Amendments

May 2022

Caption: May 2022
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Social Worker Visits to Children Looked After This chapter has been amended to note that when a child is placed with their parent, after the first Looked After Child Review, social work visits should be as agreed at the review, but the intervals between the visits should not be more than 4 weeks. (See Section 2.1, Children Placed with Parents).
Allegations Against Foster Carers This chapter has been adjusted to remove the maximum timescale for the skills fee being paid should a foster carer be suspended. (See Section 3.3, Investigation and Action).

March 2022

Caption: March 2022
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Supervision - Supporting Staff in a Challenging Social Care Environment This chapter has been substantially refreshed and updated and includes further clarity regarding the frequency of supervision (see Section 6, Frequency and Content of Supervision); a new Section 7, Check-ins; Section 11, Case File Supervision Recording and Frequency; a new Section 12, Relevant Guidance and fresh Appendices – Defensible Decision-Making Tools.
Quality Assurance and Performance Management Framework

This chapter has been updated to reflect the changes made to the quality assurance process. It builds upon the previous Performance Management and Quality Assurance Framework to ensure there is a clear and succinct approach, with increased emphasis on the monthly thematic audits.

The chapter identifies key processes and actions and provides relevant information for the Appendices for the monthly thematic audit.
Capacity and Consent Section 4.3, Consent to the Use of Medication to Suppress Puberty has been updated in line with case-law.
Use of Internet and Social Media Sites by Social Care and Safeguarding Staff This chapter has been given a general refresh, including updated references and links together with the inclusion of the Cafcass Social Media Policy.
Children and Young People Aged 0-25 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Section 15, Resolving Disagreements has been updated in line with the First Tier Tribunal's extended powers to hear appeals and make non-binding recommendations about health and social care aspects of Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans, provided those appeals also include education elements. Links to related reports from the House of Commons Library were also added (see additionally Section 16, Further Information and Statutory Guidance). A link to the Wirral Local Offer has also been added (see Section 3, Local Offer).
Short Breaks Information has been added in to Section 7, Short Break Settings, in relation to the prohibition on looked after children under the age of 16 being placed in ‘other arrangements’ placements for the purposes of a short break.
Unaccompanied Migrant Children and Child Victims of Trafficking and Modern Slavery Amendments have been made to Section 11, Further Information. Please reference.
Relinquished Children This chapter has been updated to reflect case-law setting out lessons for the future in non-notification cases.
Placements with Parents Section 1, Planned Placements has been updated to add information on placements in ‘other arrangements.’ Additionally, a reference is made to the Public Law Working Group Best Practice Guidance:  the Application and Case Management, noting that Care Orders made with children in the care of their parents should be made only in exceptional circumstances (see Scope Box).
Placements in Secure Accommodation on Welfare Grounds Section 10, Use of Inherent Jurisdiction to Authorise a Placement Involving a Deprivation of Liberty has been updated in line with case-law.
Out of Area Placements Section 6, Placements in Wales has been updated in line with updated Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations - Volume 2: Care Planning, Placement and Case Review.
Placements Outside England and Wales Section 3, Placements in Scotland, Northern Ireland, Isle of Man and Guernsey has been updated in line with updated Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations - Volume 2: Care Planning, Placement and Case Review. Additional information has also been added in relation to placements in Scotland, in line with a High Court case.
Remands to Local Authority Accommodation or to Youth Detention Accommodation Information has been added in to Section 3, Local Authority Accommodation, in relation to children under the age of 16 being placed in ‘other arrangements’ placements.
Education of Children Looked After and Previously Looked After

This chapter has been significantly amended to reflect the 'Review of Sexual Abuse in Schools and Colleges (Ofsted, June 2021)'; updated 'Keeping Children Safe in Education' (see Scope Box) and Sexual Harassment in Education – Briefing (House Of Parliament Library, June 2021). (See Section 8.2, Protecting looked after children from sexual harassment and peer on peer abuse).

The chapter has also been amended to reflect Promoting the Education of Children with a Social Worker: Virtual School Head Role Extension, June 2021.
Restrictive Physical Intervention This chapter has been updated to add a new Section 8, Further Information and the Guidance: Positive Environments Where Children Can Flourish (Ofsted).
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Level 4 Pre-Birth Assessment and Planning Procedure This chapter has been added to the manual and replaces the previous Pre-Birth Procedure. Please reference this chapter.
Supervision Orders and the Role of the IRO This procedure has been added to the manual. It seeks to provide a more robust procedure and process to support the provision of Supervision Orders when made as a result of Care Proceedings.
Family Time: Policy, Procedure and Agreement This chapter outlines Wirral Council's approach to Family Time. The policy applies to children looked after who have contact with: their parents; anyone with parental responsibility (who is not a parent); siblings; any relative, friend or other connected person. The policy does not apply to arrangements for social visits and overnight stays.
Allegations Against Foster Carers This procedure applies where allegations are made or concerns are raised that indicate that an approved foster carer has: behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child; possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child; behaved towards a child or children in a way which indicates that they may pose a risk to children; behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates that they may not be suitable to work with children. Please reference.

Next Update: September 2022

September 2021

Caption: September 2021
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Social Work Practice Standards

This chapter has been amended to add a new Section Children who regularly choose to not engage in a statutory visit with their social worker: ‘Where these circumstances arise, this should be discussed with the appropriate multi-agency group that are involved with the child, to agree alternative visiting arrangements’.

(See Section 4.1, Wirral's Social Work Practice Standards Assessments will be child centred, proportionate and of a high quality). Please reference.
Capacity and Consent Section 4.3, Consent to the Use of Medication to Suppress Puberty has been updated and new Section 5.4, Consent to Life-ending Withdrawal of Medical Support has been added, to reflect High Court judgments. Section 2.1, Consent to Information has been updated to reflect revisions contained in the statutory guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children. Please reference.
Family Group Conferences This chapter has been updated to add a new Section 7, Mediation. The section describes the role and purpose of mediation and the mediator. The mediation can be a stand-alone service delivered by a trained team member, or as a Pre-Family Group Conference initiative.
North West Notification and Transfer of Children Subject of Child Protection Plans Across Local Authority Boundaries This chapter has been reviewed / refreshed to include a checklist/form. Please re-reference.
Children in Need Procedure This chapter has been amended by updating Appendix 1: Child in Need Process Map.
North West Children in Need Moving Across Local Authority Boundaries This chapter has been reviewed / refreshed. Please reference.
Care and Supervision Proceedings and the Public Law Outline

This chapter has been updated to reflect: Practice Guidance on Special Guardianship (Family Justice Council, June 2020) - see in particular Section 9, Expectations of the Local Authority by the Court.

Section 2, Pre-Proceedings has been updated to include information in relation to pre-birth assessments and planning where the mother has learning disabilities.

The updated link to the Social Work Evidence Template (see Related Guidance).

Please reference.
North West Pre-Care and Care Proceedings Notification and Transfer Across Local Authority Boundaries This chapter has been reviewed / refreshed to include a checklist/form. Please re-reference.
Use of Internet and Social Media Sites by Social Care and Safeguarding Staff This chapter has been updated to add an updated link to Social Work England and PCFSW Best Practice Guide for Digital Practice and Digital Professionalism/e-Professionalism and Digital Capabilities. (See Scope Box Note and Further Information Section).
Unaccompanied Migrant Children and Child Victims of Trafficking and Modern Slavery

Amendments have been made to this chapter in line with the UK’s exit from the EEA. Additionally, a link added to the Independent Child Trafficking Guardians Referral Form. In areas where the ICTG service has been implemented, if the social worker considers a child to be a potential victim of modern slavery, they should refer them to the ICTG service by completing the online referral form.

Section 6.1, Placement Options has been updated in relation to placements in ‘other arrangements’. Section 4 was updated in relation to Age Assessments.

Amendments have been made to the Further Information Section. Please reference.
Families with No Recourse to Public Funds This chapter has been updated to note that the High Court in ST (a child, by his Litigation Friend VW) & VW v Secretary of State for the Home Department held that immigration caseworkers, when deciding whether to accept that the applicant is ‘destitute or at risk of imminent destitution’ are required to ‘have regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare’ of any children involved in the application, in accordance with section 55 Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009.
Provision of Accommodation to Homeless 16 and 17 Year Olds who may be Homeless and/or Require Accommodation; and Duty to Refer This chapter has been updated to add a link to Joint Housing Protocols for Care Leavers: good practice advice (DfE and MHCLG) to support the development of joint protocols that can help local authorities to meet the accommodation needs of care leavers. (See Section 4, Housing Protocols for Care leavers). Please re-reference.
Family and Friends Care From 1 September 2021, the School Admissions Code provides that children being raised by family and friends carers under a Special Guardianship Order or Child Arrangements Order, who struggle to get a school place during the year, will be supported in finding one.
Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority Claims for Children Looked After This chapter has been refreshed and a link added to House of Commons Library Briefing Paper: Criminal Injuries Compensation for Victims of Child Abuse. Section 1, Introduction also reflects that Compensation can be withheld or reduced if the applicant has unspent convictions.
Placements in Residential Care This chapter has been updated to note that from heron in, Children in Care under 16 years of age cannot be accommodated in unregulated independent or semi-independent placements.
Delegation of Authority to Foster Carers and Residential Workers A new Section 7.4, Consent to Life-ending Withdrawal of Medical Support has been added, to reflect a High Court judgment. Please reference.
Advocacy and Independent Visitors This chapter has been updated by adding Local Information (see the Scope Box), and other content throughout to reflect terminology, highlight the importance of independence and the role of the independent visitor. Please reference.
Education of Children Looked After and Previously Looked After This chapter has been updated in section 6. When a Child Needs or Joins a New School, information was added on the School Admission Code.
Holidays and School Trips In and Outside the UK This chapter has been significantly refreshed and updated throughout.
Leaving Care and Transition Section 6, Pathway Planning has been updated to note that, in relevant cases, immigration status should be included as a separate section on the Pathway Plan. This will help to ensure that young people who have been granted Pre Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme apply to convert this to Settled Status at the appropriate. Pathway Plans should contain clear information about what action needs to be taken by whom and when to ensure that the young person’s right to remain legally in the UK is not jeopardised.
Responsibilities of the Local Authority to Former Children Looked After and Young People in Custody

This chapter has been updated to reflect the Section 2.6 Care leavers leaving custody in Joint Housing Protocols for Care Leavers: good practice advice (DfE and MHCLG) 2020. (See Section 3.9 of the chapter, ‘Planning for Release’).

