Amendments

November 2022

Caption: November 2022
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Title Details
Scheme of Delegation This document has been updated.

October 2022

Caption: October 2022
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Title Details
Care and Supervision Proceedings and the Public Law Outline This chapter has been amended throughout in line with Management Guidance in Public Law Children Cases: March 2022.
Children and Young People Aged 0-25 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities This chapter has been updated to reflect 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.
Decision to Look After As part of the continuing improvement of the manual the Decision to Look After and Care Planning chapter has been split into 2 separate chapters.
Care Planning As part of the continuing improvement of the manual the Decision to Look After and Care Planning chapter has been split into 2 separate chapters.
Placements Outside England and Wales This chapter has been updated in line with the Cross-border Placements (Effect of Deprivation of Liberty Orders) (Scotland) Regulations 2022 and Cross-Border Placements (Effect of Deprivation of Liberty Orders) (Scotland) Regulations 2022: Practice Guidance, Notice and Undertaking Template.
Remands to Local Authority Accommodation or to Youth Detention Accommodation This chapter has been amended in line with the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022.
Contact with Parents/Adults and Siblings The section on supervised contact has been updated to reflect a finding by the local government and social care ombudsman that the supervisor's observations of the contact must be clearly recorded in the child's record and shared with the parents within three months of the visit.
Positive Relationships and Behaviour Management This chapter has been updated throughout and provides guidance on managing behaviour, which includes supporting positive behaviour, de-escalation of conflicts and discipline.
Restrictive Physical Intervention and Restraint This chapter has been revised throughout and additional guidance added about Children and Young People with Extra Support Needs and actions after applying restraint.
Aftercare under Section 117 of the Mental Health Act 1983 This chapter has been amended to refer to Guidance issued by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman and the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.
Fostering Panel This chapter has been revised throughout and additional links added.
Allegations Against Foster Carers This chapter has been revised and updated.
Recruitment, Assessment and Approvals of Prospective Adopters This chapter previously covered the assessment and approval of prospective adopters and has been expanded to also cover recruitment.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Equality and Diversity This procedure summarises the local authority's commitment to provide inclusive and equal services and practice with to a diverse range of children, young people and their families and carers, and to promote equality and diversity as part of our recruitment and employment practices.
Risk Assessment and Planning This chapter contains guidance on undertaking risk assessments by social care to support placements and carers.
Health and Safety This chapter explains what needs to be in place when assessing a foster/residential home in relation to health and safety issues.
Providing Personalised Care This chapter provides guidance for foster carers and residential workers to ensure the day-to-day needs of children are met with respect and dignity.
Leisure Activities This chapter highlights the importance of leisure activities for looked after children to enable them to take part in the same age-appropriate activities as their peers.
Training and Development of Foster Carers This chapter explains the purpose and duties of the Fostering Service to provide appropriate training and development to foster carers.
Next Update: March 2023

April 2022

Caption: April 2022
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Title Details
Capacity and Consent Section 4.3, Consent to the Use of Medication to Suppress Puberty has been updated in line with case-law.
Contacts and Referrals Guidance contained in this chapter has been reviewed and updated as required to reflect guidance from the refreshed Working Together to Safeguard Children.
Care and Supervision Proceedings and the Public Law Outline This chapter has been updated to include recommendations to achieve Best Practice in the child protection and Family Justice Systems.
Electronic Recording of Meetings and Conversations Part 1 of this chapter has been updated in line with case-law.
Use of Social Media Sites by Social Care and Safeguarding Staff This chapter has been revised throughout.
Unaccompanied Migrant Children and Child Victims of Trafficking and Modern Slavery This chapter has been updated to recognise that the National Transfer Scheme Protocol has become mandatory for all local authorities with children services.
Decision to Look After and Care Planning Section 1.3, Section 20 Accommodation has been revised in line with the Public Law Working Group (PLWG) Recommendations to Achieve Best Practice in the Child Protection and Family Justice Systems.
Placements with Parents A link has been added to the Public Law Working Group Best Practice Guidance: the Application and Case Management.
Placements in Foster Care This chapter has been amended to add a link to the NYAS ‘My Things Matter’ Report – support and respect care-experienced children and their belongings when they move. (See Section 4, Placement Planning).
Placements in Residential Care This chapter has been amended to add a link to the NYAS ‘My Things Matter’ Report – support and respect care-experienced children and their belongings when they move. (See Section 2.3, Placement Planning).
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.
Education of Children with a Social Worker, Looked After and Previously Looked After Children This chapter has been updated to reflect Keeping Children Safe in Education (2021). Schools should have policies and processes in place to ensure all concerns about all adults working in or on behalf of the school or college (including supply teachers, volunteers and contractors) are dealt with promptly and appropriately. See Section 8.3, Protecting Children with a Social Worker, Looked After Children and Previously Looked After Children from Adults Who May Pose a Risk to Them and/or Other Children in the School.
Aftercare under Section 117 of the Mental Health Act 1983 This chapter has been revised in the light of caselaw concerning the definition of ordinary residence.
Leaving Care and Transition This chapter has been amended to add a link to the NYAS ‘My Things Matter’ Report – support and respect care-experienced children and their belongings when they move. (See Scope Box above).
Local Contacts This chapter has been updated.

