Amendments

April 2022

Caption: April 2022
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Care and Supervision Proceedings and the Public Law Outline This chapter has been revised throughout.
Legal Gateway Panel This chapter has been substantially updated and should be re-read
Complaints and Representations This chapter has been amended to reflect the Children’s Statutory Complaint Process: Guide for Practitioners (Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman, 2021). (See Relevant Guidance).
Electronic Recording of Meetings and Conversations This chapter has been refreshed throughout.
Use of Social Media Sites by Social Care and Safeguarding Staff This chapter has been refreshed throughout.
Children and Young People Aged 0-25 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities This chapter has been refreshed to include links to related reports from the House of Commons Library. Section 15, Resolving Disagreements was updated in line with the First Tier Tribunal’s extended powers to hear appeals and make non-binding recommendations about health and social care aspects of Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans, provided those appeals also include education elements.
Short Breaks Information has been added in to Section 7, Overnight Short Break Settings, in relation to the prohibition on looked after children under the age of 16 being placed in ‘other arrangements’ placements for the purposes of a short break.
Unaccompanied Migrant Children and Child Victims of Trafficking and Modern Slavery

A link has been added to the Independent Child Trafficking Guardians Referral Form. In areas where the ICTG service has been implemented, if the social worker considers a child to be a potential victim of modern slavery, they should refer them to the ICTG service by completing the online referral form.

Section 6.1, Placement Options has been updated in relation to placements in ‘other arrangements’. Section 4, Assessment has been updated in relation to Age Assessments.
Decision to Look After and Care Planning Section 1.3, Section 20 Accommodation has been revised in line with the Public Law Working Group (PLWG) Recommendations to Achieve Best Practice in the Child Protection and Family Justice Systems.
Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority Claims for Looked After Children This chapter has been refreshed and a link added to House of Commons Library Briefing Paper: Criminal Injuries Compensation for Victims of Child Abuse.
Placements with Parents Section 1, Planned Placements has been updated to add information on placements in ‘other arrangements.’
Placements in Children's Homes This chapter has been updated to note that from September 2021, looked after children under 16 years of age cannot be accommodated in unregulated independent or semi-independent placements.
Out of Area Placements Section 6, Placements in Wales has been updated in line with updated Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations - Volume 2: Care Planning, Placement and Case Review.
Placements Outside England and Wales Section 3, Placements in Scotland, Northern Ireland, Isle of Man and Guernsey has been updated in line with case-law and updated Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations - Volume 2: Care Planning, Placement and Case Review.
Remands to Local Authority Accommodation or to Youth Detention Accommodation Information in relation to children under the age of 16 being placed in 'other arrangements' placements has been added into Section 3, Local Authority Accommodation.
Education of Children with a Social Worker, Looked After and Previously Looked After Children

This chapter has been revised to reflect the 'Review of Sexual Abuse in Schools and Colleges (Ofsted)'; updated 'Keeping Children Safe in Education' (see Scope of This Chapter) and Sexual Harassment in Education – Briefing (House of Parliament Library) (see Section 8.2, Protecting looked after children from sexual harassment and peer on peer abuse).

The chapter has been also amended to reflect Promoting the Education of Children with a Social Worker: Virtual School Head Role Extension.

Information on the School Admission Code has been added into Section 6, When a Child Needs or Joins a New School.
Restrictive Physical Intervention A link has been added to Guidance: Positive Environments Where Children Can Flourish (Ofsted) - see Further Information.
New Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Aftercare under Section 117 of the Mental Health Act 1983 This policy applies when a child or care leaver is discharged from hospital after having been detained under the Mental Health Act 1983.
Placements in Other Arrangements This procedure has been added to the manual.
Next Update: November 2022

