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GloucestershireChildren's Social Care Procedures Manual

Amendments

August 2017

Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details

Threshold Document - Continuum of Help and Support

The chapter has been updated with links to the Levels of Intervention Guidance, a flowchart explaining the transfer of cases from Social Care to Early Help and a diagram of the Continuum of help and Support.

Care and Supervision Proceedings and the 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. A link to the ADCS/Cafcass ‘Agreement About How Local Authorities and Cafcass Can Work Effectively in a Set of Care Proceedings and Pre-Proceedings in the English Family Courts’ has also been added.

Legal Planning Meetings

This chapter has been updated to reflect the outcome of a judgment following an application to remove a child at birth. The judge set out what were thought to be ‘basic and good practice steps’.

Death or Serious Injury to a Child (Looked After and Child In Need)

This chapter has been updated in line with the requirement to notify Ofsted of any serious childcare incident using the Ofsted online notification form.

Case Records and Retention

This chapter has been updated to note 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.

Children and Young People Aged 0-25 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

This chapter has been updated and additional links to further information.

Young Carers

This chapter has been updated with additional guidance on identifying and supporting young carers. A link to the Gloucestershire Young Carers Service has been added.

Decision to Look After and Care Planning

This chapter has been amended to reflect the outcome of an Appeal Court Hearing (2017) with respect to ‘consent’. The court recognised that the term ‘consent’ itself was not used in Section 20. However, it described previous court observations as ‘good practice guidance’, emphasising its judgment should not alter the content or effect of these.

Placements with Parents

This chapter has been updated to include consideration that should be given as to whether the home environment is safe for the child including where relevant, the need for a risk assessment of any pets and the environment in which they are kept.

Placements with Connected Persons

This chapter has also been updated to include consideration that should be given as to whether the home environment is safe for the child including where relevant, the need for a risk assessment of any pets and the environment in which they are kept.

Placements in Secure Accommodation on Welfare Grounds

This chapter has been re-titled (to include Secure Accommodation On Welfare Grounds) and a note was added in respect of secure accommodation - placements in Scotland: schedule 1, Children and Social Work Act 2017, with immediate effect, now enables local authorities to make placements in secure accommodation under sect 25 (children act 1989).

Remands to Local Authority Accommodation or to Youth Detention Accommodation

References to the “National Offender Management Services” (NOMS) were updated to “Her Majesty's Prison and Probation Service”.

Social Worker Visits to Looked After Children

A link to guidance regarding visits and reviews to children in long term placements has been added.

Advocacy and Independent Visitors

This chapter has been updated to add a link to the Children’s Society ‘Advocacy services for children and young people – a guide for commissioners’. This guide outlines the legislative requirements of local authorities in the provision of advocacy support to children in need and looked after children.

Appointment and Role of Independent Reviewing Officers

This chapter has been amended to reflect the ADCS/Cafcass ‘Agreement About How Local Authorities and Cafcass Can Work Effectively in a Set of Care Proceedings and Pre-Proceedings in the English Family Courts’.

Social Visits (Including Overnight Stays)

This policy and procedure applies to Looked After Children placed in foster homes in relation to social visits and where overnight stays with friends are planned. This chapter replaces an earlier chapter entitled Overnight Stays and Social Visits.

Health Care Assessments and Plans

This chapter now includes a link to the NICE guideline on assessing attachment.

Personal Care and Relationships

This chapter has a link to Practice guidance: supporting young people with HIV testing and prevention.

Supervision and Support of Foster Carers

This chapter has been updated to reflect that the Safer Caring Plan, any changes in household circumstances along with any health and safety issues including the addition of any new pets and the environment in which they are kept should be reviewed as required.

Assessment and Approvals of Prospective Adopters

The section on Assessments has been updated to include where the applicants have pets, a risk assessment should be conducted and any associated risks should be taken into account with regard to the pet itself and where the pet is kept. Where necessary, an independent assessment should be undertaken by a vet to establish whether the dog falls within the scope of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.

Placement for Adoption

This chapter now has a link to the Contact after Adoption support materials.

Inter Country Adoption

This chapter has been updated to take account of the DfE Intercountry Adoption and Resident Status Requirements which set out the minimum requirements, a link has been added to Intercountry adoption: means test form which contains information on how to apply for a fee reduction for people who wish to adopt a child from overseas and who earn £45,000 per year or less. After Approval information has been added on the Intercountry Adoption Forms: checklist for adoption which details the paperwork adoption agencies must include in the intercountry adoption applications they submit to DfE.

Applications for Special Guardianship Orders

This chapter now references the DfE updated Special Guardianship Guidance to include details of the Adoption Support Fund as the Fund now covers therapeutic support for children, living in England, who were previously in care immediately before the making of a Special Guardianship.

New Chapters
Chapter Name Details

Childrens Consultation and Participation

This chapter outlines the responsibility for local authorities to underpin their safeguarding activities with a participation strategy to understand the views of children and young people.

Relinquished Children

This chapter deals with the first stages of the adoption process for relinquished children, whilst signposting other key processes that should be progressed and which are expected for any child who is Accommodated or where the plan is for adoption. It also summarises the counselling and support that will be made available to the birth family in these circumstances. Once a decision is made and consent is formally given, although not irreversible, the adoption process is as for any other child.

Next Update: February 2018