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5.1.11 Children Looked After being Placed Outside Brighton and Hove and Children Being Placed in Brighton and Hove by Other Local Authorities

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

This chapter provides guidelines with regard to a child being placed outside of Brighton and children from other Local authorities being placed in Brighton. It details the responsibilities and key processes to be undertaken by the Local authority for these children.

OTHER RELEVANT CHAPTERS

Placements Outside England and Wales Procedure

Children's Homes and Looked after Children (Miscellaneous Amendments) (England) Regulations 2013

This chapter reflects the updated 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.


Contents   

  1. Legislation, Guidance and Regulation
  2. Case Recording and Decision Making: Child Being Placed Outside Brighton and Hove
  3. Case Recording and Decision Making: Receiving Notification of Looked After Child to be Placed in the Brighton and Hove Area
  4. Maintenance of the Register of Looked After Children Placed by Other Authorities in the Brighton and Hove Area
  5. Maintenance of the Register of Looked After Children Placed by Brighton and Hove in the area of another Local Authority

    Appendix 1: Arrangements for Placement of Looked After Child being placed by another Authority in the Brighton and Hove area

    Appendix 2: Record of Basic Information for Looked After Child Placed in the Brighton Hove Area

    Appendix 3: Standard Letter to Authorities Looking to Place Looked After Child in the Brighton and Hove Area

    Appendix 4: CareFirst Recording for IRO Admin Team

    Appendix 5: Notification and Nominated Officer Verification of the arrangements and Placement of a looked-after child in the area of another authority


1. Legislation, Guidance and Regulation

Reference: ‘Working Together 2010’ (archived) Chapter 11 Para 11.6 -11.12 states:

Children must not be placed in an out of authority placement without first ensuring that their care, health and education needs will all be met in the new placement (DH/DFEE/Home Office 2000, page 60, paragraph 11.4). The placing authority should liaise with relevant agencies and service providers in the authority where a placement is being considered as part of the assessment process to determine if it is suitable. This means ensuring that as well as a suitable education place, the young person has access to appropriate curriculum opportunities, study support, careers advice etc.

Reference: Section 22, Children Act 1989. Section 22C of the CA 1989 requires that the child’s placement should, as far as practicable:

  • Allow the child to live near home;
  • Not disrupt school;
  • Enable the child to live with sibling;
  • Be suitable if the child is disabled;
  • Be within the local authority’s area.

Reference: The Arrangements for Placement of Children (General) Regulations 1991

Reference: Regulation 5

Where a looked-after child is placed in the area of another local authority (regardless of the type of placement), notification MUST be made by the placing authority to the host authority i.e. the local authority's where the child is living. The Education Service and the relevant Health Trust for the area in which the looked-after child is placed must also be notified. The notification should include the address where the child is placed.

Reference: Regulation 10(i)

Each Local Authority (Children's Social Care Services) is required to maintain a register of looked-after children for whom it is responsible and all looked-after children placed in its area, including those children who are the responsibility of another local authority.

Regulation 10 provides that the register should include the following information:

  • The name, gender and date of birth of the child;
  • The name and address of the person with whom the child is placed and, if different, the name and address of the child's parents and all those with Parental Responsibility;
  • The name of the placing authority;
  • Whether the child has a Child Protection Plan;
  • Whether the child is Disabled;
  • The date on which the placement was made and the date when it terminated including the reason for the termination;
  • The child's legal status.

Authorities must avoid disruption of education at Key Stage 4 - placement should not be changed unless it is clearly in child’s interest. A decision to do this has to be approved by the Director, Children’s Services or Nominated Officer, who must be satisfied that:

  • The change will promote the child’s educational attainment at and is consistent with the Personal Education Plan (PEP);
  • The designated teacher and Independent Reviewing Officer have been consulted;
  • Authorities should avoid disruption at other stages too, but particularly at Key Stage 4.

Reference: Regulation 11(i)

A decision to place out of area must be approved by the Director Children’s Services or Nominated Officer, having satisfied her or himself that:

  • The child’s wishes and feelings have been given due consideration;
  • The placement is the most appropriate available for the child;
  • The child’s relatives and the Independent Reviewing Officer have been consulted.

Reference: Regulation 13(i)

The following people should be notified of a new change of placement: child, school, Independent Reviewing Officer, Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), parent.

Reference: Regulation 14(i)

No placement should be terminated without first carrying out a review and making other arrangements for the child’s placement, unless there is a risk of Significant Harm to the child.

Children’s Homes and Looked After Children Regulations (Miscellaneous Amendments) (England) 2013

Part 3 Regulation 18 – Decision to place a child outside of the responsible authority, including the placement ‘At a Distance’).

Part 3 Regulation 19 – Notification to another Authority about a placement being made.