Please re-reference.
Applications for Special Guardianship Orders

This chapter has been updated to reflect Practice Guidance on Special Guardianship published by the Family Justice Council (June 2020). See Section 6.2 Special Guardianship Applications in Care Proceedings and new Section 16 Special Guardianship Orders in International Cases. Also, In section 12. The Special Guardianship Support Plan, information was added on the School Admission Code.

Please reference.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Note: Throughout the manual children looked after / in care are now referenced as ‘Children Looked After’, unless referencing Legislation; Regulation or Guidance.
Family Justice Resource Hub (ADCS) (Contents List) A link to the Family Justice Resource Hub (ADCS). This hosts a series of practical resources, such as templates, tools and practice guidance, which will be of interest to those working in the family justice system. Please reference.
Aftercare Under Section 117of the Mental Health Act

This new policy applies when a child or care leaver is discharged from hospital after having been detained under the Mental Health Act 1983.

The chapter identifies the legal duty to provide aftercare services, together with the aftercare planning and assessment framework to be considered, etc. Please reference.
Fostering Panel This chapter has been fully re – written to reflect The Wirral’s practice and standards, and reflects the role and function of the Panel and its members. Please re-reference.
Persons Disqualified from Fostering This chapter has been significantly refreshed throughout and fully reflects The Wirral’s procedure and processes.
Supervision and Support of Foster Carers This chapter has been significantly refreshed throughout and includes a new section on the foster carers Personal Professional Development Plan (PDPP). Please re-reference.
Review and Termination of Approval of Foster Carers This chapter has been significantly refreshed throughout, replacing a similar chapter.
Guidance on Possession of Guns and Weapons The chapter replaced a similar chapter in the manual. Despite concerns about applicants who may own a weapon, guns are owned in both rural and urban areas for recreational, sporting and other legitimate reasons. However it is important to ensure that the potential carer is licensed for the weapons they have; that they would not be accessed by children and they would be stored and kept securely in line with the GOV.UK, Guidance Firearms security handbook (2020). Please re-reference.

March 2021

Caption: March 2021
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Capacity and Consent

Information has been added in relation to:

A High Court case with regard to consent in the context of the use of medication to suppress puberty, (see new Section 4.3, Consent to the Use of Medication to Suppress Puberty), and,

NICE Quality Standard: Decision-Making and Mental Capacity. (See new Section 6, NICE Quality Standard: Decision-Making and Mental Capacity).

Please reference.

Children in Need Procedure

This chapter has been fully and comprehensively updated to reflect the current Wirral policies and procedures with regard to ‘Supporting Families Enhancing Futures’ (SFES) and includes the definition of ‘children in need’; principles; thresholds of intervention, together with working with children and families in need, including the issue of Consent and Information Sharing. The chapter includes ‘The child’s Map’ (see Appendix) which explores the processes and decision-making processes, including the child in need review).

Please re-reference.

Children and Young People Aged 0-25 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities This chapter has been amended in Section 15, Resolving Disagreements to reference recent case-law holding that, as part of the mediation process, a parent/child/young person is entitled to bring along any supporter they wish, including a lawyer.

Placements in Secure Accommodation on Welfare Grounds

A new Section 10, Use of Inherent Jurisdiction to Authorise a Placement Involving a Deprivation of Liberty When One or More of the Relevant Criteria Under Section 25 Children Act 1989 are Not Satisfied was added. Section 6, Placements of Children under 13 years has been updated following publication of revised DfE guidance. A revised link has been added to Secure Children’s Homes. Please re-reference as required.

Education of Children Looked After and Previously Looked After

This chapter has been updated to reflect changes from the revised Working Together to Safeguard Children. (See Section 8.1, Child protection policy and procedures). Please reference.
Holidays and School Trips In and Outside the UK This guidance has been reviewed and updated: Section 2.4, Insurance has been updated to include details of how to apply for a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) which provides access to reduced cost or free medical insurance in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland. In Section 2.5, Obtaining a Passport, a link to updated Home Office Guidance for Social Workers seeking to obtain a passport for a Looked After Child has been added.
Statement of Purpose The Fostering Statement of Purpose has been updated. Please reference as required.
Assessment and Approvals of Prospective Adopters A revised link has been made to ‘Prepare for a review panel: adopters and foster carers’, (see Section 10, Representations / Independent Review Procedure).

Access to Birth Records and Adoption Case Records

This chapter has been given a general refresh throughout and information added on applying for a copy of a birth certificate online. (See Section 2, Access to birth records). An updated link to the Independent Review Mechanism has also been referenced, (see Section 3.2, Adoption Orders made on or after 30 December 2005). Please re-reference.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy

This strategic Wirral Policy establishes its purpose is to set out (Wirral’s) commitment to embed equality, diversity and inclusion across (the) workforce, and to eliminate any unlawful discrimination. It provides the legislative background and context, identifying the ‘4 main forms of unlawful discrimination’, and Wirral’s commitments to achieve the strategic objective.

Please reference.

Removed Chapters
  • Child in Need Guidance - Practitioner and Multi-Agency Summary Handbook.

 

September 2020

Caption: September 2020
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Assessments This chapter has been updated in line with the new digital referral system for reporting potential victims of Modern Slavery (see Section 7, Developing a Clear Analysis).
North West Notification and Transfer of Children Subject of Child Protection Plans Across Local Authority Boundaries This chapter has been updated by adding a flow chart to the dispute resolution process (see section 'Action to be taken in cases where there is dispute or delay in case transfer'). Please re-reference.
North West Children in Need Moving Across Local Authority Boundaries This chapter has been refreshed and updated and includes a flow chart to the dispute resolution process (see section 'Action to be taken in cases where there is dispute or delay in case transfer'). Please re-reference.
North West Pre-Care and Care Proceedings Notification and Transfer Across Local Authority Boundaries This chapter has been updated. Please re-reference.
Unaccompanied Migrant Children and Child Victims of Trafficking and Modern Slavery This chapter has been updated to take account of the new NRM digital referral form to report Modern Slavery (see Section 3, Managing the Case). Section 10, Further Information has also been updated to include a link to Statutory Guidance Modern Slavery: How to Identify and Support Victims.
Notifications of Significant Events This procedure has been significantly updated throughout to reflect the latest Ofsted guidance for social care providers on the types of incident which they consider to be serious and which will therefore require notification to the regulatory authority.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Capacity and Consent In this chapter, guidance is offered in relation to the various situations in which consent is likely to be sought, with reference to previous legal judgements. This is a potentially complex practice arena and if the practitioner is in any doubt about gaining consent they should always seek further advice from managers and legal advice must be sought as necessary.

Please reference.
Use of Social Media Sites by Social Care and Safeguarding Staff The use of social media in a social care and safeguarding environment is a developing area. Cases and reviews have discussed the use of social media in social work practice. There is, however, currently no specific government guidance on the issue. This chapter is designed to highlight some of the issues to be considered, with links to additional information. It is not intended to provide any legal advice, and legal advice must be sought as appropriate. Local Authorities and Courts may have local protocols in place on the use of social media/service of documents.

The chapter benefits from having a 'Local Information and Support' section.

This chapter will continue to be updated as the body of case-law develops.

Please reference.
Storage of Data on Mobile Devices This chapter provides guidance on the storage of personal data (including photographs) on mobile devices. 'Personal data' is any information about an identifiable living individual.

'Mobile devices' includes memory sticks, mobile telephones including smartphones, tablet technologies, netbooks and laptops.

Please reference.
Private Fostering Guide for Carers This chapter has been added to the main manual from the Wirral Local Resources folder. It provides information to potential Private Foster Carers about their responsibilities and information about the basic duties of Wirral Children's Social Care.
Private Fostering Guide for Parents This chapter has been added to the main manual from the Wirral Local Resources folder. It offers information to parents who have asked non-immediate / close family, or other carers, to look after their child for over 28 days.* It identifies their responsibilities and general information about private fostering.

*See Wirral Private Fostering chapter, Section 3 for definition of 'Private Fostering'.
Private Fostering Guide for Children This chapter has been added to the main manual from the Wirral Local Resources folder. It provides basic information to the child or young person about the role of the private foster care family, (including things they cannot do), and makes the child or young person aware that a social worker will be visiting them and what their role is in the child's life.
The Fostering Network: Principles and Protocol Governing the Transfer of Foster Carers This chapter contains 2 documents which have previously been in the Wirral Local Resources in the manual.