March 2022

Caption: March 2022
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Title Details
Scheme of Delegation This document has been updated.

February 2022

Caption: February 2022
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Title Details
Scheme of Delegation This document has been updated.

October 2021

Caption: October 2021
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Title Details
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 Sharing has been updated to reflect revisions contained in the statutory guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children.
Care and Supervision Proceedings and the Public Law Outline This chapter has been updated to reflect Practice Guidance on Special Guardianship (Family Justice Council). Section 2, Pre-Proceedings has been updated to include information in relation to pre-birth assessments and planning where the mother has learning disabilities and Section 9, Expectations of the Local Authority by the Court.
Complaints and Representations This chapter has been amended to reflect the Children's Statutory Complaint Process: Guide for Practitioners (Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman) (see Relevant Guidance).
Electronic Recording of Meetings and Conversations Information has been added on recording by employees in a professional capacity, and links added to relevant guidance.
Children and Young People Aged 0-25 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities This chapter has been revised and updated and includes links to related reports from the House of Commons Library (see Section 16, Further Information and Statutory Guidance).
Short Breaks Information 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 has been added into Section 7, Short Break Settings,.
Unaccompanied Migrant Children and Child Victims of Trafficking and Modern Slavery

A link has been 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, Assessment has been updated in relation to Age Assessments.
Families with No Recourse to Public Funds This chapter has been amended to take account of the UK's withdrawal from the EU and reflect the UK's exit from the EEA and 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 [2021] EWHC 1085 (Admin) 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.
Family and Friends Care This chapter has been revised. A new Section 7, Education has been added and information has been added on the School Admission Code.
Relinquished Children This chapter has been updated to reflect case-law setting out lessons for the future in non-notification cases.
Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority Claims for Looked After Children This chapter has been refreshed and a link added to House of Commons Library Briefing Paper: Criminal Injuries Compensation for Victims of Child Abuse.
Placements with Parents Section 1, Planned Placements has been updated to add information on placements in 'other arrangements'.
Placements in Residential Care

This chapter has been updated to note that, from September 2021, looked after children under 16 years of age cannot be accommodated in unregulated independent or semi-independent placements.

Placements in Secure Accommodation on Welfare Grounds A new Section 10, Use of Inherent Jurisdiction to Authorise a Placement Involving a Deprivation of Liberty has been added.
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 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 in relation to children under the age of 16 being placed in 'other arrangements' placements has been added into Section 3, Local Authority Accommodation,.
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.
Advocacy and Independent Visitors This chapter has been revised and updated.
Education of Looked After and Previously Looked After Children

This chapter has been significantly amended to reflect the 'Review of Sexual Abuse in Schools and Colleges (Ofsted)'; updated 'Keeping Children Safe in Education' (see Scope of This Chapter) and Sexual Harassment in Education – Briefing (House of Parliament Library) (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.
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.
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. In Section 12, The Special Guardianship Support Plan, information has been added on the School Admission Code, and new Section 16, Special Guardianship Orders in International Cases.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Title Details
Placements in Other Arrangements This chapter has been added to the manual.
Aftercare under Section 117 of the Mental Health Act 1983 This chapter has been added to the manual.

June 2021

Caption: June 2021
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Title Details
Record Restriction Policy for LiquidLogic This policy replaces Case Locking Procedure.
Removed chapters
  • Case Locking Procedure.

