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4.1.3 Notifications to and from Other Local Authorities/Placement Providers

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

This chapter addresses the action to be taken on placing a looked after child in the area of another local authority and upon receipt of a notification from another local authority that they have placed a child in Cambridgeshire.

AMENDMENT

In May 2018 this chapter was extensively revised and should be re-read in full.


Contents

  1. Placing a Child out of County
  2. The Register of Looked After Children
  3. On Receipt of a Notification in Relation to a Looked After Child


1. Placing a Child out of County

Where a Looked After Child is placed in the area of another local authority, the social worker must ensure that written notice is sent to the local authority Children's Social Care Services where the child's placement is located.

The local Education Service and the relevant Health Trust must also be notified.

The social worker completes form SOC 408 and forwards this to the Access to Resources Team. They pass this to the Partnerships & Quality Assurance – LAC Team who will notify the ‘receiving’ authority.

Each Local Authority 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 notification of placement will include the details outlined in the next section.


2. The Register of Looked After Children

Data requirements

The Register must include the following information in relation to each child:

  • 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; contact details for the allocated worker;
  • 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.

Maintaining the Register

The IRO Manager is responsible for maintaining the register of Looked After Children placed in Cambridgeshire by other local authorities.

This register must include:

  • Children looked after by the authority;
  • Children looked after by another local authority but placed within the authority, where there has been agreement that the authority will carry out some of the responsibilities of the placing local authority;
  • Children looked after by another local authority but placed within the authority, where the placing local authority continues to carry out all the functions in relation to the child.

The IRO Manager will ensure that the following teams/agencies are notified:

  • The Health Service;
  • The Education Welfare Service;
  • The Looked After Children Education Team.


3. On Receipt of a Notification in Relation to a Looked After Child

Any notification received from another local authority that a Looked After child has been placed in the authority should be passed to the MASH.

MASH will ensure, through communication with the placing local authority where necessary, that the information required for the Register is obtained and recorded.

MASH will also carry out a check of 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 Social Care carries out certain functions in relation to the child on its behalf e.g. supervision of the placement, the MASH Team Manager will arrange for this request to be discussed at a formal planning meeting involving representatives of the placing local authority and the local Unit who will take responsibility for chairing the meeting.

In these circumstances, the authority 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 the authority 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 the authority will undertake supervision of a placement on behalf of a placing authority, a social worker will be allocated. The placing local authority must 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 Head of Service and a Senior Manager from the Placing Authority. It must include an expectation that the allocated social worker in the authority will be invited to contribute to the child's Looked After Review which remains the responsibility of the placing authority.

Where a significant incident arises in the placement, the allocated (Cambridgeshire) social worker will 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 Emergency Duty Team), Cambridgeshire should not take any significant action or remove the child, without consulting the placing authority.

Cambridgeshire should not take key actions simply on the basis of the placing authority's verbal authority; all requests should be in writing.

At all times case management responsibility remains with the placing authority.

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 Cambridgeshire’s Safeguarding Children Procedures.

End