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LutonChildren's Services Procedures Manual


September 2017

Updated Chapters
Chapter Title Details

Care Management and Resource Panel

This chapter has been updated reflect the outcome of a judgment following an application to remove a child at birth. The judge set out what were thought to be ‘basic and good practice steps’. (See Section 2, Considerations).

Death or Serious Injury to a Child (Looked After 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 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 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

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 Related Guidance on SEND: 19- to 25-year-olds’ entitlement to EHC plans (DfE 2017).

Short Breaks

A link has been added to Friendship For All (The Children’s Society) in the Related National Guidance and Information section.

Safeguarding Children and Young People from Sexual Exploitation

This chapter has been updated in relation to Child Sexual Exploitation: Definition and Guide for Practitioners (DfE 2017).

Family and Friends Care

A link has been added in the Relevant Legislation and Guidance Section to Family Rights Group - Initial Family and Friends Care Assessment: A Good Practice Guide. This guide sets out best practice as to how viability assessments should be conducted.

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, see Section 1, Definition.

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 Section 1.3.1, Obtaining Parental Consent).

Placement Planning, Stability and Placement Disruption Meetings

This chapter has been extensively updated and should be read throughout.

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 extensively updated and should be read throughout.

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.

Looked After Reviews

This chapter has been amended to note the Law Society guidance ‘Attendance of solicitors at local authority Children Act Meetings’ and their Code of Conduct where the child or family who attend reviews are supported by a legal representative. (See Section 8, Independent Reviewing Officer's Responsibilities).

Social Visits (Including Overnight Stays)

This chapter has been extensively updated and should be read throughout.

Health Care Assessments and Plans

A link has been added to Children’s Attachment: Attachment in Children and Young People who are Adopted from Care, in Care or at High Risk of Going into Care - NICE Guidelines (NG26) in the Relevant Legislation and Guidance section.

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.

Allegations Against Foster Carers

This chapter has been extensively updated and should be read throughout.

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

A link has been added to Contact After Adoption – Research in Practice in the Related Information section. This practical resource brings together knowledge from research and practice to support professionals to be reflective and explore their own assumptions, attitudes and values when developing contact plans.

Inter Country Adoption

In Section 3, Initial Meeting, the DfE have published Intercountry Adoption and Resident Status Requirements which set out the minimum requirements, however entry clearance requirements vary depending upon the circumstances of each case and prospective adopters will need to obtain their own independent legal advice to establish the requirements that apply to their individual circumstances. In Section 4, Formal Approval, a link has been added to Intercountry adoption: means test form which contains information on how to apply for a fee reduction for people who wish to adopt a child from overseas and who earn £45,000 per year or less. In Section 12, After Approval, information has been added on the Intercountry Adoption Forms: checklist for adoption which details the paperwork adoption agencies must include in the intercountry adoption applications they submit to DfE.

Applications for Special Guardianship Orders

This chapter has been substantially revised to reflect the most recent national Special Guardianship Guidance (January 2017) and should be re-read in full.

Local Contacts

This chapter has been updated.

New Chapters and Features
Chapter Title Details

Children's Consultation and Participation

Children and young people should be enabled by professionals to participate in matters that affect them, particularly any plans or arrangements that will affect them and/or their family and should be consulted with regard to processes designed to improve services both to them individually and more generally.

Child Protection – Information Sharing System

Within Luton CP-IS will connect Liquidlogic children’s social care system with those used by NHS unscheduled care settings, such as Accident and Emergency, walk-in centres and maternity units. It ensures that health and care professionals are notified when a vulnerable CP/CLA child is treated at an unscheduled care setting.

Business Support Process For Child Protection Conferences

This chapter deals with timescales and the associated documentation.

Children With a Child Protection Plan Moving to Another Local Authority Area

This guidance should be followed as soon as a child with a Child Protection Plan goes to stay in another area, even on a temporary basis, to ensure the local authority has a record of all children with Child Protection Plans in their area.

Relinquished Children

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.

Safeguarding Alerts and Dispute Resolution Alerts for Looked after Children Procedure

While formal processes exist these should not replace professional dialogue. It is expected that the reviewing processes and professional discussion should be utilised to resolve issues before a formal alert is raised, unless the risk is such that to do so would place a child at risk.

Next Update: March 2018


2017 Amendments

2016 Amendments

2015 Amendments