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5.1.6 Placement Stability Procedure

AMENDMENT

This chapter was updated and amended in September 2014 and has been formatted with an added Flowchart and updated text.


Contents

1. Placement Stability
2. The Model
3. Who Can Access the Service? 
4. How Can the Service be Accessed?
5. Procedure 
  5.1 Creating a Contact/ Consultation on ESCR 
  5.2 Placement Stability Scales 
  5.3 Current Involvement – Scale 1, 2 or 3 
  5.4 Current Involvement – Scale 4 or 5 
  5.5 No Involvement – Scale 1, 2 or 3  
  5.6 No Involvement – Scale 4 or 5
  5.7 Escalation of an Issue or Concern to Scale 4 or 5  
  5.8 De-Escalation of an Issue or Concern to Scale 1, 2 or 3   
  5.9 Multi-Agency Meeting  
  5.10 Contact List  
6. Placement Stability Model Flowchart
  Appendix A: Contact / Consultation Record
  Appendix B: Weekly Telephone Contact Sheet  
  Appendix C: Risk Assessment 
  Appendix D: Placement Stability Support Meeting Minutes  
  Appendix E: Placement Stability Support – 6 Weekly Review Minutes


1. Placement Stability

To reduce the gap between outcomes for Looked After Children and the rest of the child population in Wirral it is critical that:

  • Entry into care is effectively planned;
  • Provision is in place which is flexible to meet the child’s needs;
  • The care experience from the outset is a more positive experience for all looked after children.

Wirral Council recognises that by reducing the number of children who experience their care placement ending in an unplanned way through disruption or breakdown and increasing the proportion of long term looked after children in a stable placement will increase the likelihood of positive outcomes for children. The positive outcomes include educational attainment, improved physical and mental health, children and young people’s own self reported sense of well being and happiness and successful transition to adulthood. Stable placements mean care plans are more likely to be implemented successfully within agreed time scales.


2. The Model

The Placement Stability Model will provide timely interventions for foster care placements assessed as requiring support. The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) and the Adolescent Support Team (AST) will work in partnership to assess the risk of breakdown and work in partnership with other agencies to provide support to individual young people and carers. 


3. Who Can Access the Service?

  • Foster Carers;
  • Social Workers;
  • Family Placement Workers;
  • Young people;
  • Other professionals.


4. How Can the Service be Accessed?

Any person wanting to raise an issue or concern that they may have about a placement can do so by contacting the Placement Stability Officer on Tel: 0151 678 8021.


5. Procedure

Once contact has been made by a person wanting to raise an issue or concern about a foster care placement, the Placement Stability Officer will do a search on ESCR for the child / young person.

5.1 Creating a Contact / Consultation on ESCR

Once a search has been completed and the child’s case file has been located on ESCR a Contact / Consultation Record will be created (see Appendix A: Contact / Consultation Record). The details of the issue or concern will be recorded and the Placement Stability Officer will make a judgement of the scale of the problem based upon the information given.

5.2 Placement Stability Scales

Scale Description  
1. Stability Good

No Worries.

2. Stability Ok Some concerns, needs conversation/ discussion with AST / CAMHS etc.
3. Stability Begins to be Questioned Concerns that the difficulties could impact on the relationship.
4. Stability is a Concern Intervention is clearly required to maintain placement.
5. Stability at Serious Risk of Breakdown Placement will definitely breakdown unless there is major input / changes.

Once the Placement Stability Officer has identified with the referrer the scale of the issue or concern a client search will be carried out on ICS to see if the child has current involvement with the Adolescent Support Team (AST) or Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS).

5.3 Current Involvement – Scale 1, 2 or 3

If the young person is currently involved with either CAMHS or AST the Placement Stability Officer will record the following information on the Contact / Consultation Record:

  • Name of the child/ young person’s AST or CAMHS case worker and contact details;
  • Name of the child/ young person’s Social Worker and contact details;
  • Name of the Foster Carers Supervising Social Worker and contact details;
  • If it is the first contact/ consultation that has taken place in relation to the placement;
  • If it is not the first contact/ consultation, the dates when prior discussions took place;
  • If 28 Days notice has been given by the Foster Carer;
  • Outcome of the consultation and details of who the record was sent to.

The Placement Stability Officer will web link the Contact / Consultation Record to the AST Worker (if applicable), the Foster Carer’s Supervising Social Worker and the young person’s Social Worker. 

The AST Caseworker will open up the Contact / Consultation Record in the young person’s case file on ESCR and complete the Summary of Discussion (see Appendix A: Contact / Consultation Record).

If the child is known to CAMHS the Placement Stability Officer will export the Contact / Consultation Record from ESCR and email the document to the identified CAMHS Case Worker. The CAMHS’s worker will complete the summary of discussion and email it back to the Placement Stability Officer who will import the document into the child’s case file on ESCR.

The AST worker will contact the young person’s Social Worker and the Foster Carer’s Supervising Social Worker to let them know the outcome of the information gathered using the scaling model. 

If the AST worker identifies that the issue or concern will remain at a Scale 1, 2 or 3 they will contact the Placement Stability Officer and arrange for a plan of support for the carer and young person. This will be monitored through telephone contact by the Placement Stability Officer once a week for a minimum period of four weeks (see Appendix B: Weekly Telephone Contact Sheet).

