Amendments

September 2017

Updated Chapters
Chapter Title Details
Assessment This chapter has been updated throughout and should be reread.
Guidance to Statutory Visits This chapter has been updated. A new section has been added for visits to Children subject to a Supervision Order.
Social Work Visits to Children Subject to a Child Protection Plan In Section 2, Undertaking Home Visits details have been added on unannounced visits which should take place at various times of the day as this affords the opportunity to observe all aspects of the child’s routine and enables the social worker to observe interactions between all members of the family in prepared and unprepared conditions. The names of all those present should be recorded.
Social Work Visits and Reviews in Respect of Children Subject to a Child in Need Plan In the Section 3, Reviews a note has been added that the review should be recorded and the child, family and professionals involved in the review should receive a copy of the review minutes within 5 days of the review so they are clear on actions and timescales.
Decision to Look After a Child In Section 1, Decision to Look After Child a note has been added that agreement to commence a Reg 24 placement with family or friends must be agreed with the Group Manager and Assistant Director.
Placement with Parents Section 1.2, Assessment and Checks before Placement has been updated to include consideration 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 A link has been added in Related Guidance to Initial Family and Friends Care Assessment: A good practice guide (FRG). A good practice guide on initial family and friends care assessments has been launched by Family Rights Group. Section 3, Assessment and Checks has been updated to include matters that should be considered when placing a child with a Connected Person should include an initial risk assessment of any pets, together with the environment in which the pet is kept.
Supervision and Support of Foster Carers Section 6, Support Provided by the Supervising Social Worker (During Placement) 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.
Health Care Assessments and Health Plans A link has been added in related guidance to Children’s Attachment: Attachment in Children and Young People who are Adopted from Care, in Care or at High Risk of Going into Care - NICE Guidelines (NG26). This guideline covers the identification, assessment and treatment of attachment difficulties in children and young people up to age 18 who are adopted from care, in special guardianship, looked after by local authorities in foster homes (including kinship foster care), residential settings and other accommodation, or on the edge of care. It aims to address the many emotional and psychological needs of children and young people in these situations, including those resulting from maltreatment.
Assessment and Approval of Agency Adopters Section 4.3, Assessment 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 has been updated. In related guidance a link has been added to Contact After Adoption - Support materials for practitioners working on making positive post-adoption contact plans and supporting birth relatives and adopters through contact planning for their child.
Assessment and Approval of Inter Country Adopters In Section 3, Initial Meetings the DfE have published Intercountry Adoption and Resident Status Requirements which set out the minimum requirements, however entry clearance requirements vary depending upon the circumstances of each case and prospective adopters will need to obtain their own independent legal advice to establish the requirements that apply to their individual circumstances. In Section 4, Formal Application, 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. In Section 12, 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.
Special Guardianship The chapter has been updated. The DfE has updated the 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 Order.
Transition and Leaving Care This chapter has been updated throughout and should be reread.
Staying Put (Foster Care) Policy This chapter has been updated. Additional details have been added on Staying Put arrangements.
Death of or Serious Illness/Injury in Relation to a Child in Need (including a Looked After Child) Details have been changed as Ofsted now need to be notified using the Notification Form for Serious Childcare Incidents.
Transporting Children and Activities This chapter has been updated. Rules changed in February 2017 around booster seats and babies who now need to stay in rear facing seats until 15 months. (There has been a change to the technical standards of booster seats and cushions for manufacturers from 9 February but this does not affect existing models of booster seats and cushions.) for more information see Using a child car seat or booster seat.
Long Stay Hospital Admissions This chapter has been updated throughout and should be reread.
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 (December 2016). (See Section 12, Funding Issues - Ordinary Residence). A link has been added into Related Guidance to guidance on SEND: 19- to 25-year-olds’ entitlement to EHC plans (DfE 2017).
Short Term Breaks Referrals and Placements A link has been added to Friendship For All (The Children's Society) - If a child or young person is disabled and/or in the care system, they are more likely to miss out on friendship causing them to be socially isolated. Professionals delivering foster care and short breaks services are invited to implement simple changes to practice and strengthen carer training to increase friendship in the lives of children. Friendship For All provides freely downloadable, nationally piloted and evaluated resources.
Independent Reviewing Officers This chapter has been updated in relation to the role of the Independent Reviewing Officer in line with the Children Act 1989 guidance and regulations - Volume 2: care planning, placement and case review, June 2015. In particular, the IRO being sensitive to the close and active involvement of parents of a child looked after in a series of Short Breaks  and problem-solving where there might be difficulties or issues.
Friends and Family Care A link has been added in Related Guidance to Initial Family and Friends Care Assessment: A good practice guide (FRG). A good practice guide on initial family and friends care assessments has been launched by Family Rights Group. The guide is a response to the lack of any minimum standards as to how such assessments, commonly called viability assessments, are conducted.
Local Contacts This chapter has been updated.
Designated Managers This chapter has been updated.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Title Details
Walsall Homeless Policy for 16 and 17 Year Olds This chapter has been added to the manual.
Ofsted – Notifiable Incidents – (Children) Procedure This chapter has been added to the manual.
Junior individual saving accounts for looked-after children This chapter has been added to the manual and replaces the previous chapter Child Trust Funds and Junior Individual Savings Accounts for Looked After Children.
Removed Chapters
  • Child Trust Funds and Junior Individual Savings Accounts for Looked After Children.

Next update: March 2018


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