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Amendments

May 2018

Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Referral and Assessment Guidance including Making a Safeguarding Referral and the Transfer Processes across the Social Work Service This chapter has been amended throughout to reflect the current organisational structure and systems for the referral and assessment process and includes the balanced consideration that may need to be made regarding parental consent. Note also that where a pathway is unclear, or the case has had multiple enquiries, there is an option to discuss the case at a MASH meeting, which is a multi-agency group (see Section 2.2, Process once a Front Door for Families enquiry is made).
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 This chapter has been significantly amended and updated throughout. The chapter reflects the ‘Me and my World Assessment’ and has a number of new and fully refreshed sections, viz. age Assessments, Use of Interpreters, Care of Child Victims of Modern Slavery, etc. The latter section advises that 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 was updated to link to the ‘DfE 2017 Care of unaccompanied migrant children and child victims of modern slavery – statutory guidance for local authorities' (see Relevant Guidance).
Sexual Exploitation

This chapter has been updated to refresh and update a number of ‘Related Guidance’ links, to now include:

  • Children’s Commissioner, ‘Preventing Child Sexual Abuse’ (2017);
  • College of Policing, ‘Responding to Child Sexual Exploitation’ - LGA, Child sexual exploitation: A resource back for councils (2017);
  • Centre of expertise on child sexual abuse, Key messages from research on child sexual exploitation - research in practice, Child sexual exploitation: Practice Tool (2017).
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.
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 s.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.
Permanence Policy 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. Section 3.4, Fostering for Adoption has also been adjusted to reflect the impact of the Children and Social Work Act 2017.
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. The list is not exhaustive (see Section 2, Frequency of Looked After Reviews).
Social Worker Visits to Looked After Children This chapter has been amended to ensure clarity with regard to the visiting requirements (see Section 1, Normal Frequency).
Children’s Trust Fund This chapter has been amended to note that the maximum saving level for A Junior ISAs is £4260 pa, see Section 4, Can Additional Payments be Made?
Leaving Care Policy This chapter has been updated to add a tri.x Interim Note on the Children and Social Work Act 2017 which briefly notes the key impacts upon leaving care services. (Please see Note following chapter Contents).
Assessment and Approval 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: 5.39 and Standard 14 (14.9) Fostering panels and the fostering service’s decision-maker. Additionally, Section 4.1, Checks has been amended to note that all those 16 and above in a household need to have a completed DBS check.
Placement for Adoption This chapter has been updated:
  • Section 1, Planning for Permanence has been updated and also to reflect the additional consideration (added by s.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;
  • 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 Name  
Deprivations of Liberty and The Mental Capacity Act 2005 Practice Resource These procedure links to a tri.x site and provides information on Mental Capacity and Deprivation of Liberty in relation to children and young people. Case-law makes clear that social workers and local authorities need to consider whether children in care, or cared for away from home in other settings, may be subject to a Deprivation of Liberty and, if so, what authorisation is required.
This is a developing area, and legal advice must be sought as appropriate. If you are uncertain as to whether a case may involve a deprivation of a child’s/young person’s liberty, you should seek legal advice.
Removed Chapters
  • Transition and Adult Community Learning Disability Team Protocol.

Next update: November 2018


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