April 2021

Caption: April 2021
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Title Details
Legal Planning Meetings Protocol and Guidance This chapter replaces the previous one entitled 'Legal Planning Meetings'. This is local guidance and should be re-read.
Permanence Planning Guidance A link to Decision-Making Within a Child's Timeframe has been added to the Relevant Guidance section.
Education of Looked After and Previously Looked After Children This chapter has been updated to reflect changes from the revised Working Together to Safeguard Children.
Holidays and School Trips In and Outside the UK This chapter has been revised throughout to include a section on insurance cover and details of how to apply for a global health insurance card. The guidance on how to apply for a passport on behalf of children in local authority care has also been revised.
Assessment and Approvals of Foster Carers This chapter has been revised with a link to the guidance on Preparing for a Review Panel for Adopters and Foster Carers.
Supervision and Support of Foster Carers This chapter has been amended with further information on the frequency of supervision and the role of the Supervising Social Worker when allegations are made against the carer.
Review and Termination of Approval of Foster Carers This chapter has been revised with a link to the guidance on Preparing for a Review Panel for Adopters and Foster Carers.
Applications for Special Guardianship Orders

This chapter has been revised with further information added to:

  • Section 5, Planning Meeting;
  • Section 9, Special Guardianship Support Services; and
  • Section 14, Financial Support.

Other minor revisions have been made throughout the chapter.

Local Contacts These details have been updated.

February 2021

Caption: February 2021
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Title Details
Decision to Look After and Care Planning A link to the Promoting Healthy Outcomes to Children in Care and Preparation for Care Levers: a Guide for Practitioners has been added to this chapter.
Health Care Assessments and Plans A link has been added in regard to specific policy, procedures, guidance and flowcharts relating to Promoting Healthy Outcomes for Children in Care, specifically in relation to Initial and Review Health Assessments to this chapter.

January 2021

Caption: January 2021
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Title Details
Need to Know Procedure This chapter has been revised and updated.

December 2020

Caption: December 2020
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Title Details
Ceasing to Look After a Child This chapter has been revised and updated.

October 2020

Caption: October 2020
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Title Details
Assessments This chapter has been updated with a link to the new Strategic approach for managing Older Children at Risk.
Child in Need Plans and Reviews A link to the procedure for Placing and Visiting Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities or Health Conditions in Long-Term Residential Settings Procedure has been added.
Confidentiality Policy This guidance has been reviewed and updated following the United Kingdom's decision in the 2016 referendum to leave the European Union (EU). The guidance therefore relates to the Data Protection Act (DPA) 2018, and the UK General Data Protection Regulations (UK GDPR) for the period that GDPR remains in effect in the UK.
Supervision Policy Section 4, Child's Case Supervision has been revised.

April 2020

CAPTION: April 2020
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Title Details
Assessments This chapter has been updated in line with the new digital referral system for reporting potential victims of Modern Slavery.
Applications for Emergency Protection Orders The guidance on how to apply for an EPO has been extensively revised.
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?).
Case Records and Retention The link to Children's Services Retention of Records guidance has been updated.
Children and Young People Aged 0-25 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities This chapter has been updated to draw attention to OFSTED's advice that Local Authorities should exercise due diligence in ensuring schools for pupils with SEN are registered with the DFE. The same diligence should be exercised on behalf of pupils with SEN.
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.
Notifications of Significant Events This procedure has been updated to reflect revised guidance issued by Ofsted to Children's Homes Providers in August 2019. The revised guidance sought to clarify what is meant by a 'serious event' in relation to a child living in a Children's Homes with the aim of reducing the overall number of notifications made to Ofsted, and in particular reducing the number of repeat notifications made as a result of submitting additional / updated information.
Education of Looked After and Previously Looked After Children This chapter has been updated to reflect Keeping Children Safe in Education 2019 which replaces the 2018 version. Section 8 has been amended to include reference to Upskirting (which is now a criminal offence) and serious violence.
Health Care Assessments and Plans The contents of the Related Guidance section has been revised.
Review and Termination of Approval of Foster Carers Related Guidance section has been added.
Allegations Against Foster Carers This chapter has been reviewed and refreshed, and terminology has been updated where required, and links to Local Guidance have been added.
Local Contacts These details have been corrected to reflect the organisation of the Department.
Scheme of Delegation This has been updated the latest version.