The 'Protocol' has been developed by The Fostering Network and the joint forum of Independent Fostering Providers and is issued with the support of ADCS. It takes account of legislative changes which came into force on 1 July 2013 and recommends the good practice guidelines to be followed when an approved foster carer wishes to transfer from one fostering service to another.

'The Principles' have been developed with partner Fostering Agencies and supports good practice principles for both fostering agencies and local authorities, namely that: 'The primary consideration in all transfers must be that “the welfare of the child is paramount” as enshrined in the Children Act 1989'.
Fostering Service Smoking Policy and Guidance This chapter has been added to the main manual from the Wirral Local Resources folder and deals with both foster carers and looked after children who smoke. It provides essential information and guidance with regard to the health risks that surround smoking; provides key notes about the law for children and additional links to organisations regarding stopping smoking.

Note: a link to 'GOV.UK Smoking in vehicles' has been added - It is illegal to smoke in a vehicle with anyone under 18. Please re-reference.
Removed Chapters
  • Complaints and Representations;
  • Transfer of Foster Carers Protocol England.

March 2020

Caption: March 2020
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Care and Supervision Proceedings and the Public Law Outline This chapter has been updated to reference and note the Family Justice Council: Interim Guidance on Special Guardianship, (Family Justice Council, May 2019). (See Section 1, Introduction).
Recording Policy and Guidelines This chapter has been amended to reflect the Ofsted Twitter Blog of 24/7/19 by Yvette Stanley, Ofsted's National Director for Social Care. The Blog highlights feedback from a number of inspections and explores what good recording should look like (Ofsted: developments in children's social care – What makes an effective case record?).
Provision of Accommodation to Homeless 16 and 17 Year Olds who may be Homeless and/or Require Accommodation; and Duty to Refer Section 3, Homelessness: Code of Guidance - Referral Process has been updated to include contact details.
Private Fostering This chapter has been substantially updated and should be re-read.
Secure Accommodation (Criteria) Reviews This chapter has been reviewed and updated. The requirement for clear separation of reviews (for clarifying whether the criteria for keeping a child in secure accommodation are met, and the child's looked after review) has been emphasised. Clarifying whether the criteria for keeping a child in secure accommodation are met must come before a LAC review so the decision can inform the LAC review and they must be chaired by different individuals.
Notifications of Significant Events This chapter has been updated and should be re-read.
Education of Children Looked After and Previously Looked After

This chapter has been updated to reflect Keeping Children Safe in Education 2019 which replaces the 2018 version. Section 8, Safeguarding the Looked After Child at School has been amended to include reference to Upskirting (which is now a criminal offence) and serious violence.

In Section 1.3 Role of the Local Authority, Virtual School Head (VSH), and School, OFSTED's advice that Local Authorities should exercise due diligence in ensuring schools for LAC pupils are registered with the DFE has been added.
Fostering Panel This chapter has been substantially updated and should be re-read.
Persons Disqualified from Fostering This chapter has been substantially updated and should be re-read.
Assessment and Approvals of Foster Carers This chapter has been substantially updated and should be re-read.
Exemptions and Extensions/Variations to Foster Carer Approval This chapter has been substantially updated and should be re-read.
Review and Termination of Approval of Foster Carers This chapter has been substantially updated and should be re-read.
Assessment and Approvals of Prospective Adopters A link has been added to Attending an IRM Panel: information sheets. See Section 10, Representations / Independent Review Procedure.
Access to Birth Records and Adoption Case Records A link has been added to Attending an IRM Panel: information sheets. See Section 3.2, Adoption Orders made on or after 30 December 2005.
Applications for Special Guardianship Orders This chapter has been updated to reference and reflect the Family Justice Council: Interim Guidance on Special Guardianship (Family Justice Council, May 2019) (see new Section 6.2, Special Guardianship applications in care proceedings).
Court Reports in Placement Order Applications and Adoption/Special Guardianship Guidance This chapter has been updated to note the Family Justice Council: Interim Guidance on Special Guardianship, (Family Justice Council, May 2019). See Section 3, Special Guardianship - Matters to be Dealt with in Report for the Court and final paragraphs 11 and 12.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Process for Early Help Transfers This document has been added to the manual and identifies the various processes involved in transferring cases from/to Early Help.
Step Across Arrangements This document has been added to the manual.
Joint Protocol on the Provision of Accommodation for 16 and 17 Year Olds who are Homeless or Threatened with Homelessness This is a joint working protocol between the Housing Directorate and Children's Services Directorate regarding the procedure for responding to approaches for assisting 16/17 year old persons who are homeless or threatened with homelessness.
Care Planning Meetings for Children Looked After This chapter has been added to the manual.
Elective Home Education Policy This document aims to clarify Wirral Borough Council's policies and procedures in place for when parents choose to educate their school age child at home. This document will set out the statutory duties of the Wirral Borough Council and schools in relation to home educated children. This document will enable Wirral Borough Council to comply with its duties towards children and young people living in Wirral whose parents have elected to educate them otherwise than at school.
Special Educational Needs Policy This policy has been added to the manual and reflects the statutory guidance contained within the Special educational needs and disability code of practice: 0 to 25 years January 2015.
Special Educational Needs Complaints Policy This policy has been added to the manual and outlines theWirral local authority's approach for dealing with concerns and complaints made to the local authority in relation to services provided to children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.
Statement of Purpose This statement of purpose has been added to the manual.
Foster Care Agreement This document has been added to the manual.
Foster Carer Annual Personal Development Plan (PDP) and Review This document has been added to the manual.
Long Term Competencies Report Foster Carers This report document has been added to the manual.
Dogs and Pets Policy and Guidance This policy has been added to the manual and sets out how the Fostering Services aim to take a balanced and proportionate approach to the role of dogs and pets in the fostering household.
Guidance on Possession of Guns and Weapons This guidance has been added to the manual.
Safe Caring Policy This policy has been added to the manual.
Consent to Medical Treatment in Foster Carer Placements This procedure has been added to the manual and provides instructions and guidance regarding medication for children in foster care for use by health and Specialist Services professionals.
Children's Bedroom Guidance This procedure was added to the manual and applies to children placed in children's homes and foster homes managed by the authority, but the principles apply to the placement of all Children Looked After.
Safety in the Home for Foster Carers This policy has been added to the manual and concerns the assessment of the suitability of Foster Carers to be able to secure the safety in the home and in vehicles used to transport a child or young person that would be fostered.
Pornography Guidelines for Foster Carers and Adopters This guidance has been added to the manual.
Social Media Information for Foster Carers This document has been added to the manual.
Guidance for Foster Carers for Recording and Record Keeping This guidance has been added to the manual.
Foster Carers Supporting Educational Potential This document has been added to the manual.

September 2019

Caption: Sept 2019
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Children's Consultation and Participation The Related Guidance section has been updated to add supporting resources with regard to children's consultation and participation.
Care and Supervision Proceedings and the Public Law Outline

This chapter has been amended in to reflect changes from 'Practice Direction 27a - Family Proceedings: Court Bundles (Universal Practice to be Applied in the High Court and Family Court)', in relation to the required maximum length of certain court documents, (unless otherwise specifically directed by the court). In addition, a new subsection of Section 4.1, Local Authority Documentation - 'Final Care Plan' provides further detail on the importance of recording information on the Care Plan which will help the child, parent or the child's carer understand why decisions have been or are being made.

It has also been amended to reflect HHJ Greensmith's comments regarding M and N (Children: Local authority gathering, preserving and disclosing evidence) [2018] EWFC 40 (1 June 2018)) (see Section 9, Good Local Authority Practice During Proceedings).
Death or Serious Injury to a Child (Looked After and Child in Need) This chapter has been updated throughout to reflect Working Together to Safeguard Children and the process for reporting a serious incident to the Panel via the Child Safeguarding Incident Notification System.
Recording Policy and Guidelines This chapter has been amended to reflect HHJ Greensmith's comments regarding M and N (Children: Local authority gathering, preserving and disclosing evidence) [2018] EWFC 40 (1 June 2018).
Children and Young People Aged 0-25 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

This chapter has been updated in line with the Children and Social Work Act 2017 and revised statutory guidance which require schools, through the designated teacher to provide support to previously Looked After Children.

A previously Looked After Child is one who is no longer looked after in England and Wales because they are the subject of an Adoption, Special Guardianship or Child Arrangements Order which includes arrangements relating to with whom the child is to live, or when the child is to live with any person, or has been adopted from 'state care' outside England and Wales.
Unaccompanied Migrant Children and Child Victims of Trafficking and Modern Slavery A new Section 6, Suitable Placements has been added. Details of the National Transfer Scheme Protocol for Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children Version 2.0 March 2018 have been added into Section 1, Introduction and Definitions.
Decision to Look After and Care Planning This chapter has been amended to reflect Section 3 of the Care Planning and Care Leavers (Amendment) Regulations 2014. The Care Plan must identify whether there is reason to believe the child has been trafficked or is an unaccompanied asylum seeker (see Section 2.1, The Care Plan - Contents).
Placements with Parents This chapter has been updated to note that this procedure does not apply to children subject to Interim Care Orders where the placement is required by the court under Section 38(6) Children Act 1989 for the purposes of assessment (see Scope of this Chapter).
Remands to Local Authority Accommodation or to Youth Detention Accommodation This chapter has been updated in relation to placing young people in custody, see Section 2.3, How to Request a Transfer or Placement Review.
Social Worker Visits to Looked After Children This chapter has been amended to include a link to the Leaving Care and Transition Procedure in relation to Personal Adviser visits to 'Relevant' or 'Former Relevant' young people.
Education of Children Looked After and Previously Looked After This chapter has been substantially reviewed and updated.
Leaving Care and Transition

Amendments have been made in:

  • Section 5, Leaving Care Assessment of Need - in relation to children who are victims of trafficking or unaccompanied asylum seeking children;
  • Section 7, Reviews of Pathway Plans - in relation to Relevant/Former Relevant young people moving to 'unregulated' accommodation; and
  • Section 8, Personal Advisers - in relation to frequency of visits by Personal Advisers.
Looked After Children and Young People in Contact with Youth Justice Services This chapter has been updated in relation to placing young people in custody, see Section 7.7, How to Request a Transfer or Placement Review.
Responsibilities of the Local Authority to Former Looked After Children and Young People in Custody This chapter has been updated in relation to placing young people in custody, see Section 3.8, How to Request a Transfer or Placement Review.
Assessment and Approvals of Prospective Adopters This chapter has been amended to reflect the national changes in adoption registration and matching (see Section 9, After the Panel Recommendation).
Placement for Adoption and Matching This chapter has been amended to reflect the national changes in adoption registration and matching (see Section 7.13, Inter Agency Placements and Section 12, Children Approved for Adoption for Whom no Placement has been Identified).
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Placing and Visiting Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities or Health Conditions in Long-Term Residential Settings This chapter has been added to the manual.


