procedure. The first Placement Planning Meeting in relation to a placement should be held before the placement. Where this is not possible because of the urgency of the situation, it should be held in order that the Placement Plan is prepared in readiness for the 72 hour review.

Further Placement Planning Meetings should be held at intervals agreed with the manager of the residential home or the foster carers and their supervising social worker - or as required for example where there are issues to be resolved in relation to the day to day arrangements for the placement. After the first Placement Planning Meeting, all young people living in internal residential care will have an enhanced Case Management Meeting; please see Appendices.

The social worker and home manager/foster carers supervising social worker will agree the best format and venue for the meeting and who will chair the meeting.

The people listed below should contribute to the meetings:

  1. The child's social worker and/or other professional associated with the child e.g. Personal Adviser or advocate;
  2. The child;
  3. The child's parents / other person with parental responsibility;
  4. For children in residential care, the child's link worker/keyworker and, where appropriate the home manager;
  5. For children in foster care, the foster carers and their supervising social worker.
Before any meeting, the chairperson should obtain or be updated on the following, if available:
  • The child's Placement Plan (recorded on the Placement Information Record on LCS);
  • Any work which has been undertaken in supporting the child's placement;
  • If relevant: the child's Care Plan, Personal Education Plan and Pathway Plan;
  • Any other relevant health information.

Where the proposed placement has the effect of disrupting the arrangements made for the child's education and training - see Education of Children in Care Procedure.

Where the proposed placement is out of area, see Out of Area Placements Procedure.

The chairperson should also ensure that the child, parent(s) and others who have been asked to contribute understand the purpose of the meeting, how it will be conducted and are given the opportunity to put their views and suggestions.

The purpose of the Placement Planning Meeting is to finalise the Placement Plan, go through details of the child's needs in the placement including the daily routine, and discuss the Care Plan.

The Placement Plan should provide clarity for the child and carer in relation to the following:

  • How day to day parenting tasks will be shared between the carer and the responsible authority – including clarity about financial arrangements;
  • Contact arrangements;
  • The circumstances leading to the child becoming looked after;
  • What the long term plan is for the child and its timeframe; and
  • What the objectives are for the placement being offered and how those reflect the Care Plan.

The Placement Planning Meeting will involve a discussion of the child's needs, including their personal history, religious persuasion, cultural and linguistic background and racial origin, their health and education needs and how these are to be met. It will also include the arrangements for registering the child with local health professionals (GP, dentist and optician).

For children placed in residential care, the Placement Plan should cover the following issues in addition to those for all placements set out in the Decision to Look After and Care Planning Procedure:

  1. The type of accommodation to be provided and the address;
  2. Where the authority has, or is notified of, Child Protection concerns relating to the child, including child sexual exploitation, or the child has gone missing from the placement or from any previous placement, the day to day arrangements put in place by the appropriate person (placement provider) to keep the child safe;
  3. Any behaviours which have been of concern to previous carers and which may have contributed to previous breakdown of a placement and how the Placement Provider will seek to manage and respond to these;
  4. The child's personal history, religious persuasion, cultural and linguistic background and racial origin;
  5. Where the child is Accommodated, the respective responsibilities of the Local Authority and parents/anyone with Parental Responsibility; any delegation of responsibility by parents/anyone with Parental Responsibility to the Local Authority for the child's day-to-day care; the expected duration of the arrangements and the steps to bring the arrangements to an end, including arrangements for the child to return to live with parents/anyone with Parental Responsibility; where the child is aged 16 or over and agrees to being provided with accommodation under Section 20 Children Act 1989, that fact;
  6. Delegated Authority issues the circumstances in which it is necessary to obtain in advance the Local Authority's approval for the child to take part in school trips or overnight stays, etc;
  7. The Local Authority's arrangements for the financial support of the child during the placement;
  8. Information concerning the child's health and education, contact arrangements, visits by the responsible authority and any arrangements for visits by an independent visitor. The content of the child's Health Plan and PEP;
  9. The child's religion and culture and the manner in which these are reflected in their daily life and any help the child may need to keep these links;
  10. Arrangements for contact between children, birth parents and siblings and specified other friends and relatives.

The meeting also provides an opportunity to ensure that the registered manager has a copy of any relevant court order and that full information is shared about any behaviour management issues.

Wherever possible, the Placement Planning Meeting should be used to plan any introductions to the placement, for example whether arrangements should be made for the child, parents and the social worker to visit the home and/or whether it may be appropriate to have an introductory overnight stay. If this is not possible, arrangements may be made for residential staff to visit the child and parents; or for information about the home to be sent to the child and/or the parents, for example about routines in the home, bedtimes, meals, visitors, pocket money, school, privacy and the overall expectations in relation to the child's behaviour within the home.

If there are concerns about the suitability of the placement, consideration should be given to the following:

  • Whether it is possible to sustain the placement until the next Looked After Review by, for example, providing additional support to the placement;
  • Bringing forward the date of the next Looked After Review;
  • Ending the placement.

In the event of the Local Authority deciding to end a placement, a discussion must take place with the child's IRO. The IRO will decide whether a Looked After Review needs to be held prior to the child moving.

2. Disruption Meetings

Consideration should always be given to convening a Disruption Meeting in relation to children whose placement has ended abruptly or on an unplanned basis.

For children whose adoptive placement disrupts, a Disruption Meeting must take place - see Disruption of Adoptive Placement Procedure.

An independent manager will usually chair the meeting. In complex cases, however, consideration will be given to appointing an independent person as chair.

Those invited, or asked to contribute, should be:

  1. The child;
  2. The parents / or other with parental responsibility;
  3. The child's social worker and manager;
  4. The link worker/keyworker (for residential care) and home manager;
  5. The foster carer(s) and supervising social worker;
  6. The child's Independent Reviewing Officer;
  7. The child's current carers;
  8. Other relevant staff/professionals.

If the child is subject to current care proceedings, the Guardian should also be informed.

The meeting will ensure the child (depending on his or her age and level of understanding) is given the opportunity to understand the reasons and be supported with transition - including return home and independence.

Foster carers must be supported to maintain links with children who leave their care.

The precise agenda will depend on the child/circumstances, but the chairperson should ensure the circumstances leading to the disruption are properly reviewed, and that all concerned are provided with opportunities to express their views freely with a view to establishing:

  • How and why the emergency/disruption occurred;
  • To learn from what happened and avoid the same thing happening again - for the child or others in the placement;
  • To contribute to the future planning for the child;
  • To identify work to be done and to ensure it is completed;
  • To ensure that appropriate notifications and other post placement arrangements have been undertaken.

The chairperson should keep minutes, which must be circulated to all concerned.

In relation to the disruption of an external residential placement, consideration needs to be given to further use of the resource by the authority.

In relation to the disruption of a permanent foster placement, where the foster carers are in-house approved carers, consideration should be given to holding an early Foster Carer Review to consider the foster carer's approval - see Review of Foster Carers Procedure.

Following all disruption, the Single Assessment and Chronology should be updated accordingly.

Appendices

Appendix 1: Children's Social Care Risk and Network Meeting Guidance

Appendix 2: Enhanced Case Management Meeting Template