October 2019

CAPTION: October 2019
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Title 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 to reflect changes from Practice Direction 27a - Family Proceedings: Court Bundles (Universal Practice to be Applied in the High Court and Family Court)', and the Family Court Justice Interim Guidance on Special Guardianship, Courts and Tribunals Judiciary (May 2019).
Death or Serious Injury to a Child (Looked After and Child in Need) This chapter has been amended to reflect Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018) and the process for reporting a serious incident to the Panel via the Child Safeguarding Incident Notification System.
Supervision Policy This policy has been revised throughout and should be read.
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.
Provision of Accommodation for 16 and 17 Year Olds who May be Homeless and/or Require Accommodation This revised chapter contains information about the duty to refer.
Private Fostering This chapter has been amended to confirm that that any request for support by the young person should be made to the local authority in which they are resident or where the education and training is being provided.
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.
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.
Placements in Secure Accommodation on Welfare Grounds Links to external forms and guidance have been updated.
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.
Advocacy and Independent Visitors This chapter has been updated to add a link to the Voice Gloucestershire advocacy services for children and young people.
Looked After Reviews This chapter has been amended to specify the actual number of days when looked after reviews should be convened.
Secure Accommodation (Criteria) Reviews This chapter has been reviewed to clarify 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 revised throughout and should be re-read.
Education of Looked After and Previously Looked After Children This chapter has been revised to reflect the guidance contained in Keeping Children Safe In Education.
Leaving Care and Transition This chapter has been updated in relation to: children who are victims of trafficking or unaccompanied asylum seeking children, relevant/former relevant young people moving to and regulated accommodation, and the role of personal advisers.
Assessment and Approvals of Foster Carers A link has been added to: Attending an IRM Panel: information sheets.
Supervision and Support of Foster Carers This chapter has been updated to reflect in more detail the foster carer's role and responsibilities with respect to Fostering National Minimum Standards.
Review and Termination of Approval of Foster Carers A link has been added to: Attending an IRM Panel: information sheets.
Assessment and Approvals of Prospective Adopters This chapter has been updated to reflect the national changes in adoption registration and matching.
Placement for Adoption This chapter has been updated to reflect the national changes in adoption registration and matching.
Access to Birth Records and Adoption Case Records A link has been added to: Attending an IRM Panel: information sheets.
Applications for Special Guardianship Orders This chapter has been updated to reference and reflect the Family Court Justice Interim Guidance on Special Guardianship, Courts and Tribunals Judiciary.
Court Reports in Placement Order Applications and Adoption/Special Guardianship Guidance This chapter has been updated to reference and reflect the Family Court Justice Interim Guidance on Special Guardianship, Courts and Tribunals Judiciary.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Title Details
Placing and Visiting Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities or Health Conditions in Long-Term Residential Settings This chapter reflects statutory guidance in relation to children who are placed by health authorities or local authorities for more than 3 months in residential establishments for educational purposes and children placed in care homes or independent hospitals (including hospices) by health authorities or local authorities (Sections 85 and 86 of the Children Act 1989).

February 2019

CAPTION: February 2019
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Title Details

Children's Services Policies, Values and Principles

A new Section 2, Corporate Parenting has been added 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.

Children's Consultation and Participation

This chapter has been updated to reflect Working Together to Safeguard Children.

Assessments

This chapter has been revised to reflect updated guidance on Assessment in Working Together to Safeguard Children.

Care and Supervision Proceedings and the Public Law Outline

This chapter has been updated to 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). A link in Related Guidance to Research in Practice supporting information and guidance on the Social Work Evidence template (SWET) has also been added.

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

This chapter has been amended. 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 UK General Data Protection Regulations (UK GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018 and 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).

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.

Access to Records / Subject Access Requests

This chapter has been updated to reflect the UK General Data Protection Regulations (UK GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018.

Confidentiality Policy

This guidance has been reviewed and updated following the introduction of the UK General Data Protection Regulations (UK GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018.

Electronic Recording of Meetings

This guidance has been reviewed and updated following the introduction of the UK General Data Protection Regulations (UK GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018.

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

This chapter has been updated in February 2019 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 This chapter has been updated, a new Section 6, Suitable Placements has a 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.
Relinquished Children The section on consent and competency has been updated to include additional information on parental capacity to consent in line with High Court caselaw.
Decision to Look After and Care Planning Additional information has been added on the use of Section 20 Accommodation.
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.
Placements in Secure Accommodation on Welfare Grounds This chapter has been updated to reflect the updated guidance “Secure Children's Home How To Place A Child Under 13.
Looked After Reviews This chapter has been revised with regard to 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 Looked After and Previously Looked After Children This chapter has been 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.
Leaving Care and Transition This chapter has been updated to reflect the provisions of the C&SW Act 2017 and 3 new statutory guidance documents which require local authorities to offer Personal Adviser support to all care leavers up to the age of 25. Also, to publish their Local Offer for care leavers; and to have regard to seven 'corporate parenting principles'.
Looked After Children and Young People in Contact with Youth Justice Services Information has been added on how to request a transfer or Placement Review.
Responsibilities of the Local Authority to Former Looked After Children and Young People in Custody Information has been added on how to request a transfer or Placement Review.
Adoption Panel This chapter has been reviewed and updated following the introduction of the UK 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.
Adoption Reviews This chapter has been amended to reflect the status of adopted children as being 'previously looked after' when considering their educational needs.
Adoption Case Records The guidance on security retention and sharing of records has been updated in line with the Adoption And Care Planning Regulations 2018.
Life Story Books Guidance This chapter has been revised throughout.
Later Life Letters This chapter has been revised throughout.
Applications for Special Guardianship Orders This chapter has been revised 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.
Local Contacts This chapter has been updated.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Title Details
Scheme of Delegation This chapter provides information regarding the appropriate level of authority for decision-making.

