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HaltonChildren's Services Online Procedures


January 2018

Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details

Death of or Serious Injury to a Child (Child in Care and Child in Need)

This chapter has been updated in line with the requirement to notify Ofsted of any serious childcare incident using the Ofsted Online Notification of serious childcare incident for local authorities form.

Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children

Section 3, Assessment has been updated to explain that, in advance of undertaking an age assessment for an unaccompanied asylum seeking child, local authorities must seek Home Office assistance with verifying the authenticity of identity documents e.g. travel documents or a birth certificate. A link to the relevant contact details for local authorities was added.

Families with No Recourse to Public Funds

This guidance has been updated to include a link to the Project for the Registration of Children as British Citizens, which provides information and advice for social workers on ensuring that children in their care have effective access to specialist legal advice so their citizenship or any entitlement to citizenship is secured. See Securing British Citizenship for Looked After Children.

Young Carers

This guidance has been extensively revised and contains detailed information 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). In Halton, a young carer's needs are assessed using the CAF, unless they need a statutory assessment in which case their needs will be incorporated into a Children's Social Care Single Assessment Plan (SAP).

Decision to Place a Child in Care and Care Planning

This chapter has been amended to reflect the outcome of a decision of the Court of Appeal (2017) with respect to the consent requirement under s.20 Children Act 1989. The court recognised that the word 'consent' does not appear in s.20. However, it described the guidance contained in previous case law as 'good practice guidance', emphasising that its judgment should not alter the content or effect of these. (See Section 1.3.1, Obtaining Parental Consent).

Children in Care Reviews

This chapter has been updated to fully reflect the Volume 2: Care Planning, Placement and Case Review Guidance and Regulation with respect to the circumstances as to when a Children in Care Review should be brought forward. The list is not exhaustive. (See Section 2, Frequency of Children in Care Reviews).

Placement for Adoption

This procedure has been updated to emphasise 'procedural fairness' as a key aspect of the adoption planning process, which is key to ensuring birth parents are provided with information throughout the process, including the dates of placement/proposed changes of a child's Status, etc. This follows the outcome of a judicial review ([2017] EWHC 1041 (Admin)). (See new Section 4.2, Procedural Fairness).

Applications for Special Guardianship Orders

This guidance has been reviewed throughout and updated as required to reflect current arrangements for placing children with Special Guardians and criteria for the provision of ongoing support.

Next Update: July 2018


2017 Amendments

2016 Amendments