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4.1.5 Booking Transport for Looked After Children

AMENDMENT

In October 2017 a link to Child Car Seats: The Law was added to this chapter.

The Council's Transport Section aims to provide a safe, reliable, cost effective service in response to individual service user needs. This is achieved by colleagues, external agencies and providers maintaining good working relationships and clear channels of communication with each other.

The Transport Section will investigate provision either by voluntary drivers, the use of in-house vehicles or by commissioning external providers. Provision will be integrated as appropriate in order to provide the most responsive and beneficial service possible.

Individual needs should be assessed along with the risks involved with any journey and a request must ONLY be made if staff believes the journey can be made safely. The responsibility for deciding on appropriate transport for a service user rests with the Transport Team.

The degree of Service-Users' vulnerability, together with any disabilities, must be considered when requesting transport. It is the requesting team's responsibility to inform Transport Section of any special needs Service Users may have - i.e. wheel chair users - or any relevant information that may determine the gender of a driver or relevance of using a particular taxi company.

Individual transport needs for the service user can then be discussed with the Transport Section and considered against the options available for transport provision.

The Transport Section will monitor requests for transport, service provision and short fall.

Before approaching Transport Section with a transport request, consideration must be given to alternative methods of transport - e.g. use of public transport, bus passes, or reimbursement to carer or foster carer for mileage undertaken.

The team requesting the journey must:

  • Complete Soc978c(children's) detailing any special needs the Service User may have and any other information which will assist with the appropriate service allocation; For first request for children's Student Assessment Resources Team (STAR) SEN /Medical form must also be completed;
  • Ensure that the time, start point and destination for the journey are clearly understood by all parties and detailed on the Soc978c;
  • Specify any particular requirements - e.g. wheelchair user, whether a car seat is required (See Child Car Seats: The Law).

Ensure that the Soc978c is authorised by the Consultant Social Worker or Group Manager and has the correct budget code and contact details and or phone number.

Requests for transport relating to children/young people MUST be submitted on Soc978c to Student Assessment Resources Team (STAR) via email or fax with 5 days notice of requirements.

STAR will check the details on the soc978c and record the request. Once this has been done the requests will be sent to Transport Section.

When transport has been arranged the Transport Section will notify PTES and team / unit with details of the driver and the estimated cost by email or phone.

If a specific request cannot be met by the Transport Section, the unit / team will be notified immediately and alternatives discussed.

If no suitable form of transport can be agreed, Practitioners should discuss the situation with their Managers. Any disputes should be resolved by Group Managers/Consultant Social Worker and the Transport Manager.

Regular Transport

Transport arranged for children must be reviewed every three months after which a new Soc978c MUST be raised and sent to STAR. If the request is for a school placement, the request will be in place for the whole school year. Teams will be sent lists of all current school runs, with requests for new SOC 978c forms to be submitted if transport is required for the following term. These forms must be returned by the requested date to ensure continuity of service.

Use of Taxi Companies

Unaccompanied children under the age of ten years, and any Service User considered to be a significant risk to themselves or others are unlikely to be transported by taxis, even if this is the only available option.

Budget

Transport costs are recharged monthly to the budget code identified on the Soc978c.

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