Placement Planning Meetings


Regulation 5 – Engaging with the Wider System to Ensure Each Child's Needs are Met

The Quality and Purpose of Care Standard
Regulation 6


This chapter covers the following:

  1. Pre-Placement Planning Meetings (where placements are being considered);
  2. (Post) Placement Planning Meetings, including Emergency* Meetings/Reviews;
  3. Disruption Meetings for children whose placement has ended abruptly or on an unplanned basis.

*Emergency Placement Planning Meetings/Reviews are meetings for children placed on an unplanned or emergency basis in children's homes; or meetings regarding children whose placements are at risk of breaking down.


  1. Purpose of Placement Planning Meetings
  2. Frequency of Placement Planning Meetings
  3. Convening and Chairing Planning Meetings
  4. Who Should Attend or Contribute to the Meeting
  5. Preparation and Conducting of the Meeting
  6. Recording of Outcomes
  7. Progress Chasing Outcomes
  8. Disruption Meetings

1. Purpose of Placement Planning Meetings

A Placement Planning meeting should usually be convened as part of the process of identifying the most suitable placement for a child (unless the child has been placed in an emergency). The meeting should involve everyone concerned with the care of the child, to develop the Placement Plan and ensure it is kept up to date.

2. Frequency of Placement Planning Meetings

The first Placement Planning Meeting in relation to a placement should be held before the placement or, where this is not possible because of the urgency of the situation, within 72 hours of the placement.

Further Placement Planning Meetings should be held at intervals agreed with social worker and the manager of the residential home or as required for example where there are issues to be resolved in relation to the day to day arrangements for the placement.

3. Convening and Chairing Planning Meetings

The social worker and home's manager will agree the best format and venue for the meeting and who will chair the meeting.

4. Who Should Attend or Contribute to the Meeting

The people listed below should contribute to the meetings (if the child has been placed on an emergency basis, it may not be possible to notify/invite all those listed. However, it is essential that the following people are invited/contribute and have their views represented):

  1. The child's social worker and/or other professional associated with the child e.g. Personal Advisor or Advocate.
  2. The child;
  3. The child's parents;
  4. The child's Keyworker/carer(s), and/or Home Manager;
  5. The Child's Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO);
  6. Other significant people/agencies.

The chairperson should also ensure that the child, parent(s) and others who have been asked to contribute understand the purpose of the meeting, how it will be conducted and are given the opportunity to put their views and suggestions.

Placement plans are likely to be most effective when drawn up in a placement planning meeting which involves everyone concerned, including the carers.

5. Preparation and Conducting of the Meeting

Before the meeting the chairperson should obtain or be updated on the following, if available:

During the meeting, the chairperson should ensure the following:

  • The consideration is given to the appropriateness of the placement within the context of the child's Care Plan or Pathway Plan and the need for the Placement Plan amended as appropriate;
  • That the child's Placement Plan is updated if appropriate, and new or updated copies are circulated to those who were invited or contributed.

This does not mean that amendments to Placement Plans may only be made at Planning Meetings. When Placement Plan are formulated and at each Planning Meeting, the social worker and manager/chair should agree the extent to which they can be amended between Planning Meetings or without consultation.

The chairperson should consider whether the child requires an Advocate or the appointment of an Independent Visitor; if so, this should be raised with the Social Worker. See Advocacy and Independent Visitors Procedure.

If there are concerns about the suitability of the placement, consideration should be given to the following:

  • Whether it is possible to sustain the placement until the next Looked After Review by, for example, providing additional support to the placement;
  • Bringing forward the date of the next Looked After Review;
  • Ending the placement.

6. Recording of Outcomes

The Chairperson must ensure the following is recorded at the end of the Placement Planning Meeting:

  • The updating or amendment of the child's Placement Plan;
  • Additional minutes of any discussions and decisions made at the Placement Planning Meeting.

Copies of these records should be circulated to those who attended or were invited to contribute.

7. Progress Chasing Outcomes

Where the chairperson is concerned about delay in implementation of aspects of the Placement Plan, he or she should progress chase those responsible and, if necessary, take matters up with relevant managers.

Where the chairperson is concerned that recommendations or agreements have not been incorporated into the child's plan, he or she may take this up with the relevant person/manager and/or consider whether to reconvene the Placement Plan Meeting.

8. Disruption Meetings

Disruption Meetings should be convened in relation to children whose placement has ended abruptly or on an unplanned basis.

An emergency placement planning meeting should always be held where there are fears that a placement is at risk of disruption.

Where a placement breaks down or ends on an unplanned basis, the manager of the home must convene a Disruption Meeting within 5 working days.

An "off line" manager will usually chair the meeting. In complex cases, however, consideration will be given to appointing an independent person as chair. Those invited, or asked to contribute, should be:

  1. The child;
  2. The parents;
  3. The child's social worker and manager;
  4. The link worker/keyworker (for residential care) and home manager;
  5. The child's Independent Reviewing Officer;
  6. The child's current carers;
  7. Other relevant staff/professionals.

The meeting will ensure the child (depending on his or her age and level of understanding) is given the opportunity to understand the reasons for and be supported with managing the transition.

The precise agenda will depend on the child/circumstances, but the manager/chair should ensure the circumstances leading to the disruption are properly reviewed, and that all concerned are provided with opportunities to express their views freely with a view to establishing:

  • How and why the emergency / disruption occurred;
  • To learn from what happened and avoid the same thing happening again - for the child or others in the home;
  • To contribute to the future planning for the child;
  • To identify work to be done and to ensure it is completed;
  • To ensure that appropriate notifications and other post placement arrangements have been undertaken.

The manager should keep minutes, which must be circulated to all concerned.