Notifications of Looked After Children Placed in Walsall by Other Local Authorities
SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER
This chapter addresses the action to be taken on receipt of a notification from another local authority that a Looked After child has been placed at an address in Walsall.
AMENDMENTThis chapter was updated in October 2011 to remove reference to the Arrangements for Placement of Children (General) Regulations 1991, which have been repealed and replaced by the Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) Regulations 2010 and associated guidance.
Where a Looked After child is placed in the area of another local authority (regardless of the type of placement), notification should be made by the placing authority to the local authority's Children's Social Care Services 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 will include the address where the child is placed.
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.
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;
- Where arrangements have been made by the host local Children's Social Care Services to undertake the duties of the placing local authority; what those arrangements are and the name of the person within the placing authority with whom they were agreed.
Where children are placed in a series of short term placements at the same place, these can be treated as a single placement provided that all the placements occur within the period of a year, no single placement is for longer than 17 days and the total duration of the placements does not exceed 75 days.
2. Procedure on Receipt of Notifications in Relation to a Looked After Child Placed in Walsall
2.1 Responsibilities of the Children's Social Care Teams
Any notification received from another local authority that a Looked After child has been placed in Walsall should be passed to the MASH.
The MASH will enter the child's details on ICS and ensure, through communication with the placing local authority where necessary, that the information required has been provided by the placing authority and is recorded on ICS.
The MASH will check and search the address on ICS to establish whether there is any information recorded in relation to the address. If so, this information must be communicated to the allocated social worker in the local authority with responsibility for the child.
Where the placing local authority requests that Walsall carry out certain functions in relation to the child on its behalf e.g. supervision of the placement, the MASH Manager will arrange for this request to be discussed at a formal planning meeting involving representatives of the placing local authority. The MASH will take responsibility for chairing the meeting.
In these circumstances, Walsall 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.
It would never be appropriate for Walsall 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.
Where it is agreed at a planning meeting that Walsall will undertake supervision of a placement on behalf of a placing authority, a social worker will be allocated. The placing local authority should be requested to provide sufficient information about the child and the placement to enable the social worker to supervise the placement competently, including the following:
- Care Plan;
- Placement Information Record;
- The most recent Review of Arrangements Form.
The agreement to supervise the placement should be detailed in writing and signed by the relevant Heads of Service for the two local authorities. It should include an expectation that the allocated social worker in Walsall will be invited to contribute to the child's Looked After Review.
Where a significant incident arises in the placement whilst the child is placed, Walsall Children's Social Care Services will be expected to respond to the presenting needs. However, except in an absolute emergency (e.g. where it is not possible to contact the child's social worker or their Team Manager, or if out of hours the placing local authority's Emergency Duty Team), Walsall Children's Social Care should not take any significant action or remove the child, without consultation with the child's social worker or Team Manager within the placing local authority.
Walsall Children's Social Care Services should never take action on the basis of the placing authority's verbal authority, but must be certain that required actions are as a result of a written request, by fax or secure email.
At all times case management responsibility remains with the placing local authority.
In the event that Walsall Children's Social Care Services has to have an involvement in an emergency situation where the child is at risk of Significant Harm and the placing authority cannot be contacted, any action should be on the basis of the requirements of the Regional Child Protection Procedures, Children and Families Moving Across Local Authorithy Borders Procedure.
2.2 Maintaining the Register
The Review and Child Protection Unit is responsible for maintaining the register of Looked After children (see Section 1, Introduction) and will ensure that the name of the child is added to the register.
This register is maintained in the Review and Child Protection Unit and includes:
- Children looked after by Walsall;
- Children looked after by another local authority but placed within Walsall, where there has been agreement that Walsall will carry out some of the responsibilities of the placing local authority;
- Children looked after by another local authority but placed within Walsall, where the placing local authority continues to carry out all the functions in relation to the child.
The Review and Child Protection Unit will ensure that the following teams /agencies are notified:
- The Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG);
- The Education Welfare Service;
- The Virtual School for Looked After Children.