March 2019

Caption: March 2019
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Children's Consultation and Participation This chapter has been updated to reflect Working Together 2018 and to add a link to Wirral's 'The Right Side of Care'.
Assessments This chapter has been revised to reflect updated guidance on Assessment in Working Together to Safeguard Children. Please fully re-reference.
Care and Supervision Proceedings and the Public Law Outline This chapter has been updated to add a link in Related Guidance to Research in Practice supporting information and guidance on the Social Work Evidence template (SWET).
Death or Serious Injury to a Child (Looked After and Child in Need) This chapter has been updated throughout in line with Working Together to Safeguard Children. From 29 June 2018 local authorities in England must notify the national Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel within 5 working days of becoming aware of a serious incident.
Recording Policy and Guidelines This guidance has been reviewed and updated following the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018. Please re-reference.
Case Records and Retention Section 1, The Case Record has been updated in line with Adoption and Care Planning (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2018, which permits the transfer of a copy of the child's case record (or part of that record) to another adoption agency when the local authority considers this to be in the interests of the child. Please re-reference.
Access to Records / Subject to Access Requests This chapter has been substantially amended, updated and re-titled to reflect the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018. Please re-reference.
Confidentiality Policy This guidance has been reviewed and updated following the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018.
Electronic Recording of Meetings and Conversations This guidance has been reviewed and updated following the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018.
Provision of Accommodation to Homeless 16 and 17 Year Olds who may be Homeless and/or Require Accommodation; and Duty to Refer

This chapter already links to statutory guidance:

  • Prevention of Homelessness and Provision of accommodation for 16 and 17 year old young people who may be homeless and/or require accommodation (2018): this guidance is solely concerned with the functions of children's services and housing services when young people seek help from, or are referred to, local authorities because of homelessness or being threatened with homelessness. It incorporates judgements made in the House of Lords over several years around the duties of local authorities under Section 20 (Children Act 1989) and Part 7 of the Housing Act 1996. The guidance also reflects the duties introduced under the Homelessness Reduction Act (2017).

    and now includes a link to:
  • Homelessness - Duty to Refer: the Homelessness Reduction Act (2017) places a duty on specified public authorities to refer service users who they think may be homeless or threatened with homelessness to local authority homelessness/housing options teams.

The guidance provides helpful information and detail on the referral process which is brought out in additional links below.

Please re-reference.
Family and Friends Care This chapter has been updated to add a link to 'DfE, Looking after someone else's child'. The site provides links to 'Grandparents Plus' and 'Buttle UK'.
Relinquished Children Section 5, Consent and Competency has been updated to include additional information on parental capacity to consent, in line with High Court case-law.
Decision to Look After and Care Planning Additional information has been added in to Section 1.3, Section 20 Accommodation, in line with recent case-law and includes the matters of returning children at the request of the parent (Section 20(8)); threshold criteria for Care and Supervision Order proceedings and further guidance from the High Court regarding consent. Please re – reference.
Ceasing to Look After a Child

This chapter has been updated in line with the Children and Social Work Act 2017 and revised statutory guidance.

These changes relate to the status of 'previously Looked After Children'. A previously Looked After Child is one who is no longer looked after in England and Wales because they are the subject of an Adoption, Special Guardianship or Child Arrangements Order which includes arrangements relating to with whom the child is to live, or when the child is to live with any person, or has been adopted from 'state care' outside England and Wales.

Previously Looked After Children are entitled to support from their school through the Designated Teacher (see Section 2.5, Children Who Move into Permanency).
Permanence Planning Guidance

This chapter has been updated in line with the Children and Social Work Act 2017 and revised statutory guidance.

These changes relate to the status of 'previously looked after children'. A previously Looked After Child is one who is no longer looked after in England and Wales because they are the subject of an Adoption, Special Guardianship or Child Arrangements Order which includes arrangements relating to with whom the child is to live, or when the child is to live with any person, or has been adopted from 'state care' outside England and Wales.

Children subject to an Adoption, Special Guardianship or Child Arrangements Order are entitled to support from their school, through the designated teacher.
Placements in Secure Accommodation on Welfare Grounds This chapter has been updated to fully reflect the updated guidance 'Secure children's homes: how to place a child aged under 13 (July 2018)'. (See Placements of Children under the age of 13 Years). Please fully re-reference.
Looked After Reviews Section 9, The Role of the Looked After Review in Achieving Permanence for the Child has been amended to reflect the outcome of a High Court Judgement in respect of children who were subject to Section 20 and where there were concerns of significant delays in their planning for permanence. The court noted the IROs' recognition and action over a number of reviews but acknowledged that a more robust response had been needed.
Education of Children Looked After and Previously Looked After

This chapter has been substantially updated to reflect amendments made by the Children and Social Work Act 2017.

These changes relate to the status of 'previously looked after children' i.e. a previously looked-after child is one who is no longer looked after in England and Wales because s/he is the subject of an adoption, special guardianship or child arrangements order which includes arrangements relating to with whom the child is to live, or when the child is to live with any person, or has been adopted from 'state care' outside England and Wales. The chapter includes a new Section 15, Mental Health and a new Section 8, Safeguarding the Looked After Child at School.

In addition the chapter reflects the statutory guidance Keeping children safe in education (KCSIE) 2018, as it relates to Looked After Children and guidance regarding Data protection and safeguarding as set out in Data protection: a toolkit for schools (Open Beta: Version1.0) (August 2018). Please re – reference.
Adoption Panel This guidance has been reviewed and updated following the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018.
Adoption Support

This chapter has been updated in line with the Children and Social Work Act 2017 and revised statutory guidance which require schools, through the Designated Teacher for Looked After Children, to offer support to previously looked after children.

(A previously looked-after child is one who is no longer looked after in England and Wales because subject of an Adoption, Special Guardianship or Child Arrangements Order which includes arrangements relating to with whom the child is to live, or when the child is to live with any person, or has been adopted from 'state care' outside England and Wales).
Adoption Reviews Section 5.1.(6)f has been amended to reflect the status of adopted children as being 'previously looked after' when considering their educational needs. A link to DfE guidance on Promoting the Education of Children Looked After and Previously Looked After was also added.
Adoption Case Records

Section 3, Security, Retention and Sharing of Records has been updated in line with Adoption and Care Planning (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2018, which provides that an adoption agency may disclose an adoption case record to another adoption agency for purposes related to either agency's functions as an adoption agency.

Further information was added in relation to adoption records where an Adoption Order is not made. Please reference.
Life Journey Books Guidance This chapter has been fully reviewed and refreshed. A new section 7 'Children who are Adopted' has been added. Please re – reference.
Later Life Letters This chapter has been fully reviewed and refreshed. Please re – reference.
Applications for Special Guardianship Orders

This chapter has been updated in line with the Children and Social Work Act 2017 and revised statutory guidance which require schools, through the designated teacher to provide support to previously Looked After Children.

(A previously Looked After Child is one who is no longer looked after in England and Wales because they are the subject of an Adoption, Special Guardianship or Child Arrangements Order which includes arrangements relating to with whom the child is to live, or when the child is to live with any person, or has been adopted from 'state care' outside England and Wales).

It has also been updated to reflect the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman good practice points to follow when working with Special Guardians. A link to the full report 'Firm Foundations: Complaints about Council Support and Advice for Special Guardians (Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman) (May 2018)' has been added into the Relevant National Guidance section of this chapter.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Drugs and Substance Use (Including Smoking) This procedure seeks to apply to all Children Looked After, the key issues around drug and substance mis-use and social workers should be mindful of them when placing children with parents, relatives and friends. Substances are defined as any substances, whether restricted or prohibited, which may have a harmful effect upon a child. Please reference.
GP's, Dentists and Opticians This chapter emphasises the need to ensure a child has a GP and dentist as well as an optician (when relevant) and that routine visits should be made or undertaken when needed, the child requests it, or as required by the carer, social worker or care plan. The chapter also notes the procedure and frequencies. Please reference.
Self-Harm and Suicide

This chapter aims to provide practitioners with some basic guidelines in how to recognise and support children and young people who self-harm and/or express active suicidal intent.

Although acts of self-harm and attempted suicide do not necessarily involve an intention to die, there is a strong association between self-harm, attempted suicide and subsequent death by suicide. Self-harm is always a sign of something being seriously wrong. Every child or young person who self-harms must be taken seriously and offered help. Please reference.