August 2018

CAPTION: August 2018
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Title Details
Assessments Section 4, Communication has been updated to include reference to parents with learning disabilities.
Children in Need – Levels of Intervention (LOI) Updated links to the Windscreen Continuum of Need and the levels of Intervention Policy have been added.
Child in Need Plans and Reviews This chapter has been extensively revised and should be read.
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 Section 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. The chapter has also been revised 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 Section 2, Pre-proceedings), and Practice Direction 3aa - Vulnerable Persons: Participation in Proceedings and Giving Evidence (see case management in Section 4, Documentation).
Legal Planning Meetings This chapter has been updated with updated templates for Legal Planning Meetings and a link to a Model of Assessing Risk in Child Maltreatment.
Confidentiality Policy A link to Gloucestershire LSCB procedure for Information Sharing has been added.
Provision of accommodation for 16 and 17 year olds who may be homeless and/or require accommodation (GOV.UK) The 2010 Guidance issued in response to the Southwark judgement has been updated to reflect changes in homelessness and children's legislation.
Family and Friends Care This chapter has been reviewed and updated.
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 (Section 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 Section 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 Section 1.2, Assessment and Checks before Placement).
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.
Looked After Reviews This chapter has been amended with a link to the Independent Reviewing Officers – Dispute Resolution Process.
Contact with Parents/Adults and Siblings Section 2, Different Types of Contact has been updated to take account of the use of mobile communication with regards to contact.
Holidays and School Trips In and Outside the UK Section 2.4, Insurance has been updated.
Health Care Assessments and Plans New Section 3.5, Consent to Health Care Assessments has been added.
Leaving Care and Transition This chapter has been updated to add clarification in relation to Qualifying Young People. See Section 1, Definitions.
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 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.
Inter Country Adoption Section 8, Home Study has been updated to include a link to GOV.UK Benefits.
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.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Title Details
Unaccompanied Migrant Children and Child Victims of Trafficking and Modern Slavery This chapter replaced one entitled Unaccompanied Asylum seeking children and has been expanded to include concern for migrant children and victims of modern slavery.

February 2018

CAPTION: February 2018
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Title Details
Contacts and Referrals This chapter has been revised to set out in more detail the timetable and partnership requirements associated with effectively managing contacts and referrals.
Case Locking Procedure Appendix 1: Template for Locking Cases has been updated.
Children and Young People Aged 0-25 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities This chapter has been updated to reflect the outcome of a court judgement on Ordinary Residence that was included in DoH, Care and support statutory guidance.
Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children This chapter has been updated with regard to the requirement 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.
Families with No Recourse to Public Funds A link to Securing British Citizenship for Looked After Children (NRPF Network) has been added to this chapter.
Private Fostering This chapter has been updated to add clarity to the definition of private fostering with regards to the legislation and children under 16 who spend more than 2 weeks in residence during holiday time in a school.
Looked After Reviews This chapter has been amended to fully reflect the Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations - Volume 2: Care Planning, Placement and Case Review with respect to the circumstances as to when a Looked After Review should be brought forward.
Change of Name of a Looked After Child This chapter has been extensively revised and should be re-read throughout.
Assessment and Approvals of Foster Carers This chapter has been amended 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.
Placement for Adoption This chapter has been amended to emphasise 'procedural fairness' as a key aspect of the adoption planning process in respect of ensuring parents are provided with information throughout, including the dates of placement/proposed changes of a child's Status, etc. This follows the outcome of a judicial review ([2017] EWHC 1041 (Admin)). (See new Section 4.2, Procedural Fairness).
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Title Details
Deprivations of Liberty

This procedure should be used by practitioners working with children and young people under the age of 18, 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.

August 2017

CAPTION: August 2017
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Title 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 has been 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) have been 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 and Features
Chapter Name Details
Children's 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.