5.4 Current Involvement – Scale 4 or 5

If there is current involvement and the Placement Stability Officer has identified the issue or concern as a Scale 4 or 5. The Placement Stability Officer will web link the Contact / Consultation Record to a Level 3 AST Worker.

The Level 3 AST Worker will contact the referrer and do an assessment based on the Placement Stability Scale. If it remains at a Scale 4 or Scale 5 the AST Worker will book the case onto the Risk Rota.

The Level 3 AST Worker will also contact CAMHS to arrange a joint visit to speak to the Foster Carer and young person and carry out a risk assessment on the placement. After the visit the AST Worker and the CAMHS Worker will open up the child’s file on ESCR and create a Risk Assessment to record the outcome of the visit, analysis of risk and agree the recommendations (see Appendix C: Risk Assessment). A copy of the completed Risk Assessment will also need to be copied onto the Foster Carer’s case file.

The Level 3 AST Worker will book the case into a Multi-Agency Meeting and inform the young person’s Social Worker and the Foster Carer’s Supervising Social Worker of the date of the meeting.

5.5 No Involvement – Scale 1, 2 or 3

If the young person has had no prior involvement with an AST Worker or a CAMHS Worker and the Placement Stability Officer has identified the issue or concern at a Scale 1, 2 or 3 the Placement Stability Officer will web link the Contact / Consultation Record to a Level 3 AST Worker.

The Level 3 AST Worker will contact the person who raised the issue or concern again to gather more information. If it was not the Foster Carer who raised the issue or concern with the Placement Stability Officer the AST Worker will contact the Foster Carer and do an assessment based on the scaling model. 

The AST Worker will open up the Contact / Consultation Record on the young person’s case file using ESCR and complete the Summary of Discussion (see Appendix A: Contact / Consultation Record).

The AST Worker will contact the young persons Social Worker and the Foster Carer’s Supervising Social Worker to let them know the outcome of the information gathered using the scaling model. 

If the AST Worker identifies that the issue or concern will remain at a Scale 1, 2 or 3 they will contact the Placement Stability Officer and arrange for a plan of support for the Foster Carer and young person. This will be monitored by the Placement Stability Officer through telephone contact once a week for a minimum period of four weeks.  

5.6 No Involvement – Scale 4 or 5

If it is identified by the level 3 AST Worker using the scaling model, that the issues or concerns are at level 4 or 5 they will contact CAMHS to arrange a visit to the placement.

A joint visit to the placement will be undertaken by the AST Worker and a CAMHS Worker who will speak to the young person and the Foster Carer individually. A risk assessment on the stability of the placement will then be completed on the child’s case file on ESCR and a completed copy of the document will be placed onto the Foster Carer’s file on ESCR.

The AST Worker will book the case into the Multi-Agency Meeting via the Placement Stablity Officer. They will also contact the young person’s Social Worker and the Foster Carer’s Supervising Social Worker to update them on the outcome of the visit and inform them of the date that the Multi-Agency Meeting will take place so they can confirm their attendance.

5.7 Escalation of an Issue or Concern to Scale 4 or 5

If an issue or concern which has been initially identified as Scale 1, 2, or 3 by the Placement Stability Officer escalates to a Scale 4 or 5. The Placement Stability Officer will inform a Level 3 AST Worker.  

A Level 3 AST Worker will contact the person who raised the issue or concern to gather more information.

5.8 De-Escalation of an Issue or Concern to Scale 1, 2 or 3

If an issue or concern which has been initially identified as a Scale 4 or 5 de-escalates to a Scale 1, 2 or 3 the names of the carer and young person will be put on a contact list and the Placement Stability Officer will contact them on a weekly basis to monitor the placement.

5.9 Multi- Agency Meeting

During the Multi-Agency meeting a plan of support will be agreed by the professionals involved which will:

  • Focus on the factors causing stress to the placement;
  • Look at the strengths of the placement including support networks;
  • Identify solutions to support placement stability and prevent placement breakdown;
  • Establish whether a planned move is in the best interest of the child;
  • Agree a review date within six weeks;
  • Agree the frequency of telephone monitoring by Placement Stability Officer.

The Placement Stability Officer will be responsible for taking minutes during the Multi-Agency meeting and recording them on the Placement Stability Support Panel Minutes template on ESCR (see Appendix D: Placement Stability Support Meeting Minutes).

A copy of the completed minutes (see Appendix D: Placement Stability Support Meeting Minutes) will be placed on both the child’s case file and the carer’s case file on ESCR. The Placement Stability Officer will web link the completed minutes to the attendees who are internal to the Department. For those attendees who are external to the Department the Placement Stability Officer will export a copy of the completed minutes from ESCR and attach them to an email. A copy of the minutes will also be sent to the Head of Service and ‘Traffic Light Meeting’.

The Placement Stability Officer will also type up the plan on ESCR and put a copy of the completed plan on both the child and carer’s case file. Placement details will then be recorded on a contact list.

5.10 Contact List

The Placement Stability Officer will compile a list of people to contact by telephone on a weekly basis to monitor the issue or concern raised to ensure the placement does not break down. The frequency of the contacts will be based upon an agreed plan.


6. Placement Stability Model Flowchart

Click here to view Placement Stability Model Flowchart.


Appendices

Appendix A: Contact / Consultation Record

Appendix B: Weekly Telephone Contact Sheet  

Appendix C: Risk Assessment 

Appendix D: Placement Stability Support Meeting Minutes

Appendix E: Placement Stability Support – 6 Weekly Review Minutes

End