Moving to Another Placement


The Care Planning Standard
Regulation 14

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


This chapter covers when a child or young person is making a planned move (i.e. one that is agreed within the Care Plan) and applies whether they are returning home or moving to another placement.

For Care Leavers see Preparation for Leaving Care Procedure.


In May 2018, this chapter was updated thoughout and should be re-read.


  1. Decision Making and Notice Period
  2. Arrangements for the Transfer to Another Home
  3. Notifications
  4. Aftercare/Contact

1. Decision Making and Notice Period

Children must remain in the home unless it no longer meets their assessed needs as set out in the Care Plan, or the home has been unable to deliver the services required to meet the child’s needs. Except in an urgent situation, any change of placement, should usually only take place following a Looked After Review chaired by the young person’s Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO).

Before any change of placement or move to another home is made the following people must be consulted and their views recorded:

  • The child;
  • The child’s social worker.

The child’s social worker should notify/consult the child’s parents / carers.

Specific requirements at Key Stage 4

Any change to a placement that will disrupt the education of a young person in Key Stage 4 (school years 10 and 11) must be approved at senior level in the local authority.

Before approving the decision the authority must ensure that:

  • The young person’s wishes and feelings have been ascertained;
  • The parents’ wishes and feelings have been ascertained where the young person is accommodated and (where possible and appropriate) where the young person is the subject of a care order;
  • The education provision made for the young person in the new placement will promote his/her educational achievement and is consistent with the PEP;
  • Other relevant agencies and practitioners have been informed;
  • The young person’s IRO has been consulted; and
  • The designated teacher at the school where the young person is a registered pupil has been consulted.

There is an expectation that a young person’s education in Key Stage 4 should not be disrupted other than as a consequence of an emergency placement.

(NOTE: If, in an emergency situation, the registered person has to move a child out of the home to other accommodation, the accommodation should be suitable and meet the child’s needs. The placing authority should be contacted immediately. If the child is looked-after, a Looked After Review should be convened as soon as possible after the emergency move has taken place). For more information on the procedure to be following when a child is moved in an emergency please see Emergency Placement and Emergency Reviews Procedure.

Where it appears that a young person would benefit from a transfer to another home, the home’s manager should discuss this with the child’s social worker and Independent Reviewing Officer. A planned placement move can only take place once approval from the placing authority has been received in writing.

For a temporary move out of the home, it must be remembered that the child will remain under the current Care Plan and staff should make sure the child understands that expectations in relation to house rules, education etc. still apply.

Any decision to terminate a young person's placement and request that they are moved to another home must be approved by a senior manager.

Normally, young people will remain in the existing home for a minimum of 28 days after the decision to move has been reached to enable proper planning to take place. During this period staff must help each child to prepare for the move. In cases where children are returning home or moving to independent living this includes supporting the child to develop emotional and mental resilience to cope without the home’s support.

2. Arrangements for the Transfer to Another Home

Assuming the decision to move the child has been approved at the Looked After Review, the manager of the home should liaise with the manager in the new home and take all reasonable steps to ensure the young person's transfer is managed sensitively and that the move is a positive experience.

The young person and parents should be consulted and kept informed of all key decisions and arrangements in relation to the transfer. If possible, the young person and parents should undertake visits to the new home/Placement and should be provided with information such as the Statement of Purpose or Children’s Guide.

The existing manager should liaise with the following people to ensure that plans and records (see below) are completed or brought up to date before the young person moves:

  • The social worker;
  • Parents or those with Parental Responsibility;
  • The young person;
  • The manager of the new home;
  • Virtual School Head;
  • Other relevant people/agencies, e.g. Personal Adviser, Advocate.

The Plans or records that must be brought up to date or completed by the social worker or others, and made available for the new manager / carer, are:

For transfers between homes in the same authority, the existing and new home managers must liaise with each other to ensure that all appropriate arrangements are made, for example:

  1. The young person's Placement Plan - the manager of the new home is responsible for this but the existing home manager should contribute/offer advice on any plans/strategies that have been used. As a minimum the Placement Plan must be completed before or upon admission. The exiting home manager must produce an End of Placement report within 3 days of the child leaving the home;
  2. The existing home manager/key worker should ensure that the young person's file is brought up to date, collated, tidied then passed to the new home manager;
  3. If it appears necessary, the new home manager should arrange a Planning Meeting, preferably before the move/transfer but within 5 working days. See Placement Planning Meetings Procedure;
  4. If there is a risk that the young person may go missing, the new home manager should arrange for a Risk Assessment to be completed;
  5. The new manager should liaise with the child’s social worker to ensure arrangements are in place for the young person to be registered with a GP, Dentist and Optician (see Health Notifications and Access to Services Procedure) and should liaise with the existing home manager to obtain information/arrangements for any medication or other healthcare arrangements;
  6. The new home manager should check to ensure that the young person has had a Health Care Assessment in line with set out in Health Care Assessments and Plans Procedure, and liaise with the social worker as necessary if this is required;
  7. The new home manager should ensure the young person is provided with:
    • A copy of the Children's Guide;
    • A copy of the Placing Authority's Complaints Procedure;
    • Details of an independent advocate;
    • All personal items and belongings (excluding withheld items).

For all transfers to another home or other placement, the existing home manager should ensure the following arrangements are made:

  1. That the young person takes all his/her clothing and personal belongings or arrangements are made for them to be passed to the new home manager. The existing home manager must ensure that the young person's belongings/clothing are packed in a luggage case;
  2. Where children have been with our care for an extended period, memento albums and photographs and moments about the home should be prepared for them so they have a record of their period of life at the home;
  3. The existing and new home manager must ensure that others listed in Section 3, Notifications are notified of the transfer.

3. Notifications

The new home manager should liaise with the child’s social worker to ensure that notifications of the placement are sent (by the social worker) to the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Local Education and Children's Services Departments in the area where the child is placed if the move is into another local authority area; these notifications must be made in writing advising of the placement decision and the name and address of the home where the child will be placed.

The social worker should also notify the young person's parents and significant relatives or friends, and should liaise with the new home manager to arrange contact with the young person. NOTE: No contact may be permitted between the young person and his/her parents, relatives or friends unless agreed with the social worker and set out in the young person's Placement Plan.

4. Aftercare/Contact

Any arrangements for aftercare or on-going contact between our staff and the young person or his/her parents/family must be agreed with the social worker and set out in the young person's Placement Plan.