A new Section 10, Further information, has also been added.
HIV This chapter provides an overview of the issues to be considered when working with children and families who may be affected by HIV, including those who have suffered sexual abuse and for whom a HIV test may be required. Note: confidentiality is extremely important in relation to HIV, both legally and ethically. Agencies have a duty to ensure the protection of information about all parties in relation to HIV - any breach of confidentiality can have very serious social, psychological and financial implications. Please reference.

September 2018

Caption: Sept 2018
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Children's Services Policies, Values and Principles A new section has been added on Corporate Parenting in response to the DfE Applying Corporate Parenting Principles to Looked-after Children and Care Leavers – Statutory Guidance (Feb 2018). It includes the seven corporate parenting principles set out in the guidance.
Social Work Practice Standards This chapter has been amended in to acknowledge the expectations on staff when changing/cancelling meetings or appointments with children or families; at least 24 hours' notice should be offered.
Assessments A new Section 16, Re-assessment of Children in Care Cases has been added. Section 4, Communication was updated to include reference to parents with learning disabilities. Please re-reference.
Care and Supervision Proceedings and the Public Law Outline This chapter has been updated to provide some emphasis on parents who lack capacity and added links to the President of the Family Division, Family Proceedings: Parents with a Learning Disability Note, and a relevant link to working with parents who have a learning disability, (see Pre-proceedings and Practice Direction 3aa - Vulnerable Persons: Participation in Proceedings and Giving Evidence in Section 4, Documentation). Please reference as required.
Provision of Accommodation to Homeless 16 and 17 Year Olds who may be Homeless and/or Require Accommodation and Duty to Refer This chapter, a link to government guidance, has been replaced following the joint issuing of new guidance from the Ministry of Housing and the Department of Education. It has been updated to reflect the changes in children's legislation and regulation and also of homelessness itself.
Permanence Planning Guidance This chapter has been reviewed; minor amendments to text were made by tri.x.
Social Worker Visits to Looked After Children Section 2, Exceptions has been revised to set out more clearly the circumstances where visiting requirements differ from those set out in Section 1, Normal Frequency. A new section 'Consequences of Visits' has been added.
Health Care Assessments and Plans A new section 3.5 Consent to Health Care Assessments has been added. Please reference.
Leaving Care and Transition

This chapter has been substantially amended to reflect the Children and Social Work Act 2017 on the Leaving Care Services and Care leavers. Particularly:

  • The Local Offer - all local authorities must publish up-date information about the services it offers for care leavers and other services which may assist care leavers in, or preparing for, adulthood and independent living.
  • Corporate parenting: the Children and Social Work Act 2017 establishes 7 Corporate Parenting Principles, which should include and involve not only the Local Authority providing Children's Social Care services, but also District Councils (where appropriate) and partner agencies.
  • Continuing Support Up to the Age of 25: all Care leavers between the ages of 21 and up to 25 will be entitled to support irrespective of whether they are in education or training. Even when they may not initially choose such support, they can return and seek support, which can be provided on specific issues or on a more comprehensive basis where this is needed.
Please re-reference.
Placement for Adoption and Matching This chapter has been adjusted to reflect local policy and practice and the Children and Social Work Act 2017.
Monitoring and Supervision of Adoptive Placements This chapter has been reviewed.
Disruption of Adoptive Placements This chapter has been reviewed.
Inter Country Adoption This chapter has been reviewed and significantly changed to simply note all inter country Adoptions are dealt with by a service commissioned by Adoption 22 (Nugent Care) for Local Authorities within the region.
Non Agency Adoption This chapter has been reviewed and adjusted. Please reference when required.
Intermediary Services This chapter has been adjusted to reflect local policy and practice.
Life Journey Books Guidance This chapter has been adjusted to reflect local policy and practice. Please re-reference.
Later Life Letters This chapter has been reviewed and adjusted.
Fostering for Adoption, Concurrent Planning and Temporary Approval as Foster Carers of Approved Prospective Adopters This chapter has been reviewed and adjusted. Please reference when required.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Pre-Birth Procedure

This chapter identifies that babies are particularly vulnerable to abusive environments and where the potential for this is understood and an early help assessment is important at the pre-birth stage.

Note that providers of health services, in particular those providing midwifery services, may have their own detailed agency specific guidance which should be read in conjunction with this guidance. Please reference.

North West Notification and Transfer of Children Subject of Child Protection Plans Across Local Authority Boundaries This chapter provided by the North West ADCS seeks to ensure the safe and effective transfers of children subject to Child Protection Plans across the region by promoting consistent standards, responses and actions between authorities. Please reference.
North West Children in Need Moving Across Local Authority Boundaries This chapter provided by the North West ADCS seeks to ensure the safe and effective transfers of children when a child is known to the Children's Social Care service of one local authority area, and moves to stay in another local authority area, whether on a permanent or temporary basis.
North West Pre-Care and Care Proceedings Notification and Transfer Across Local Authority Boundaries This chapter provided by the North West ADCS seeks to ensure the effective transfers of children subject to care proceedings across the region by promoting consistent expectations, responses and actions commonly agreed between authorities. The chapters should be read in conjunction with the North West Children in Need Moving across Local Authority Boundaries Procedure. Please reference.
Wirral Council Procedures and Guidance for Social Care's Role Within the Education Health Care Process This chapter provides comprehensive information and guidance in respect of undertaking an Education Health and Care assessment and specifically focusses on the Children's Specialist Care service role. Appendices provide additional relevant support in understanding the role and tasks that the assessment process requires, including a good practice example, together with a Resources Appendix which includes relevant links to the Council for Disabled Children as well as a Team Manager Checklist. Please reference.
Education, Health and Care Plan Quality Assurance Framework This chapter describes the purpose of ensuring the quality standards that have been developed support improvement of practice in the assessments of children and young people who have Education, Health and Care Plans. It highlights the key processes and provides a template proforma (Appendix 1: Ensuring Good Quality Education, Health and Care Plans in Wirral). Please reference.
Unaccompanied Migrant Children and Child Victims of Trafficking and Modern Slavery The chapter was developed to reflect the 'Care of Unaccompanied Migrant Children and Child Victims of Modern Slavery - Statutory Guidance for Local Authorities (2017)' – which itself replaced statutory Guidance of 2014 regarding Unaccompanied asylum Seeing children. The chapter contains a link to the updated statutory Guidance. Please re-reference.
Sexual Health Policy for Staff Working with Young People Under 19 Years This chapter was refreshed and updated and includes reference to NCB/Hamblin, Practice guidance: supporting young people with HIV testing and prevention, (2016). A note has also been added with regard to the Serious Crime Act (2015) which introduced an offence of sexual communication with a child, (see Appendix 2: The Sexual Offense Act 2003) and Mental Capacity Act (2005), (Appendix 3: Gillick and Fraser Guidelines) with regard to acknowledgement of the issue of deprivation of liberty. (See also Mental Capacity Act, Summary, Children Under 16 and Deprivation of Liberty chapter.

August 2018

Caption: Aug 2018
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Wirral SCB: Multi-agency Thresholds This chapter has been replaced with a link to the Wirral SCB: Multi-agency Thresholds.

March 2018

Caption: March 2018
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Care and Supervision Proceedings and the Public Law Outline Section 4.2, Case Analysis has been updated to 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 was 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.
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 been 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.
Placements with Parents This chapter has been updated to reflect that the DBS has no eligibility for a standard or enhanced check for birth parents or other adults living in the household. However, the Local Authority has a requirement under the Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England Regulations) 2010 to obtain information about unspent convictions and cautions before placing a child back with parents. (See Assessment and Checks before Placement).
Contact with Parents/Adults, Siblings and Connected Persons Section 2, Different Types of Contact, has been updated to take account of the use of mobile communication with regards to contact.
Leaving Care and Transition This chapter was amended on an interim basis to add a note with regard to the impact of the Children and Social Work Act 2017 which comes into force in April for Leaving Care Services. Further changes as a result can be expected providing additional information and detail and as a result the chapter is currently under review.
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 and Standard 14 (14.9) Fostering panels and the fostering service's decision-maker).
Placement for Adoption Section 1, Planning for Permanence has been updated to reflect the additional consideration, (added by section 9 Children and Social Work Act 2017 which 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 section 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.

List of Agency Decision Makers, Designated Managers and Nominated Officers

This chapter has been replaced with a link to the Local Resources. Please reference as required.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Deprivations of Liberty

A new Section has been added on Deprivations of Liberty and Mental Capacity. This procedure should be used by practitioners working with children and young people aged 16 and over, where a deprivation of liberty may be occurring.

It applies to all social care practitioners carrying out any social care function with children who are receiving care or treatment in any setting.

A deprivation of liberty occurs when there has been a breach of a child or young person's, Article 5 (European Convention on Human Rights).

Deprivations of liberty requiring authorisation by a Court of Law that have not been authorised are unlawful and a breach of a child or young person's basic human rights, (European Convention on Human Rights, Article 5).

The Chapter identifies the key issues for those under 16 and those 16 and 17 year olds and older.