2. Case Recording and Decision Making: Child Being Placed Outside Brighton and Hove

No decision to place a child in another local authority area will be made without due regard to the relevant legislation and statutory regulations as set out above.

Any decision to place a child outside the Brighton and Hove area can only be included in the Care Plan after the following actions have been taken:

  • Children’s Services Nominated Officer (has authorised the decision). In Brighton and Hove, the Nominated Officer is the Children in Care (CIC) Service Manager;

However, if it is a Placement at a Distance, (i.e. outside the area of the local authority and not within the area of any adjoining local authority), in which case the approval of the Director of Children’s Services is required. 

  • The Nominated Officer/Director should be satisfied that the decision is being made on the basis of a full appraisal of the child’s care, health and education needs and how these will be met in the new placement(ii); further, that the placement will meet the child’s needs and be able to safeguard them.
  • The Nominated Officer/Director will record their decision as a Casenote Management Decision (Children’s Services) on the child’s electronic CareFirst record;
  • That the area authority has been notified, or, for a  Placement at a Distance, the area authority have been consulted and have been provided with a copy of the child’s Care Plan;
  • Written notification must be given to the area authority of the arrangements for the placement before the placement is made or, if the placement is made in an emergency, within five working days of the start of the placement unless it is not reasonably practicable to do so.  The  notification must include:
    1. Details of the assessment of the child’s needs and the reasons why the placement is the most suitable for responding to these; and
    2. A copy of the child’s care plan (unless already provided in the case of a Placement at a Distance).
  • Child’s allocated social worker has notified, the child’s registered practitioner, the child’s parents (in most cases), the child’s school and anyone else caring for the child;
  • These notifications must be done before the placement is made. The CCG and Local Authority in which the child will be living will be notified (this is a legal requirement);
  • The Practice Manager has verified that suitable arrangements have been made with the host Authority;
  • This must include decisions about who will be responsible for assessments and plans and how these will be recorded, shared and kept up to date;
  • Case planning and decisions should give particular reference to the provision of Health Assessments, Health Plans and Personal Education Plans. The Pod Team Manager should record these decisions on the child’s electronic CareFirst record as a Casenote Management Decision (Children’s Services);
  • All the above should be recorded by the child’s social worker on the form at Appendix 5: Notification and Nominated Officer Verification of the arrangements and Placement of a looked-after child in the area of another authority and sent to the host authority. A copy of the form and covering letter should be added to the child’s electronic record.

The wider case planning considerations should clearly set out the following areas as a minimum and should include how this information will be recorded and shared:

  • Frequency within which the child will be visited in placement and the prescribed frequency within which they should be seen on their own;
  • Prescribed statutory frequency within which looked-after reviews will be held and the chairing of these;
  • The Independent Reviewing Officer name and contact details;
  • Carers must be provided with full information about the child’s history and any risks of harm to or from the child;
  • Carers must be aware of the whereabouts of children they look after and follow the recognised procedure whenever a child is missing from their home;
  • If significant harm concerns arise, safeguarding procedures should be applied as for children living with their own families;
  • Checks and assessments have been made through Children’s Services agency for the relevant area to verify that suitable arrangements have been or will be made for the reception and welfare of the child in the area where the child will live;
  • The child’s consent is given where old enough to do so;
  • The Parents have been consulted;
  • The Parents have Consented or they cannot be found, are incapable of consenting or are withholding their consent unreasonably;
  • Consideration has been given to the effect of the placement on the child’s relationship with the Parents;
  • The placement is recommended by the child’s Looked After Review;
  • Where relevant, legal advice has been obtained;
  • The approval of the Nominated Officer has been given.


3. Case Recording and Decision Making: Receiving Notification of Looked After Child to be Placed in the Brighton and Hove Area

Notification received from other local authorities looking to place a child looked-after in the Brighton and Hove area will be sent by secure email to: reviewingofficers@brighton-hove.gov.uk.

Under the Children's Homes and Looked after Children (Miscellaneous Amendments) (England) Regulations 2013, the Manager of a children’s home must notify without delay the area local authority (if different from the placing authority) of the admission to/discharge from the Home of any child.

The notification must state:

  • The child’s name and date of birth;
  • Whether the child is Accommodated under Section 20 or subject to a Care Order or Supervision Order;
  • The contact details for:
  • The child’s placing authority; and
    • The child’s Independent Reviewing Officer;
  • Whether the child has a Education, Health and Care Plan and, if so, details of the local authority which maintains the plan.

Notification ahead of the Placement should be made, unless it is made on an emergency basis, in which case notification must be within 5days.

For placements being made at a distance, the Authority should have consulted with Brighton and Hove Children’s Services.

In all cases, detailed Assessments of the Child’s needs, the reasons why the placement is the most suitable in meeting these, together with a copy of the Care Plan should be provided.

