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5.1.19 Notification of Placement Move of Children in Care (in and outside the Local Authority)

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

This chapter addresses the action to be taken on receipt of a notification from another Local Authority that a Looked After child has been placed at an address in this authority.

AMENDMENT

This chapter was updated in September 2014 to further specify the procedure in Wirral with regard to  the Children's Homes and Looked after Children (Miscellaneous Amendments) (England) Regulations 2013 in relation to notifications received from children’s homes of children admitted to/discharged from the Home.


Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Procedure

    Appendix1: Notification of Placement Move of Children in Care Letter

    Appendix 2: Notification of Placement of Change of Placement of a Looked After Child


1. Introduction

When children are placed far away from their home they are disadvantaged by the distance involved in providing social work support. Local Authorities will find it difficult to exercise their responsibilities as corporate parents particularly in ensuring that the children are accessing all locally available services. We know that outcomes are generally poorer for children placed outside their Local Authority when compared to the general population of children in care.

It is therefore essential that local Agencies (Specialist Services, Education and Health) in the area of the placement are informed as soon as possible when children are placed outside the Local Authority to ensure that the placing authority and the receiving authority and other Agencies can work together to enable in the provision of support services.

Legal Framework

It is the responsibility of Wirral Council under the Children Act 1989 and the Arrangements for Placement of Children (General) Regulations 1991, Care Planning, Placement and Case Review Regulations 2010 & 2013 amendments to notify and make arrangements to promote co-operation between Agencies in order to improve children's well-being.

Under the Children's Homes and Looked after Children (Miscellaneous Amendments) (England) Regulations 2013, the Manager of a Children’s Home must notify without delay the area Local Authority (if different from the placing Authority) of the admission to/discharge from the Home of any child.

The notification must state:

Health Responsibilities

When a child is placed by a Local Authority, they have a shared responsibility with the relevant Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) or NHS Trust to ensure a full Health Assessment takes place and a Health plan is drawn up. It is therefore essential that the relevant CCG is informed in writing about all placements.

Where a Local Authority, or a CCG, or a CCG and Local Authority acting jointly, have placed a child in accommodation in the area of another CCG or Local Health Board for Wales, the "originating CCG" remains responsible for commissioning and providing services, even where the child changes their GP. Discussions need to take place between the originating CCG, those currently providing Health care and the new provider to ensure continuity of care when a child in care moves out of one CCG area to another.


2. Procedure

Notifications Received by Wirral from other Local Authorities

All notifications received by the Local Authority shall be sent to the designated Independent Placement Panel (IPP) Administrator. The designated IPP Administrator will forward the notification to the Residential Services Manager, Designated LAC Nurse, Head of education Social Welfare and when applicable Secondary Consultant Headteacher, Primary Consultant  Headteacher, Principal Officer SEN Secondary, Principal Officer SEN Primary and Youth Offending Service.

The Designated LAC Nurse will ensure that the child’s health needs are being met and liaise with the GP, School Nurse, Health Visitor and CAMHS.

The Designated IPP Administrator will be responsible for entering information onto the Integrated Childrens’ System (ICS).

Notifications of moves out of Wirral Council

The Social Worker must:

  • Inform the LAC nurses and the LACES Team prior to any moves of children in care outside the Local Authority area and involve them in any planning meetings prior to a move;
  • Update ICS on the change of placement within 24 hours of the placement being made;
  • Complete the notification details as requested by the IPP Administrator.

The IPP Administrator will access a weekly update of placement moves via Infoview at the beginning of each working week.

If a placement move has been identified the IPP Administrator will:

  • Send to the Director of Children’s Services or appropriate contact person of the host local authority, the notification form (see Appendix 2: Notification of Placement of Change of Placement of a Looked After Child) for each child that has moved placement; In line with Arrangements for Placement of Children (General) Regulations 1991, Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) Regulations 2010 & 2013 amendments;
  • If the placement is outside of the area then written notification will be given to the area authority of the arrangements for the child’s placement before the placement is made or if the placement is made in an emergency, within five working days of the start of the placement (see Appendix1: Notification of Placement Move of Children in Care Letter). The notification must include:  
    • Details of the responsible authority’s assessment of the child’s needs and the reasons why the placement is the most suitable for responding to these;
    • A copy of the child’s Care Plan.
  • Send to the Wirral LAC nurses the completed Health notification forms for each child that has moved placement.

The LAC nurses will send the completed notification form to their counterparts in the appropriate CCG for each child that has moved.

A list of all children in Wirral's care that are placed outside the borough can be viewed on info view or LAC list which is produced weekly by the Information Team.

Quarterly Data Exchange

The Secretary to the LAC Service Manager  will write to all Local Authorities every three months to ask them if they have placed any children in Wirral. If they have placed a child in Wirral they will be asked to complete and return the notification form.

On receipt of new notifications, the Secretary to the LAC Service Manager will forward the notifications to the IPP Administrator who will update ICS, then forward the notification to the Residential Services Manager, Designated LAC Nurse, Head of Education Social Welfare and when applicable Secondary Consultant Headteacher, Consultant Headteacher, Principal Officer SEN Secondary, Principal Officer SEN Primary and Youth Offending Service.

Finding Information about which Local Authority is Responsible

The appropriate Local Authority area can be found using the Find your Local Authority search (currently for England only).

And the Local Authorities address finder at Department for Education website

Notification of Moves within the Local Authority

When a child moves placement within Wirral the Social Worker must inform the following of the change of address, and who the new carers are:

  • The LAC nurses;
  • The school Head Teacher (current and new if moved school);
  • The School Nurse;
  • The LACES team;
  • The GP;
  • IRO;
  • The Health Visitor (if applicable).

ICS must also be updated immediately with the change of details.


Appendices

Appendix1: Notification of Placement Move of Children in Care Letter

Appendix 2: Notification of Placement of Change of Placement of a Looked After Child

End