Care and Placement Plans Guidance

Untitled Document


The Care Planning Standard
Regulation 14


This chapter gives guidance on the use of Care Plans and Placement Plans for Individual Children and Young People.


  1. Care Plans
  2. Placement Plans
  3. Other Key Plans/Records

1. Care Plans

Every Looked After Child must have a Care Plan completed and updated by the Social Worker.

The Care Plan must be prepared prior to a child's first placement, or, if it not practicable to do so, within 10 working days of the child's first placement.

The overall purpose of the plan is to safeguard and promote the interests of the child, prevent drift and provide focus for work with the child and the family.

The Care Plan contains information on the arrangements for the current and longer term care of the child (including, by the time of the second Looked After Review, how permanence will be achieved). It also summarises the child's current developmental needs and identifies the services required to meet those needs. The Care Plan must include the name and contact details of the child's Independent Reviewing Officer. It should also include information on the level of family involvement and contact.

The Care Plan will be reviewed at the child's Looked After Review. All those attending the Looked After Review meeting should agree and adhere to the timescales for any changes or updates required to the child’s Care Plan.

2. Placement Plans

Every Looked After Child will have a placement plan which sets out in detail how the placement is intended to contribute to meeting the child's needs as set out in the Care Plan. Before making a placement in residential care, it is essential that the placing authority fully understands the services the home offers, and how the provider intends to care for the child. This understanding of the provider's approach should inform the child's placement plan, which should be drawn up in conjunction with the provider.

The placement plan is concerned both with what may need to happen in the placement to achieve the permanence plan, and with the way in which a child's needs will be met on a day to day basis.

It is essential that the placement plan is developed in partnership with the child (where appropriate), the child's carer and the parent as well as the social worker to ensure that the contribution required of all parties for the success of the placement is clearly recorded.

The Placement Plan may incorporate a detailed Behaviour Management Plan for some children.

Prior to the placement, local authorities should always provide all information about the child that is necessary to allow the provider to provide appropriate care to that child and to meet the requirements of any relevant children's homes legislation. Where there are any child protection concerns relating to the child and/or where the child has gone missing from the placement or from any previous placement, the Placement Plan must include details of the plan agreed between the local authority and the placement provider to keep the child safe on a day to day basis.

The Looked After Review should consider whether care is being provided in line with the agreed approach and whether this approach continues to be the most appropriate placement for the child. The Placement Plan should be reviewed in the light of a Looked After Review or any change to the Child's Care Plan.

3. Other Key Plans/Records

3.1 Education

For more detailed procedures and Guidance, see Education Procedure.

Personal Education Plans must be drawn up, by the child's social worker, before the child is placed (or within 10 working days in the case of an emergency placement) and be available for the first Looked After Review. The Personal Education Plan (PEP) will identify the educational needs of the child and how they should be provided for.

An SEN Support Plan should be drawn up for all Looked After Children, by the school, it sets out the day to day arrangements for educating the Child e.g. short term targets, strategies to be used, outcomes.

Children with Special Educational Needs will also have an Education, Health and Care Plan

3.2 Health Care

All children who are Looked After should have a Health Care Plan incorporating a statement of the child's health care needs and how those needs will be addressed.

For more information see Health Care Assessments and Plans Procedure.

Children with disabilities may also have an Education, Health and Care Plan.

3.3 Leaving Care

The Pathway Plan sets out the ambitions and route to the future for young people leaving care and will state how their needs will be met in their path to independence. The plan will continue to be implemented and reviewed after they leave care at least until they are 21; and up to 24 if in full time further or higher education.

3.4 Other key records

This summarises the other key records that Children ought to have, it does not address specialist records or plans:

Single Assessment Record: The single assessment provides an in-depth assessment of the child's needs. The Single Assessment Record provides a structured framework for social workers to record information gathered from a variety of sources to provide evidence for their professional judgements, and facilitate analysis, decision making and planning. A single assessment should be completed within 45 working days of its commencement. A completed Single Assessment Record is then used to develop the Child's Plan.

Chronology: The Chronology is started as part of the process of Single Assessment. It records all significant events and changes in the life of a child or young person. The Chronology is an analytical tool designed to help social workers understand the impact, both immediate and cumulative, of events and changes on the child or young person.

Looked After Review Report: After each Looked After Review, the Chair (Independent Reviewing Officer) should produce and circulate a report within 20 working days of the Review.