Notification of the duties set out in Regulation 10 has been distributed to all Local Authorities (see Appendix 1: Arrangements for Placement of Looked After Child being placed by another Authority in the Brighton and Hove area). Where relevant the Independent Reviewing Service will send out a reminder of what is required by the host authority.

The IRO Administrator will create an electronic record for the child on CareFirst and will enter the child’s details (see Appendix 2: Record of Basic Information for Looked After Child Placed in the Brighton Hove Area for procedure for recording information on the child’s electronic recording).

  • Incomplete forms will be returned to the placing Authority with a request for the missing information to be provided without delay. Failure to return missing information will be monitored via a separate register for follow up;
  • The IRO Administrator will complete a search on CareFirst to establish whether the child is already known. If so, the Front Door for Families and Assessment Services Pod Team Manager will be notified and may make arrangements for any additional checks (by Front Door for Families and Assessment Services) to be carried out. The Front Door for Families and Assessment Services Pod Team Manager will be responsible for ensuring any relevant information is communicated to the responsible Authority. The Front Door for Families and Assessment Services Manager will record the outcome of communications on a Case note: Management Decision (Children’s Service);
  • Where Brighton and Hove is requested to carry out certain functions on behalf of the responsible (placing) authority the Front Door for Families and Assessment Services Manager may request a formal planning meeting involving representatives of the placing Authority. The Front Door for Families and Assessment Services Manager will usually take responsibility for chairing the meeting and the placing Authority will be expected to provide sufficient information. Essential information will include the following:
    • Care Plan;
    • Placement Information Record;
    • The most recent Looked-after Review record.
  • In these circumstances, Brighton and Hove may agree to undertake the following:
    • Supervise the placement in order to be satisfied that the welfare of the child continues to be suitably provided for; and/or
    • Visit the placement on a regular basis.

Any agreement to supervise the child’s placement will only be authorised in exceptional circumstances and should be detailed in writing and signed by the responsible service manager / senior manager in the two Authorities. It will include an expectation that Brighton and Hove will be invited to contribute to the child's Looked-after Review.

It will never be appropriate for Brighton and Hove to agree to a request to supervise a child placed in secure accommodation and/or subject to Section 53 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933.

Brighton and Hove expects any requests for action to be confirmed in writing by secure email. 

Other than situations of a legitimate emergency where it is not reasonably practicable or possible to contact the child's social worker / Pod Team Manager / Emergency Duty Team, Brighton and Hove will not make decisions or take any significant action in relation to the child’s care arrangements.

At all times case management responsibility will remain with the placing local authority.  

The local authority’s duty to undertake Section 47 Enquiries, when there are concerns about significant harm to a child, applies on the same basis to looked after children as it does to children who live with their own families.

Should an emergency or child protection situation arise then Brighton and Hove Children’s Services will respond on the basis of the requirements set out in the revised Working Together (2015) and the Pan Sussex Safeguarding and Child Protection Procedures.

‘Working Together (2015)’ requires that:

  • The local authority in whose area a child is found in circumstances that require emergency action (the first authority) is responsible for taking emergency action;
  • If the child is looked after by, or the subject of a child protection plan in another authority, the first authority must consult the authority responsible for the child. Only when the second local authority explicitly accepts responsibility (to be followed up in writing) is the first authority relieved of its responsibility to take emergency action.


4. Maintenance of the Register of Looked After Children Placed by Other Authorities in the Brighton and Hove Area

The Children’s Performance Team will maintain the register of children placed by other authorities in the Brighton and Hove Authority area. The register will be circulated to:

  • Service Manager, Agency Placement Team;
  • Designated Nurse Manager (Children Looked-after);
  • Virtual School Headteacher.

(i) The Arrangements for Placement of Children (General) Regulations 1991
(ii) DH/DFEE/Home Office 2000, page 60, paragraph 11.4


5. Maintenance of the Register of Looked After Children Placed by Brighton and Hove in the area of another Local Authority

The Children’s Performance Team will maintain the register of children placed by Brighton and Hove in the area of another local authority (via CareFirst)

Any request for updated information from other Local Authorities should be sent to the Performance Team for completion from CareFirst records.


Appendices

Appendix 1: Arrangements for Placement of Looked After Child being placed by another Authority in the Brighton and Hove area form.

Appendix 2: Record of Basic Information for Looked After Child Placed in the Brighton Hove Area flowchart.

Appendix 3: Standard Letter to Authorities Looking to Place Looked After Child in the Brighton and Hove Area.

Appendix 4: CareFirst Recording for IRO Admin Team.

Appendix 5: Notification and Nominated Officer Verification of the arrangements and Placement of a looked-after child in the area of another authority form.

End