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 is pertinent to those young people over 16; the chapter seeks to offer guidance on key and relevant issues.
Mental Capacity

September 2017

Caption: September 2017
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Private Fostering An amendment has been made to add a point of clarity with respect of children under 16 years who spend more than two weeks at school in holiday time. (See Section 4, A Child is Not Privately Fostered).
Short Breaks (Overnight) This chapter has been updated to add a link to The Children's Society, Friendship For All - Increasing friendship in the lives of children (see Relevant Guidance).
Children's Homes Regulation 44 Visits Guidance and Procedures This chapter has been updated in line with The Children's Homes (England) Regulations 2015. Links to the Quality Standards have been added.
Personal Care and Relationships This chapter has been updated by adding the DfE definition for Child Sexual Exploitation and a link to the DfE Child sexual exploitation: definition and guide for practitioners (2017). (See Section 10, Sexual Exploitation).
Child Trust Funds and Junior Individual Savings Accounts for Looked After Children This chapter has been updated to highlight that up to £4128 pa can be saved in a Junior ISA (see Section 1.4, Can Additional Payments be Made?).
Safe Caring Policy Guidance This chapter has been amended to note the changes in the Rules around the use of booster seats and babies who now need to stay in rear facing seats until 15 months. (There has been a change to the technical standards of booster seats and cushions for manufacturers from 9 February but this does not affect existing models of booster seats and cushions). (See Section 11, Travelling by car).
Scheme of Delegation This chapter has been updated to reflect current roles and responsibilities.
Contacts This chapter has been updated.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Performance Management and Quality Assurance Framework This chapter replaces the previous 'Quality Assurance Framework' and 'Performance Management Framework' chapters and builds on them to bring these together as a single approach to: understand how well the service is doing; evaluate the impact on outcomes and to enable Wirral to learn and develop its service for children. It is at the heart of providing the best possible services to children and their families in Wirral. The chapter identifies key processes and actions and provides relevant tools in the Appendices to provide additional information.
Removed Chapters
  • Quality Assurance Framework.

April 2017

Caption: April 2017
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Initial Contacts and Referrals This chapter has been amended to reflect changes in the initial referral system and process. Note the Central Advice and Duty Team (CADT) has been replaced by the Integrated Front Door (IFD) and reflects changes in the consultation and decision-making process with respect to the threshold criteria.
Allocation of Work and Transfer Between Teams This chapter has been updated throughout to reflect the changes in the organisational structure and to highlight the transfer points from the Integrated Front Door (IFD) and to clarify the nature of work to be held in specific teams. Amendments with regard to decision-making in respect of unallocated cases has also been updated (see Section 6, Unallocated Cases).
Child in Need Procedure

This chapter has been updated throughout to reflect the changes in the organisational structure and systems and to recognise the Strengthening Families Enhancing Futures model of working. Additional or updated material has been in added in:

  • Section 2.10, Making Effective Child in Need Plans;
  • Section 2.11, Timings and Frequency; and
  • Section 3.3, De-escalating a Case from Child in Need to Team Around the Family.
Please re-reference as required.

March 2017

Caption: March 2017
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Single Assessment Policy and Guidance

This chapter has been updated to reflect the outcome of a judgment following an application to remove a child at birth. The judge highlighted 'good practice steps' to undertaking assessments and issuing care proceedings in respect of the removal of a child at birth, including the assessment process. (See Section 3, Purpose of a Single Assessment and Section 5.1, Pre-birth 'Good Practice Steps').

A link has also been added to the International Child Abduction and Contact Unit (ICACU). This itself contains a link to the DfE Form and guidance to this with regard to the ICACU.
Public Law Outline This chapter has been updated to reflect the outcome of a judgment following an application to remove a child at birth. The judge highlighted what were thought to be 'good practice steps' to issuing care proceedings in respect of the removal of a child at birth (see Section 1.4, Pre-birth Planning and Proceedings).
Sexual Health Policy for Staff Working with Young People Under 19 Years This chapter has been updated by adding a link to 'NCB/Hamblin, Practice guidance: supporting young people with HIV testing and prevention, (2016)'. An update note has also been added with regard to the Serious Crime Act (2015) which introduced an offence of sexual communication with a child (see Appendix 2: The Sexual Offence Act 2003) and Mental Capacity Act (2005) with regard to acknowledgement of the issue of deprivation of liberty (see Mental Capacity Act, Summary, Children Under 16).
Case Records for Looked After Children This chapter has been amended to acknowledge the requirements of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse to retain files whilst the Inquiry is sitting or unless otherwise advised by it (see Retention and Safekeeping of the Child's File).
Private Fostering

This chapter has been substantially amended throughout to update the assessment, review process and procedures. New sections have been added:

  • Section 21, Immigration Status;
  • Section 22, Requirements;
  • Section 23, Prohibitions;
  • Section 24, Appeals process for Private Fostering;
  • Section 25, Notifications to Other Authorities;
  • Section 26, Death of a Privately Fostered Child.
Please re-reference.
Private Fostering Statement of Purpose This chapter has been updated to add the current Statement of Purpose - Private Fostering (September 2016 - September 2018).
Families with No Recourse to Public Funds This chapter has been updated by adding a link to NRPF network which enables access to news, information & guidance and training from NRPF.
Sufficiency Strategy The Sufficiency Strategy has been fully updated with some emphasis on 'delivering differently'; analysis with comparative authorities and an 'Action Plan'. Please re-reference as required.
Placements in Secure Accommodation This chapter has been amended to acknowledge the President of the High Court's judgement regarding applications in English courts for Secure Accommodation placements in Scotland. Also the link to the Secure Children's Homes has been updated. As from May 2016 referrals for secure welfare placements are made through the National Secure Welfare Unit (NSWCU) (see Section 4.1, Placement Request, Identification and Approval).
Delegation of Authority Policy This chapter has been added updated by adding a link to BMA Consent Tool Kit, (see Section 10.1, Medical Consent and Treatment). Please reference as required.
Looked After Reviews This chapter has been updated to note The Law Society guidance 'Attendance of solicitors at local authority Children Act Meetings' and their Code of Conduct where the child or family who attend reviews are supported by a legal representative (see Section 7, Attendance at the Review Meeting).
Consent to Medical Treatment in Foster Carer Placements This chapter has been updated by adding a link to BMA Consent Tool Kit, (see Section 2.1, Consent to Treatment). Please reference as required.
Scheme of Delegation This chapter has been updated to reflect current roles and responsibilities.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Managers Practice Standards This chapter seeks to describe and establish the standards required of managers with regard to leadership, oversight and supervision and highlights the importance of this with regard to practitioners and work with children and families themselves. All staff should be familiar with the expectations of the department.
Social Work Practice Standards

This detailed and comprehensive chapter seeks to describe and establish the standards required of social workers with regard to practice and includes key aspects and expectations for working with children and families subject to a variety of situations and through a variety of processes. It highlights the importance of being clear about the wishes and feelings of children and what life is like for them in the family or care environment they are in. Also identified - recording, having SMART plans and the role of supervision. The chapter links to a range of chapters within the Wirral Procedure Manual to promote access to additional information.

Please fully read.
NICE Guidance - Postnatal Care up to 8 Weeks After Birth (2015) This chapter is a direct link to the NICE guidance. The guidance includes 'Planning the content and delivery of care'; Maternal health'; 'Infant feeding'; and Maintaining infant health' – which itself includes a comment about sudden death infant syndrome. Please reference as required.

September 2016

Caption: September 2016
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Whistleblowing This chapter has been amended by adding a link to 'Whistleblowing to Ofsted about Children's Social Care Services (2016)'. Whistleblowing is when someone who is working in or for an Organisation has concerns about the practice(s) or policies of the organisation and passes the concern on to a senior manager, a regulatory body or relevant government department. It would always be hoped that concerns can be raised with a line manager. However, sometimes people can have concern for themselves if this is done, or there is a lack of confidence that the issues will be taken seriously and acted upon. Whistleblowers have legal protection for their actions.
Access to Records This chapter has been amended to reference the Information Commissioner. A link to 'Information Commissioners Office – Guide to Data Protection' is included. A note to add that the local authority will consider direct descendant of a care leaver if information about family history is being sought, (see Section 7, Applications by Care Leavers).
Decision to Look After and Care Planning This chapter has been updated to add a link to the ADCS/Cafcass Practice Guidance for the Use of Section 20 Provision in The Children Act 1989 in England and the Equivalent S76 of the Social Services and Well-Being (Wales) Act 2014 in Wales.
Looked After Reviews This chapter has been updated by adding a link to DfE, The Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations – Volume 2: Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (2015) in the Related Guidance section.
Procedure and Guidance: Personal Education Planning to Promote the Educational Attainments of Children in Care

This chapter has been updated by adding a link to DfE, Mental health and behaviour in schools (2016).

Internet Safety This chapter has been updated by adding a link to Child Safety Online: A practical guide for parents and carers whose children are using social media.
Adoption Support This chapter has been updated to add a link to the Mott Macdonald/DfE Adoption Support Fund.
Special Guardianship Orders This chapter has been updated to add a link to the Mott Macdonald/DfE Adoption Support Fund.
Scheme of Delegation This chapter has been updated to reflect current roles and responsibilities.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Managing Vexatious and Unreasonable Communication

This chapter seeks to provide a framework for those individuals who communicate with the department and staff in a way that is abusive, disproportionately demanding and persistent. However, emphasis is made to acknowledge that individuals can have legitimate complaints and are unhappy with the outcome of services and are often under great personal stress and as such should not be seen within the context of being vexatious.

The process described includes a 'warning'; setting boundaries and prescribing communication for the individual and a 'review' process. Template letters are provided to assist communicating these stages to clients.

