Placement Planning Meetings

REGULATIONS AND STANDARDS

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

The Quality and Purpose of Care Standard
Regulation 6

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

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 ends 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 (see Emergency Placements and Emergency Reviews Procedure).


Contents

  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 is placed in an emergency). The meeting should involve everyone concerned with the care of the child, and be used to develop the Placement Plan and subsequently 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, as soon as possible bearing in mind the need to prepare the Placement Plan within 5 working days of the placement being made.

Further Placement Planning Meetings should be held at intervals agreed with social worker and the Registered Children’s Homes Manager 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/ offered the opportunity to contribute and have their views represented):

  • The child's social worker and/or other professional associated with the child e.g. Personal Advisor or Advocate;
  • The child;
  • The child's parents;
  • The child's Key Children’s Care Officer, and/or Registered Children’s Homes Manager;
  • The child’s Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO);
  • Any other significant people/agencies.

The chairperson should 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 have their views and wishes heard.

Placement Plans are likely to be most effective when drawn up as part of a Placement Planning Meeting which involves everyone concerned, including the carers.


5. Preparation and Conducting Meetings

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

  • The child's outline Placement Plan;
  • Any work which has been undertaken by key professionals involved in supporting the child's placement;
  • The child's Care Plan, Personal Education Plan and Pathway Plan.

During the meeting, the chairperson should ensure the following:

  • That consideration is given to the appropriateness of the placement within the context of the child's Care Plan or Pathway Plan;
  • That the child’s Placement Plan is drawn up (or updated).

This does not mean that amendments to Placement Plans may only be made at Planning Meetings. When Placement Plans are first drawn up, and at each Planning Meeting, the social worker and the chairperson 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 or stability 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 drawing up or amendment of the child's Placement Plan as required;
  • 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 any delay in implementation of aspects of the Placement Plan, they should progress chase those responsible and, if necessary, take matters up with relevant managers.

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


8. Disruption Meetings

Disruption Meetings are convened when a child’s placement ends abruptly or on an unplanned basis. Where a placement breaks down or ends on an unplanned basis, a disruption meeting should be convened.

An Emergency Placement Planning Meeting should always be held where there are fears that a placement is at risk of disruption.

A manager from another home / team 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/carers;
  3. The child's social worker and manager;
  4. The Key Children’s Care Officer and Registered Children’s 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 their age and level of understanding) is given the opportunity to understand the reasons for the placement move, to put their views across and be supported with managing the transition.

The precise agenda will depend on the child/circumstances, but the 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 Registered Children’s Homes Manager should keep minutes, which must be circulated to all concerned.