3.12.1 Unplanned Admissions to Walsall’s Children’s Homes


This applies to the consideration of unplanned admissions to Walsall’s Children’s Homes both within in and outside of office hours. There will be roles for various professionals in the making of an unplanned placement in a children’s home including the Registered Manager, On-call Manager, Social Worker, Emergency Response Team, Independent Reviewing Officer, Children’s homes staff dependent upon the context of the situation.

This chapter was added to the manual in February 2016.


  1. Unplanned Admissions Process

1. Unplanned Admissions Process

  • Referrals during normal office hours should be sent to the Single Referral point who will then send onto the Registered Manager/Duty Manager at the Children’s home;
  • Outside of normal office hours a phone call should be made to the On Call Manager and a placement referral should then be electronically sent from the Social Worker or ERT to the Registered Manager and On Call Manager;
  • The *Responsible Manager from residential services in conjunction with the  referrer will gather any further information deemed necessary regarding the needs, risks or vulnerabilities of the young person proposed for placement;
  • The Responsible Manager from residential services will consider the information from the homes existing group risk assessment regarding the needs, risks or vulnerabilities of the children and young people already living in the children’s home. 
  • The Responsible Manager from residential services will undertake a written impact assessment including an analysis and decision regarding the appropriateness of the proposed placement. A clear risk management strategy will be completed where it is decided that the placement is appropriate. Where possible the written impact assessment and risk management strategy needs to be completed within one hour of receipt of the referral.  It must be completed prior to a placement being made. If the risks are deemed too high then another placement needs to be sought;
  • Where an unplanned placement is proposed out of hours this will require the on call officer to go to the home where the placement is proposed to undertake the written risk assessment and management strategy unless a manager from that home is on duty and is able to undertake the task;
  • Under no circumstances should a child or young person be admitted without the written impact assessment having been undertaken and available in writing at the home;
  • All discussions within and outside of office hours regarding the unplanned placement of a child or young person should be comprehensively and clearly recorded and the record of those discussions should be available within the home. This should include the decision on whether the proposed placement is appropriate or not, the reasons for the decision making and the risk management strategy should risks be identified;
  • Should the placement be agreed a Placement Planning meeting needs to be held within 72 hrs of admission;
  • Where an admission is agreed the child or young person will not be admitted without a placement plan that includes medical consent and the basic information detailed below to ensure safe care whilst a comprehensive placement plan is drawn together. A placement plan should be fully completed by the child’s Social Worker within 5 working days from the child or young person’s being admitted to the home. The basic information detailed in the placement plan at the point of admission should include:
    • Name;
    • DOB;
    • Ethnicity;
    • Language;
    • Key family contacts;
    • Home address and phone number;
    • Outline of situation leading to placement;
    • Medical conditions and treatment including details of any disability and known allergies;
    • Education arrangements;
    • Any presenting behaviours which may cause harm to self or others;
    • Contact arrangements and risks;
    • Social worker/IRO contact details if the child is already known.

The requirement to make available the above information should be seen as required.

practice for all unplanned admissions to children’s homes, whether they are Local Authority. 

Private sector or Voluntary sector establishments.

  • No unplanned placement should be made without a formal written impact assessment being written by the Responsible Manager/On-call Manager and without receipt of a basic signed placement plan from the placing Social Worker/the Emergency Duty Team;
  • Where an unplanned  placement is made the Responsible Manager or on-call manager  for residential services should email relevant professionals (SW, IRO, Managers at the home) with a summary of discussions leading up to placement and a copy of the Impact assessment and management strategy;
  • Where a placement is made over a weekend/bank holiday, the Responsible Manager or the On-call Manager for residential services should ensure the impact assessment and risk management strategy are reviewed every 24hrs as a minimum until the post placement meeting is undertaken;
  • The impact assessment and risk management strategy should be reviewed at the post placement meeting and amended as appropriate.

*Please note the responsible manager can be either the Registered Manager or the Care Manager that is deputising in the Registered Managers absence.