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5.4.3 Delegated Consents to Outings

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

This chapter was added to the manual in September 2012 and is currently under review.

OTHER RELEVANT CHAPTERS

Holidays and School Trips in the UK

Holidays and School Trips Outside the UK


Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Procedure  
  3. Children Being Looked After under Section 20
  4. Children Placed on a Care Order   


1. Introduction

Life for children and young people who are ‘Looked After’ should be as ‘normal’ as possible. Visits, outings and adventurous activities are an essential part of a child or young person’s development, helping them to learn about assessing and managing risk, and to gain skills in leadership and team working. These activities also build self-esteem and allow children and young people to experience a range of normal social experiences. This procedure is being developed to help carers achieve a balance between allowing children/young people to follow activities that they wish to take part in and not exposing children/young people to high-risk situations without appropriate safeguards.

Through this procedure, the Children and Young People’s Department is endeavouring to take a sensible approach towards ensuring the appropriate consent is readily available for children and young people who are looked after to take part in activities/events. It is also seeking to ensure that those with Parental Responsibility are aware of the range of activities that children/young people may consider taking part in and are involved in providing informed consent. In following this procedure, appropriate consideration needs to be given to:

  • The potential level of risk that may be involved in taking part in an activity/event;
  • The appropriateness of the activity for the child/young person.

In promoting this procedure the Children and Young People’s Department will:

  • Aim to forward plan for a range of activities that the child/young person would be likely to take part in;
  • Be clear that the delegation for consent is as close to the child/young person as possible to ensure that the child/young person is able to undertake activities without unnecessary delay in consent being obtained.


2. Procedure  

The Social Worker needs to clarify who has Parental Responsibility and who therefore needs to be asked for consent or consulted with in relation to the child/young person participating in activities, visits and outings.

Whoever has Parental Responsibility should be clearly identified within the Care Plan, a copy of which needs to be provided to the carer, by the Social Worker.

In planning placements and drawing up placement agreements the types of activities the child/young person wishes to take part in and the activities that the Foster Care/Care Placement usually engage in need to be discussed. A list of approved activities should be drawn up and consent obtained by the Social Worker.

The list needs to be reviewed by the Social Worker on a regular basis through either planning or review meetings.

Parental Responsibility holders should raise any concerns/worries they may have about their child taking part in particular activities/events. These concerns should be noted and the carers and child/young person made aware by the Social Worker, practice/team manager or senior practitioner that these activities/events are not ones that can be consented to at this stage (the appropriateness can be kept under review).


3. Children Being Looked After under Section 20

If the child is not the subject of an order parental consent can be obtained by the Social Worker, Foster Carer or residential worker, depending on who is in the better place to obtain this. If prior consent has been obtained to the child taking part in this type of activity/visit/event and it is included on the list for the child then Foster Carer/residential worker can give consent. If activities are hazardous, appropriate risk assessments need to be undertaken.

The parent/person with Parental Responsibility should be given sufficient information about the proposed activity/event to make an informed choice when being asked to give consent. If the activity is hazardous the risk assessment information is to be shared with them.


4. Children Placed on a Care Order

In the case of day to day activities the delegation for consent should be with the team manager/senior practitioner when the child or young person is subject to a Care Order.

Where a list of approved and agreed visits/events/activities has been drawn up and agreed the Foster Carer/residential worker can provide consent.

In the case of hazardous activities the delegation for consent will be with the District or Service Manager when the child is subject to a Care Order. Appropriate risk assessments need to be carried out to ensure the health and safety of the child is protected when undertaking such activities.

However, where the activity is organised by a Wirral Local Authority school and a risk assessment has been completed and approval given by the Children and Young People’s Department Health and Safety Advisor, the consent can be given by the care provider or Social Worker.

End