|Notifications of Significant Events of Looked After Children||This procedure has been updated to reflect the latest Ofsted guidance for social care providers on the types of incident which they consider to be serious and which will therefore require notification to the regulatory authority.|
|New Chapters and Features|
|Capacity and Consent||In this chapter guidance is offered in relation to the various situations in which consent is likely to be sought, with reference to previous legal judgements. This is a potentially complex practice arena and if the practitioner is in any doubt about gaining consent they should always seek further advice from managers and legal advice must be sought as necessary.|
|Use of Social Media Sites by Social Care and Safeguarding Staff||The use of social media in a social care and safeguarding environment is a developing area. Cases and reviews have discussed the use of social media in social work practice. There is, however, currently no specific government guidance on the issue. This chapter is designed to highlight some of the issues to be considered, with links to additional information. It is not intended to provide any legal advice, and legal advice must be sought as appropriate. Local Authorities and Courts may have local protocols in place on the use of social media/service of documents.|
|Storage of Data on Mobile Devices||This chapter provides guidance on the storage of personal data (including photographs) on mobile devices. ‘Personal data’ is any information about an identifiable living individual.
‘Mobile devices’ includes memory sticks, mobile telephones including smartphones, tablet technologies, netbooks and laptops.
|Next Update: April 2021|
This chapter has been updated in line with the new digital referral system for reporting potential victims of Modern Slavery.Note: The existing paper forms will be accepted until 29th February 2020.
|Recording Policy and Guidelines||This chapter has been amended to reflect the Ofsted Twitter Blog of 24/7/19 by Yvette Stanley, Ofsted's National Director for Social Care. The Blog highlights feedback from a number of inspections and explores what good recording should look like. (Ofsted: developments in children’s social care – What makes an effective case record?).|
|Notifications of Significant Events||This procedure has been updated to reflect revised guidance issued by Ofsted to Children’s Homes Providers in August 2019. The revised guidance sought to clarify what is meant by a ‘serious event’ in relation to a child living in a Children’s Homes with the aim of reducing the overall number of notifications made to Ofsted, and in particular reducing the number of repeat notifications made as a result of submitting additional / updated information.|
|Leaving Care and Transition||A paragraph has been added to Section 6.1, Pathway Planning for those Aged 21 and up to 25 clarifying that a management record will be created when a care experienced young person becomes pregnant or is going to be a father.|
|Supervision and Support of Foster Carers||This chapter has been updated to reflect in more detail the foster carer’s role and responsibilities with respect to Fostering National Minimum Standards – Notification of Significant Events (see Section 1, Introduction) and relevant aspects of Schedule 6 The Fostering Services (England) Regulations 2011, (see Section 2, Planned Supervision Visits).|
|Allegations Against Foster Carers||This chapter has been reviewed and refreshed, and terminology has been updated where required.|
|Assessment and Approvals of Prospective Adopters||A link has been added to Attending an IRM Panel: information sheets. See Section 10, Representations / Independent Review Procedure.|
|Access to Birth Records and Adoption Case Records||A link has been added to Attending an IRM Panel: information sheets. See Section 3.2, Adoption Orders made on or after 30 December 2005.|
|New Chapters and Features|
|Children and Young People Aged 0-25 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities||This procedure sets out the specific provision under the Children and Families Act 2014 in relation to children and young people aged 0-25 with Special Educational Needs or disabilities and their carers. For the purposes of the Act, ‘young person’ is someone aged 16-25. The Care Act 2014 introduced changes to adult care and support. This also includes transitions for young disabled people into adulthood, and support to carers.|
|Care and Supervision Proceedings and the Public Law Outline||
This chapter has been amended to reflect changes from 'Practice Direction 27a - Family Proceedings: Court Bundles (Universal Practice to be Applied in the High Court and Family Court)', in relation to the required maximum length of certain court documents (unless otherwise specifically directed by the court). In addition, further detail has been added with respect to the Final Care Plan.
|Death or Serious Injury to a Child (Looked After and Child in Need)||This chapter has been updated throughout to reflect Working Together to Safeguard Children and the process for reporting a serious incident to the Panel via the Child Safeguarding Notification System.|
|Private Fostering||This chapter has been amended to confirm that after the private fostering arrangement ends that any request for support from the young person should be made to the local authority in which they are resident or where the education and training is provided.|
|Decision to Look After and Care Planning||This chapter has been amended to reflect section 3 of the Care Planning and Care Leavers (Amendment) Regulations 2014. The Care Plan must identify whether there is reason to believe the child has been trafficked or is an unaccompanied asylum seeker.|
|Placements with Parents||This chapter has been updated to note that this procedure does not apply to children subject to Interim Care Orders where the placement is required by the court under Section 38(6) Children Act 1989 for the purposes of assessment.|
|Social Worker Visits to Looked After Children||A link has been added to the Leaving Care and Transition chapter in relation to Personal Adviser visits to 'Relevant' or 'Former Relevant' young people.|
|Notifications of Significant Events||This chapter has been extensively updated and should be re-read throughout.|
|Leaving Care and Transition||This chapter has been updated to add information with regard to a care leaver's status as a victim of trafficking or UASC when preparing an assessment of need. Section 7, Reviews of Pathway Plans has been amended in relation to Relevant/Former Relevant young people moving to 'unregulated' accommodation. Section 8, Personal Advisers has been amended in relation to frequency of visits by Personal Advisers.|
|Assessment and Approvals of Prospective Adopters||References to the Adoption Register and to Adoption Match have been amended following the Adoption Register suspension and the adoption agency Adoption Match (at the end of March 2019).|
|Placement for Adoption||References to the Adoption Register and to Adoption Match have been amended following the Adoption Register suspension and the adoption agency Adoption Match (at the end of March 2019).|
|New Chapters and Features|
|Placing and Visiting Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities or Health Conditions in Long-Term Residential Settings||
This chapter reflects statutory guidance in relation to children who are placed by health authorities or local authorities for more than 3 months in residential establishments for educational purposes and children placed in care homes or independent hospitals (including hospices) by health authorities or local authorities (Sections 85 and 86 of the Children Act 1989). Statutory visits and monitoring of these placements are undertaken by the Responsible Authority (see Section 1.2, The Responsibilities of Authorities – Definitions).However, note that this guidance is not relevant for Looked After Children – who have their own statutory visiting requirements (see Social Work Visits to Looked After Children Procedure).