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LancashireChildren's Social Care Procedures Manual

Amendments

May 2018

Updated Chapters
Chapter Title Details

Referrals

This chapter has been revised to set out in more detail the timetable and partnership requirements associated with effectively managing contacts and referrals.

Child in Need Plans and Reviews

Section 2, Child in Need Plans has been updated to reflect that when a child ceases to be the subject of a Child Protection Plan, a Child in Need Plan is likely to be necessary for a minimum of three months in order that the child and family continue to receive services. In exceptional circumstances, a CiN Plan may not be required; for examples, if the child is removed from home or the risk has been entirely reduced (the source of the risk is gone/ a Special Guardianship Order has been acquired etc.).

Care and Supervision Proceedings and the Public Law Outline

Section 4.2, Case Analysis has been updatedto reflect the 'permanence provisions' of the Care Plan added by s.8 Children and Social Work Act 2017 (amending section 31(3B) Children Act 1989) which a court is required to consider when deciding whether to make a Care Order.

Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children

Section 3, Assessment has been updated with regards to in advance of undertaking an age assessment for an unaccompanied asylum seeking child, local authorities must seek Home Office assistance with verifying the authenticity of identity documents e.g. travel documents or a birth certificate. A link to the relevant contact details for local authorities has been added. The statutory guidance has been updated to link to the (DfE 2017) Care of Unaccompanied Migrant Children and Child Victims of Modern Slavery – statutory guidance for local authorities. The Modern Slavery Act 2015 is referenced in relation to age assessments.

Housing and Homelessness

This chapter has been updated including the addition of the additional guidance and flowcharts.

Private Fostering

This chapter has been extensively updated and should be re-read throughout.

Decision to Look After and Care Planning

Section 2.1, The Care Plan – Contents has been amended to reflect the additional 'permanence provisions' of the Care Plan (s.8 Children and Social Work Act 2017 amends section 31(3B) Children Act 1989) which a court is required to consider when deciding whether to make a Care Order.

Permanence Planning Guidance

Section 5, Assessing and Planning for Permanence has bee updated to reflect the additional 'permanence provisions' of the Care Plan (under s.8 Children and Social Work Act 2017 amends section 31(3B) Children Act 1989) which a court is required to consider when deciding whether to make a Care Order.

Looked After Children's Reviews

This chapter has been amended to fully reflect the Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations - Volume 2: Care Planning, Placement and Case Review with respect to the circumstances as to when a Looked After Review should be brought forward. The list is not exhaustive (see Section 2, Frequency of Looked After Reviews).

Assessment and Approvals of Foster Carers

Section 8, After the Panel Recommendation has been updated to clarify the decision as to the suitability of the applicant must be made within 7 working days of receipt of the panel's recommendation and final set of panel minutes – The Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations - Volume 4: 5.39 and Standard 14 (14.9) Fostering panels and the fostering service's decision-maker.

Placement for Adoption

This chapter has been amended to emphasise 'procedural fairness' as a key aspect of the adoption planning process in respect of ensuring parents are provided with information throughout, including the dates of placement/proposed changes of a child's Status, etc. This follows the outcome of a judicial review ([2017] EWHC 1041 (Admin)). (See new Section 4.2, Procedural Fairness).
Section 1, Planning for Permanence has also been updated to reflect the additional consideration (added by s.9 Children and Social Work Act 2017 amends section 1(4)(f) of the Adoption and Children Act 2002) into the list of considerations that whenever a court or adoption agency is coming to a decision relating to the adoption of a child), of the relationship which the child has with relatives, with any person who is a prospective adopter with whom the child is placed and with any other person in relation to whom the court or agency considers the relationship to be relevant.

Fostering for Adoption, Concurrent Planning and Temporary Approval as Foster Carers of Approved Prospective Adopters

Section 4.1, Duty to Consider Fostering for Adoption Placement has been updated to reflect the additional consideration (added by s.9 Children and Social Work Act 2017 into the list of considerations whenever a court or adoption agency is coming to a decision relating to the adoption of a child), of the relationship which the child has with relatives, with any person who is a prospective adopter with whom the child is placed and with any other person in relation to whom the court or agency considers the relationship to be relevant.

Applications for Special Guardianship Orders

This chapter has been extensively updated and should be re-read throughout.

Contacts

These details have been updated.

Scheme of Delegation (Casework)

These details have been updated.

New Chapters and Features
Chapter Title Details

Family Group Conference

This booklet has been added to the manual.
It has been designed as guidance for children, young people, families, kinship network and professionals who will be involved in the family group conference process.

Missing from Home Policy

This policy has been added to the manual.
It shows the basic pathway for information to enter the authority, our required actions to take place, and the management oversight and quality review of this work.

Missing from Home Process

This document has been added to the manual. It shows the processes and recording requirements to ensure the authority complies with its safeguarding and statutory duties.

Protocol and Process for Missing from Home Panel

This protocol has been added to the manual.
It sets sets out the arrangement for a multi-agency panel which will consider children and young people who:

  • Repeatedly go missing/absent (reported or unreported);
  • Remain missing;
  • Are identified as at risk of exploitation while missing;
  • Are also frequently missing from education.

Deprivations of Liberty

This procedure should be used by practitioners working with children and young people under the age of 18, where a deprivation of liberty may be occurring.

Mental Capacity Act

This link has been added to the manual.

Section 20 Charging Policy

This policy has been added to the manual.

Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire Guidance Note

This briefing note has been added to the manual.

Next update: October 2018

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