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Shropshire Children's Services Procedures Manual

Amendments

October 2017

Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details

Suspicious Death or Serious Injury to a Child (Looked After and Child in Need) in Addition to the LSCB Procedures

This chapter has been updated in line with the requirement to notify Ofsted of any serious childcare incident using the Ofsted online notification form.

Case Records and Retention

This chapter has been reviewed to note the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse requires all institutions to retain their records relating to the care of children for the duration of the Inquiry (see Section 2, Retention and Confidentiality of Records).

Children and Young People Aged 0-25 ith Special Educational Needs and Disabilitiews

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 Section 16, Further Information and Statutory Guidance to guidance on SEND: 19- to 25-year-olds’ entitlement to EHC plans (DfE 2017).

Private Fostering

This chapter has been amended to add clarity to the definition of private fostering with regards to the legislation and children under 16 who spend more than 2 weeks in residence during holiday time in a school.

Young Carers

This chapter has been updated and should be re read.

Decision to Look After and Care Planning

This chapter has been amended to reflect the outcome of an Appeal Court hearing (2017) with respect to ‘consent’. The court recognised that the term ‘consent’ itself was not used in Section 20. However, it described previous court observations as ‘good practice guidance’, emphasising its judgment should not alter the content or effect of these. (See Section 1.3.1, Obtaining Parental Consent). Sections 8 and 9 of the Children and Social Work Act 2017 come into force on 31st October 2017. Section 8 requires the to take into account care plan provisions which set out the child’s individual needs, current and future, including those arising from abuse or neglect, and consider how well the long-term plan for the child will meet those needs. Section 9 require courts and adoption agencies to consider, when coming to a decision relating to the adoption of a child, the child’s relationship with their prospective adopters when the child has already been placed with them.

Placements 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

Section 3, Approval of Immediate Placements of Looked After Children with Connected Persons 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.

Placements in Secure Accommodation on Welfare Grounds

This chapter has been significantly updated and should be re read in full. A note has been added in respect of Secure Accommodation - Placements in Scotland: Schedule 1, Children and Social Work Act 2017, with immediate effect, now enables local authorities to make placements in Secure accommodation under Section 25 (Children Act 1989). (See Section 7.1, Placement Request, Identification and Approval)

Advocacy and Independent Visitors

This chapter has been updated to add a link to the Children’s Society ‘Advocacy services for children and young people – a guide for commissioners’. This guide outlines the legislative requirements of local authorities in the provision of advocacy support to children in need and looked after children.

Appointment and Role of Independent Reviewing Officers

The ADCS and Cafcass have withdrawn the document ADCS/Cafcass ‘Agreement About How Local Authorities and Cafcass Can Work Effectively in a Set of Care Proceedings and Pre-Proceedings in the English Family Courts’.

Social Visits (Including Overnight Stays)

This chapter has been updated and should be read throughout.

Change of Name of a Looked After Child

This chapter has been updated and should be re read.

Supervision and Support of Foster Carers

Section 5, 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.

Assessment and Approvals of Prospective Adopters

Section 5.3, 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

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.

Applications for Special Guardianship Orders

This chapter has been refreshed throughout and should be re read.

New Chapters
Chapter Name Details

Children’s Consultation and Participation

This chapter has been added to the manual.


Next Update: February 2018

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2017 Amendments