Placement Planning meetings should be convened as part of the process of identifying and placing a child - as set out in the Placements in Foster Care Procedure and the Placements in Residential Care Procedure. The first Placement Planning Meeting in relation to a placement should be held before the placement. Where this is not possible because of the urgency of the situation, it should be held in order that the Placement Plan is prepared within 5 working days of the start of the placement.
Further Placement Planning Meetings should be held at intervals agreed with the manager of the residential home or the foster carers and their supervising social worker - or as required for example where there are issues to be resolved in relation to the day to day arrangements for the placement.
The social worker and home manager/foster carers supervising social worker will agree the best format and venue for the meeting and who will chair the meeting.
The people listed below should contribute to the meetings:
Where the proposed placement has the effect of disrupting the arrangements made for the child's education and training - see Education of Looked After and Previously Looked After Children Procedure.
Where the proposed placement is out of area, see Out of Area Placements Procedure.
The chairperson should also ensure that the child, parent(s) and others who have been asked to contribute understand the purpose of the meeting, how it will be conducted and are given the opportunity to put their views and suggestions.
If there are concerns about the suitability of the placement, consideration should be given to the following:
Consideration should always be given to convening a Disruption Meeting in relation to children whose placement has ended abruptly or on an unplanned basis.
For children whose adoptive placement disrupts, a Disruption Meeting must take place - see Disruption of Adoptive Placements Procedure.
An "off line" manager will usually chair the meeting. In complex cases, however, consideration will be given to appointing an independent person as chair.
Those invited, or asked to contribute, should be:
The meeting will ensure the child (depending on his or her age and level of understanding) is given the opportunity to understand the reasons for and be supported with managing the transition.
Where appropriate, foster carers must be supported to maintain links with children who leave their care.
The precise agenda will depend on the child/circumstances, but the chairperson should ensure the circumstances leading to the disruption are properly reviewed, and that all concerned are provided with opportunities to express their views freely with a view to establishing:
The chairperson should keep minutes, which must be circulated to all concerned.
In relation to the disruption of an external residential placement, consideration needs to be given to further use of the resource by the authority.
In relation to the disruption of a permanent foster placement, where the foster carers are in-house approved carers, consideration should be given to holding an early Foster Carer Review to consider the foster carer's approval - see Review and Termination of Approval of Foster Carers Procedure.