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BexleyChildren's Services Procedures Manual

Amendments

October 2017

Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details

Threshold Document - Continuum of Help and Support

This new link now goes to the Bexley Safeguarding Partnership ‘Effective Support for Children, Young People and families in Bexley’ and amends and updates the previous LSCB paper.

Contacts and Referrals

This chapter has been fully revised throughout to reflect the Bexley contacts and referrals procedures; the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) processes and additionally to add further clarity in respect of consent and information sharing – particularly to note a record of the rationale for over-riding consent must be made on the child’s record, (see Consent & Information Sharing).

A link to Bexley Safeguarding Partnership guidance; ‘Effective Support for Children, Young People and Families in Bexley’ has also been added together with a ‘Management Actions Note’.

Please ensure familiarity with this.

Assessments

This chapter has been amended to update the ICACU link and to emphasise key issues, for example, that the assessment should give a picture of what life is like for the child, (see The Child). Please note: A link has also been made to a ‘Management Actions Note’ and ‘Revised Process for Child Protection Conferences: CP consultations from front door to conference/Re-referrals for Initial Conferences/Child in Need Reviewing’ in the Local Resources section of the manual. Please ensure familiarity with these.

Strategy Meetings and Child Protection Enquiries (Section 47)

This chapter has been amended by adding a link to the ‘Revised Process for Child Protection Conferences: CP consultations from front door to conference/Re-referrals for Initial Conferences/Child in Need Reviewing’ in the manual’s Local Resources. Please ensure familiarity of this.

Child in Need Plans and Reviews

This chapter has been updated by adding a link to ‘Revised Process for Child Protection Conferences: CP consultations from front door to conference/Re-referrals for Initial Conferences/Child in Need Reviewing’ in the Local Resources section of the manual. Pease ensure familiarity.

Children’s Social Care Statutory Complaints Procedure

This chapter has been updated to reflect Bexley procedures. These include an evaluation as to whether a representative has the capacity or interest to act in young person’s welfare, (see Who may make a Complaint?); detail the processes regarding the management of the complaint, (see Stage One - Local Resolution and Stage Two - Investigation), including that the maximum period for a complaint to remain at Stage 1 is 10 working days (with exception). The contact details of the Local Government Ombudsman are also included.

Short Breaks

This chapter has been updated to add a link to The Children’s Society, Friendship For All. Professionals delivering foster care and short breaks services are invited to implement simple changes to practice and strengthen carer training to increase friendship in the lives of children. Friendship For All provides freely downloadable, nationally piloted and evaluated resources.

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 been extensively revised with regard to providing guidance on identifying and supporting young carers. Since April 2015, local authorities have had a duty to take 'reasonable steps' to identify children in their area who are young carers, and to determine if they need support. Local authorities must carry out an assessment whenever it appears that a young carer has a need for support (this could be either in their capacity as a young carer or in a more general sense as a child or young person). This assessment is called a Young Carer’s Needs Assessment.

The chapter includes links to ‘Bexley Young Carers’ and ‘Bexley Moorings Project’. Please re-reference.

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 recognized that the term ‘consent’ itself was not used in Section 20. However, it described previous court observations as ‘good practice guidance’, emphasizing its judgment should not alter the content or effect of these. (See Obtaining Parental Consent’).

Placements with Connected Persons

This chapter has been updated to add a link to FRG, Assessment Guide: Initial Family and Friends Care Assessment: A good practice guide (2017) (see Section 7, Further Information). This resource outlines what a viability assessment for family and friend carers should look like, what social workers should consider and how to undertake international assessments.

Placements in Secure Accommodation on Welfare Grounds

A note was 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 Sect 25 (Children Act 1989). (See Section, 7.1 Placement Request, Identification and Approval).

Delegation of Authority to Foster Carers and Residential Workers

This chapter has been reviewed and the Bexley Children’s Services Scheme of Delegated Decision Making has been added. This sets the authority needed to effect key decisions and others who should be consulted. Please reference.

Contact with Parents/Adults and Siblings

This chapter has been updated to add a link to GOV.UK Child car seats: the law. The rules changed in February around booster seats and babies who now need to stay in rear facing seats until 15 months. (There has been a change to the technical standards of booster seats and cushions for manufacturers from 9 February but this does not affect existing models of booster seats and cushions.)

Placement for Adoption

This chapter was updated by adding a link to – research in practice, Contact after adoption, (see Related Guidance). A link to ‘Bexley - Has adoption been identified as the plan for your child? (Information for birth parents)’ was also added. (This document can be independently located in the manual’s Local Resources section).

Applications for Special Guardianship Orders

This chapter has been reviewed and amendments made throughout to reflect the Special Guardianship Guidance and practice. Particularly note Who may Apply? Planning Meeting and Report for the Court sections. Please re-reference.

New Chapters
Chapter Name Details

Children’s Consultation and Participation

Working Together 2015 states clearly that one of the key principles underpinning safeguarding should be: ‘’a child-centred approach: for services to be effective they should be based on a clear understanding of the needs and views of children.’’

It is essential therefore that children and young people are enabled by professionals to participate in matters that affect them, particularly any plans or arrangements that will affect them and/or their family and are consulted with regard to processes designed to improve services both to them individually and more generally. Please re-reference.

Bexley Serious Incident Notification Policy

This chapter details the Bexley procedure of Notification in the event of a serious incident to a child, identifying principally issues which should always be a ‘notification’ and those officers within the Department who need to informed. The chapter also identifies the process and includes a Serious Incident Notification Template.

Case Load Guide for Children’s Social Care

This new chapter is a matrix which seeks to provide guidance on practitioner’s case-loads in various teams. Please reference when required.

Relinquished Children

The term 'relinquished child' is used to describe a child, usually a baby or at pre-birth stage, whose parents are making the choice of adoption for the child.

This chapter deals with the first stages of the adoption process for relinquished children, whilst signposting other key processes that should be progressed and which are expected for any child who is Accommodated or where the plan is for adoption. It also summarises the counselling and support that will be made available to the birth family in these circumstances. Once a decision is made and consent is formally given, although not irreversible, the adoption process is as for any other child.

Therefore, this chapter should be read in conjunction with the Adoption Related Chapters.

Children’s Social Care Resource and Care Panel

This chapter highlights the aims, tasks and processes of the Panel which include agreement to Section 20 Accommodation and externally commissioned placements, as well as ensure current resources are fully used to prevent such accommodation. Please reference.

Local Resources

Please note the following documents have been added to the library:

  • Management Actions Note for MASH;

  • Process for Child Protection Conferences: CP consultations from front door to conference/Re-referrals for Initial Conferences/Child in Need Reviewing;

  • Section 20 Agreement Form;

  • Bexley - Has adoption been identified as the plan for your child? (Information for birth parents).


Next Update: April 2018

Archive

2017 Amendments