March 2016

Caption: March 2016
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Single Assessment Policy and Guidance This chapter has been updated to reference the process of the 'Single Assessment 'and to amend the time frames for the different parts of the process. After the first review (5 working days), a second review is to scheduled if assessment is going to extend beyond 15 working days - to be clear as to why and what impact upon the child and family. The maximum timescale is 30 days, (45 working days for exceptional cases).
Complaints Policy and Procedure This chapter has been updated to reflect the role of the Complaints manager in developing an action plan on the recommendations for each complaint, (see Section 9, Investigation (Stage 2)).
Record Keeping in Children's Specialist Services This chapter has been updated to reflect relevant links for the ICS throughout the process. Note also the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse requires all institutions to retain their records relating to the care of children for the duration of the Inquiry under Section 21 of the Inquiries Act 2005.
Case Records for Looked After Children This chapter has been amended to provide additional detail with regard to the Care Plan for a child (see Establishing a Child's Case Record).
Access to Records This chapter has been updated to add a new section on Applications by Care Leavers with regard to seeing their file. In addition, the section on 'Rights of Access' Applications by Parents (and Appeals process have been refreshed and updated). It remains important to acknowledge that even if a child does not have the capacity to understand the implications of a data request about them, it is still their personal data and belongs to no-one else.
Producing Chronologies and Recording Significant Events (with ICS Guidance) This chapter has been amended to update locating the Chronology in ICS (see Section 8, How to Access the Chronology in ICS).
Short Breaks (Overnight) This chapter has been fully updated to bring it in line with the Children and Families Act 2014, 'DfE, Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice: 0-25 years Statutory Guidance for Organisations who work with Children and Young People with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (2015)' and 'DfE, The Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations - Volume 2: Care Planning, Placement and Case Review'.
Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children This chapter has been amended to link to the ADCS good practice documents which have been devised jointly with the Home Office (see Section 4, Social Work Assessment of Need).
Decision to Look After and Care Planning This chapter has been updated to reflect The President of the Family Division of the High Court's concerns about the use of Section 20 (1989 Children Act) with regard to obtaining Parental Consent, (see Section 2.3, Obtaining Parental Consent to a Looked After Child) and delay in progressing a matter to court where this is required, (see Section 2.5, Considerations before a Decision is Made). Additional local guidance is also provided with respect to the Care Plan and Placement Plan. (See Section 2.7, Summary of the Looked after Children (LAC) Documents That Must Be Completed and Given to the Carer(s) before a Child is Placed in Care).
Secure Accommodation (Criteria) Reviews This chapter has been updated to emphasise the importance of the review focussing on the criteria for secure accommodation and ensuring relevant communication of the outcome is undertaken promptly and includes the child.
Staying Put Procedure This chapter provides specific guidance with respect to enabling young people to remain with their former foster carers when they reach 18 years. A young person may remain under the Staying Put arrangements until they are 21 and it is the duty of the Authority to monitor and to provide advice, assistance and support to such arrangements.
Special Guardianship Orders Section 2.6, Court Report, has been revised and updated to reflect the enhanced assessment and reporting requirements (for all applications made from 29 February 2016) as set out in the Special Guardianship (Amendment) Regulations 2016.
Court Reports in Adoption/Special Guardianship Guidance This chapter has been completely re-written and should be re-read fully.
Scheme of Delegation This chapter has been updated.
Contacts This chapter has been updated.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Performance Management Framework This chapter details the Wirral Council's approach to performance management. Providing a framework and tools supports the continuous improvements to the service delivered to children, young people and their families in Wirral. The framework is a system that should be applied across the Council and the Directorate at all levels.
Quality Assurance Framework This chapter details the Quality Assurance process and procedure for Children's Specialist Services in The Wirral. It represents an important part of raising standards and focuses on the outcomes for children as a result of intervention. The chapter fully outlines the expectations and programme for undertaking audits and provides a range of Audit tools to be used. All staff should be familiar and aware of the process and ensure they are clear about their role in this. Please fully read.
Workload Management Scheme This chapter details the Wirral Children's Services Workload Management Scheme, which seeks to ensure that best use is made of an individual's time and skills, ensure staff have a manageable workload and provide management information. The chapter includes a workload management spreadsheet for Team Managers.
Young Carers

This chapter reflects the Young Carers (Needs Assessments) Regulations 2015 and provides a framework with regard to the person undertaking the assessment and the key issues that that need to be undertaken as part of that assessment.

Young Carers are defined as anyone who is under 18 years who provides practical or emotional support to another member of the family, whether this is an adult or child.

The local authority is expected also to undertake reasonable steps to identify 'young carers' in their area.

Please fully read.
Ceasing to Look After a Child

This chapter reflects the statutory guidance 'Ceasing to look after a child' in 'Care Planning, Placement and Case Review Regulations (2015)' as amended by the 'Care Planning and Fostering (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2015' together with Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015.

The Local Authority has a duty to ensure that when children have been Accommodated under Section 20 (Children Act 1989) and are discharged from, or leave care, that the discharge is in their best interests and that they will be safeguarded and their welfare will be promoted. Where a child has been Accommodated for 20 days or more, the decision should be made by a Nominated Officer, or Director of Children's Services if the child/young person is 16/17 years and has been Accommodated under Section 20, before discharge.
Joint Merseyside Protocol For The Provision of Local Authority Accommodation This chapter has been added to the manual; please reference as required.
Leaving Care and Transition

These procedures apply to young people who are or have been in care and are entitled to support after their 16th birthday.

There are 3 categories of those leaving care all of whom are entitled to support after their 16th birthday. The categories are Eligible, Relevant, and Former Relevant.

These Procedures also refer to Qualifying Young People who may receive support, advice and assistance after their 16th birthday.
Fostering for Adoption, Concurrent Planning and Temporary Approval as Foster Carers of Approved Prospective Adopters This chapter reflects the process whereby adoptive applicants can be temporarily approved as foster carers when a child's plan is likely to be one of adoption. The Children and Families Act (2014) imposed a duty upon local authorities to consider a placement with dually approved carers whenever it is considering adoption or where the decision has been made that the child ought to be placed for adoption. This process seeks to ensure that a child's attachment to a carer, that in the long term becomes their permanent carer, is promoted.
The Fostering Network, Transfer of Foster Carers Protocol England (2015) This chapter is a link to the Fostering network site and reflects good practice guidance for when approved foster carers wish to transfer to another agency. The guidance has been undertaken with ADCS approval.
Removed Chapters
  • Case File Audit Guidance;
  • Joint Protocol Between Wirral Youth Offending Service and Children and Young People's Department.

September 2015

Caption: September 2015
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Information Security This chapter has been amended to provide a link to 'Information sharing: Advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services to children, young people, parents and carers (2015)'.
Supervision in Children's Specialist Services This chapter has been amended to provide an additional note on 'Reflection' and 'Frequency' (See Section 6, Frequency Content of Supervision). Some links have also been updated.
Allocation of Work and Transfer Between Teams This chapter has been updated to ensure it reflects the organisational structure and to highlight the transfer points from CADT and to clarify the nature of work to be held in specific teams.
Public Law Outline This chapter has been updated to add links to: 'DfE, Court orders and pre-proceedings for local authorities (2014)'; 'ADCS, Court Orders and Pre-Proceedings Guidance 2014'; 'Ministry of Justice, Practice Direction 25B - The Duties of an Expert, The Expert's Report and Arrangements for an Expert to Attend Court, 2015'. Please reference as required.
Private Fostering This chapter has been updated to reflect an updated process, organisational structure and electronic record system. A link to Statutory Guidance 'National Minimum Standards for Private Fostering (2005)' has also been added. Please re-read.
Private Fostering Statement of Purpose This chapter has been updated with the updated version of the Wirral Fostering Statement of purpose.
Short Breaks (Overnight)

This chapter has been updated to add a link to the Wirral Council Short Breaks and Short Breaks Statement. A link to 'Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations Volume 2: Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (2015)' has also been provided.

Note also: Section 7, Short Break Settings has revised links to new Quality Standards for Children's Homes, and residential special schools and Care Quality Commission (CQC).
Families with No Recourse to Public Funds This chapter has been amended in line with the Care Act 2014. A new section on Independent Family Returns Panel has been added. Please re-read.
Decision to Look After and Care Planning This chapter has been updated to add a link to 'DfE, Children missing education – Statutory guidance for local authorities (2015)'. Please reference as required.
Permanence Planning Guidance This chapter has been updated to reflect the 2015 Statutory guidance 'The Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations - Volume 2: Care Planning, Placement and Case Review'.
Placements in Foster Care This chapter has been updated to reflect the 2015 Statutory guidance 'The Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations - Volume 2: Care Planning, Placement and Case Review'. A new Section 9, Long-Term Foster Placements has been added.
Placements in Secure Accommodation This chapter has been updated in by adding a link to the 'DfE, Secure children's homes: how to place a child aged under 13 (2015)'.
Social Worker Visits to Looked After Children This chapter has been updated to reflect the revised visiting requirements in respect of long term foster placements as set out in 'The Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations - Volume 2: Care Planning, Placement and Case Review'. (See Section 4, Placements in Residential and Foster Care).
Health Care Assessments and Plans This chapter has been updated in line with the 'DfE/DoH, Statutory Guidance on Promoting the Health and Well-being of Looked After Children (March 2015)' (a link to which has been included). There are new sections in: Introduction, including 'Principles'; 'Good Health Planning'; 'Strength and Difficulty Questionnaires' and 'Out of Area Placements' have been added. Please re-read.
Internet Safety

This chapter has been updated bay adding a note in respect of the Serious Crime Act 2015: an offence of sexual communication with a child has been introduced. This applies to an adult who communicates with a child and the communication is sexual or if it is intended to elicit from the child a communication which is sexual.

A note is also added with respect to on-line extremist material (see Safe Care – Reporting Abuse).
Child Trust Funds and Junior Individual Savings Accounts for Looked After Children This chapter has been updated a note above has been added identifying Child Trust Funds could be transferred into Jnr ISAs. Also that the maximum limit for paying into a Jnr ISA in any year is £4080.
Fostering and Adoption, Adoption and Permanence

As part of its continuous improvement of chapters within the Manual, amendments have been made some to the following chapters:

  • Assessment and Approval of Prospective Adopters;
  • Adoption Panel;
  • Placement for Adoption and Matching;
  • Adoption Support;
  • Adoption Reviews;
  • Special Guardianship Orders.
Scheme of Delegation This has been fully updated.
Contacts This has been fully updated.

March 2015

Caption: March 2015
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Supervision in Children's Specialist Services This chapter has been significantly amended and should be re-read in full.
Initial Contacts and Referrals This chapter has been significantly amended and should be re-read in full.
Family Group Conferences Section 1, Introduction has been amended and Section 5, The Family Group Conference Practice Standards and Section 6, Family Group Conference Procedure have been added.
Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children A link to the Department for Education's Care of Unaccompanied and Trafficked Children has been added in Related Guidance.
Decision to Look After and Care Planning A link to the Department for Education's Looked-After Children: Contact with Siblings has been added to the Related Guidance.
Sufficiency Strategy This chapter has been significantly amended and should be re-read in full.
Remands to Local Authority Accommodation or to Youth Detention Accommodation This chapter has been updated in line with the revised 'Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations - Volume 2: Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (supplement) - Looked After children and Youth Justice application of the care planning, Placement and Case Review (England) Regulations 2010 to Looked After children with Youth Justice Services' (April 2014) and a link to the guidance itself is included. Additional information has been added throughout the chapter, and it should be re-read in full.
Staying Put Policy This chapter has been amended throughout and should be re-read in full. Additionally, The 'Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations - Volume 3: Planning transition to adulthood for care leavers (January 2015)' update has been added above in Related Guidance.
Staying Put Procedure This chapter has been amended throughout and should be re-read in full. A link to 'Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations - Volume 3: Planning transition to adulthood for care leavers (January 2015)' has been added.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Achieving Permanency for Children in Wirral Policy This new chapter reinforces the belief that each child has their own individual needs, which include issues around their identity, and on-going contact with friends and relatives. It also seeks to ensure that when a child comes into care, there is a plan which will, in the shorter or longer term, provide them with a permanent carer or carers to whom they can attach.
Delegation of Authority Policy This new chapter applies to all who provide placements for children and young people in the care of Wirral Council either 'in-house' or via Independent Fostering Providers.
Discharge of Care Order This new chapter refers to children and young people who are subject to a Care Order under Section 31 of the Children Act 1989 and the Local Authority are looking to discharge the order because assessments confirm that the Local Authority no longer needs to share parental responsibility.
Fostering Services, Alcohol, Drugs and Solvents Policy This new chapter addresses the need for Foster Carers and children to have access to up to date information, guidance and advice on the risks and strategies that may be adopted in relation to alcohol or other harmful drugs and substances.
Updated Terminology
Statement of Special Educational Needs References to 'Statement of Special Educational Needs' have been updated with 'Education, Health and Care Plans'.

September 2014

Caption: September 2014
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Child Friendly Service User Involvement Policy This chapter replaced the previous version in entirety and details why service users should become involved in participating in the development of services, how this can be achieved and what sort of support they should expect to help them to do this.
Family and Friends Carers Policy This chapter has been updated to reflect the introduction of the 'Child Arrangements Order' introduced by the Children and Families Act 2014 which amended section 8 of the Children Act 1989 and replaced the 'Residence Order'.
Supervision in Children's Specialist Services The current chapter has been replaced with a link to the Intranet. All staff should be aware of the changes to practice and process here.
Children in Need Threshold Criteria This diagram of the 'Continuum of Need' has been simplified and brought up to date to focus on levels 2 – 4 which are likely to involve the Children and Young Peoples Department.
Court Proceedings This chapter has been updated to include a new section on Parallel Criminal Investigations with Care Hearings and by adding links to 'Statutory Guidance on court orders and pre-proceedings for local authorities (2014)'.
Public Law Outline This chapter has been updated to reflect the updated Public Law Outline came into effect on 22nd April 2014, alongside the statutory 26-week time-limit for completion of care and supervision proceedings under the Children and Families Act  2014.
Sexual Health Policy for Staff Working with Young People Under 19 years

This chapter has been updated to include information on the Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme, which is designed to provide members of the public with a formal mechanism to ask for disclosure about people they are concerned about.

Additionally, links to 'DfE, Sex and Relationship Education Guidance for Head teachers, Teachers & School Governors' and 'Brook / PSHE Association, Sex And Relationships Education (SRE) For the 21st Century', (which should be read together) have been created. Please reference as required.
Record Keeping in Children's Specialist Services Note that the Case File Audit Procedure is now referred to as the Case File Audit Guidance.
Case Records for Looked After Children Note that the Case File Audit Procedure is now referred to as the Case File Audit Guidance; a table of statutory timescales for retention of records has also been added.
Access to Records Note that the Case File Audit Procedure is now referred to as the Case File Audit Guidance
Issuing Privacy Notices (Formally Fair Processing) Notices in Children's Specialist Services This confirms the 'Information about You' leaflet is now obtained from the Practice Improvement Team.
Family Group Conferences This chapter has been changed through the removal of the section describing 'Lead Professionals' referring to this service.
Families with No Recourse to Public Funds This chapter has been amended to add a link to 'No recourse to Public Funds Network: Practice Guidance for Local Authorities Assessing and Supporting Children & Former Looked-after Children who have No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) for Support from Local Authorities under the Children Act 1989'. Please reference as required.
Permanence Planning Guide This chapter has been updated to include 'Child Arrangements Orders', introduced by the Children and Families Act 2014. This amended Section 8 of the 1989 Children Act and replaced 'Residence Orders'. A re-written Section 3.7, Child Arrangements Orders details this.
Placement Planning This chapter has been amended to reflect the Children and Families Act 2014 with regard to Child Arrangements Orders which has replaced the 'Residence Order'.
Placement Stability Procedure Although there have been no content changes, this chapter has been 'formatted' which has helped to make the chapter more accessible – particularly the Appendices.
Children cared for by Family and Friends This chapter has been updated to acknowledge the introduction of the 'Child Arrangements Order' which replaced the Residence Order under the Children and Families Act 2014.
Notification of Placement Move of Children in care (in and outside of the Local Authority) This chapter has been updated 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.
Child Trust Funds and Junior Individual Savings Accounts for Looked After Children This chapter has been updated to identify that the maximum amount that can be saved in a Junior ISA is £4000 pa.
Fostering Service Non Smoking Policy This chapter has been updated to include the Children and Families Act 2014 restriction on smoking in vehicles when a person under 18 is present.
Child Arrangements Orders This chapter has been updated following the introduction of Child Arrangements Orders in April 2014 by the Children and Families Act 2014 (which amended section 8 Children Act 1989). They replace Contact Orders and Residence Orders in private law proceedings.
Smoking Policy for Adopters This chapter has been updated to include the Children and Families Act 2014 restriction on smoking in vehicles when a person under 18 is present.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Child Friendly Complaints and Comments Policy This chapter replaced the previous version in entirety and details how service users can make a complaint and what support they can receive in making. Further, where to go if the Department doesn't agree with your concerns – particularly in respect of how the complaint itself has been dealt with. It recognises too that it is helpful to know what interventions have helped, so that other service users can benefit too.
Procedure and Guidance: Personal Education Planning to Promote the Educational Attainments of Children in Care This chapter replaces the previous 'Education of Looked After Children'. The focus of the chapter is on the Personal Education Plan and its importance in promoting the educational attainments of looked after children.
Staying Put Policy This chapter details the criteria and process which enables a young person to remain with their (former) foster parent up to the age of 21. The Policy has recently been enhanced through the Care Leavers (England) Regulations 2010, Planning Transition into Adulthood for Care Leavers Guidance and Government Staying Put Guidance (2013) and the Children and Family Act 2014. Links to the HM Government Guidance, 'Staying Put ' have been added. Please fully read.
Staying Put Pilot Procedure This new chapter provides specific guidance with respect to enabling young people to remain with their former foster carers when they reach 18 years. A young person may remain under the Staying Put arrangements until they are 21 and it is the duty of the Authority to monitor and to provide advice, assistance and support to such arrangements. Please fully read.
Child Friendly 'Staying Put Procedure' This is a version of the Staying Put Procedure designed for young people's use.
The Right Side of Care: Wirral Corporate Parenting Strategy 2014 - 2016 A new part in the manual, Corporate Parenting has been created and the Wirral corporate Parenting Strategy is now available on the Manual. Please fully read.
Updated Terminology
Residence Orders / Assisted Residence Orders Throughout the Manual Residence Orders / Assisted Residence Orders have been changed to Child Arrangements Orders as a result of the implementation of the Children and Families Act 2014.
Team Around the Child Throughout the Manual Team Around the Child has been replaced with Team Around the Family.
CAF Throughout the Manual 'CAF' has been replaced with 'Family CAF'.
UK Border Agency Throughout the Manual The UK Border Agency has been replaced with UK Visas Immigration.
NHS Direct Throughout the Manual The term 'NHS Direct' has been deleted.
Vulnerable Adults Throughout the Manual The term 'Vulnerable Adults' has been replaced with 'Adults at risk'.