November 2021

Caption: November 2021
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Children's Services Policies, Values and Principles Minor amendments have been made in line with local practice.
Children's Consultation and Participation Minor amendments have been made in line with local practice.
Capacity and Consent This chapter has been updated to add information on case-law in relation to consent in the context of the use of medication to suppress puberty. Information was added in relation to NICE Quality Standard: Decision-Making and Mental Capacity.
Threshold Document - Continuum of Help and Support Minor amendments have been made in line with local practice.
Contacts and Referrals Minor amendments have been made in line with local practice.
Assessments Minor amendments have been made in line with local practice.
Child in Need Plans and Reviews Minor amendments have been made in line with local practice.
Care and Supervision Proceedings and the Public Law Outline Minor amendments have been made in line with local practice.
Children and Young People Aged 0-25 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Section 15, Resolving Disagreements has been updated to reference recent case-law holding that, as part of the mediation process, a parent/child/young person is entitled to bring along any supporter they wish, including a lawyer.
Prevention of Homelessness and Provision of Accommodation for 16 and 17 year olds who may be Homeless and/or require Accommodation; and Duty to Refer This chapter has been refreshed throughout.
Placements in Secure Accommodation on Welfare Grounds A new Section 10, Use of Inherent Jurisdiction to Authorise a Placement Involving a Deprivation of Liberty has been added.
Holidays and School Trips In and Outside the UK Ssection 2.4, Insurance has been updated.
Leaving Care and Transition This chapter has been updated with a link to Joint Housing Protocols for Care Leavers: Good Practice Advice (DfE and MHCLG) to support the development of joint protocols that can help local authorities to meet the accommodation needs of care leavers. Additional content has therefore been added in a new Section 8, Joint Housing Protocols for Care Leavers as well as Section 7, Reviews of Pathway Plans and Section 13, Where Care Leavers Live or Move to a Different Local Authority Area.
Responsibilities of the Local Authority to Former Looked After Children and Young People in Custody This chapter has been updated to reflect the Section 2.6 Care leavers leaving custody in Joint Housing Protocols for Care Leavers: Good Practice Advice (DfE and MHCLG) (see Section 3.9, Planning for Release).
Local Contacts This chapter has been revised throughout.
List of Agency Decision Makers, Designated Managers and Nominated Officers This chapter has been revised throughout.

February 2021

Caption: February 2021
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Complaints and Representations This chapter has been refreshed throughout.
Use of Social Media Sites by Social Care and Safeguarding Staff This chapter has been updated
Unaccompanied Migrant Children and Child Victims of Trafficking and Modern Slavery Section 11, Further Information has been updated to include a link to Statutory Guidance Modern Slavery: How to Identify and Support Victims.
Families with No Recourse to Public Funds This chapter has been refreshed throughout.
Placements in Secure Accommodation on Welfare Grounds This chapter has been updated to reflect updated guidance. (See Section 6, Placements of Children under the age of 13 Years).
Notifications of Significant Events This chapter has been refreshed throughout.
Leaving Care and Transition This chapter has been updated. In Section 9.3, The 16-19 Bursary Fund and Higher Education Bursary, the link has been updated.

July 2020

Caption: July 2020
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Assessments

This chapter has been updated in line with the new digital referral system for reporting potential victims of Modern Slavery.

Unaccompanied Migrant Children and Child Victims of Trafficking and Modern Slavery This chapter has been updated in line with the new digital referral system for reporting potential victims of Modern Slavery.
Private Fostering This chapter has been amended. Appendix A: NCC Private Fostering Flowchart has been updated.
Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority Claims for Looked After Children Minor amendments have been made. In Section 7, Appealing Decisions, the address for the First Tier Tribunal has been updated.
List of Agency Decision Makers, Designated Managers and Nominated Officers

This chapter has been updated. Updated:

Designated Manager (Care Plans)

Designated Manager (Contact with Parents)

New Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Capacity and Consent This chapter has been added to the procedures manual.
Storage of Data on Mobile Devices This chapter has been added to the procedures manual.
Use of Social Media Sites by Social Care and Safeguarding Staff This chapter has been added to the procedures manual.


February 2020

Caption: February 2020
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Care and Supervision Proceedings and the Public Law Outline This chapter has been updated to reference and note the Family Court Justice Interim Guidance on Special Guardianship, Courts and Tribunals Judiciary (May 2019). (See Section 1, Introduction).
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?).

Minor amendments were made throughout in line with local practice.
Children and Young People Aged 0-25 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities An update has been made in Section 1, Principles to draw attention to OFSTED's advice that Local Authorities should exercise due diligence in ensuring schools for pupils with SEN are registered with the DFE. The same diligence should be exercised on behalf of pupils with SEN.
Permanence Planning Guidance Information has been added in to Section 6.8, Legal routes to Permanence, and a link added in to Statement for Revocation of Placement Order.
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 (see Scope Box).
Secure Accommodation (Criteria) Reviews The requirement for clear separation of reviews (for clarifying whether the criteria for keeping a child in secure accommodation are met, and the child's looked after review) has been emphasised. Clarifying whether the criteria for keeping a child in secure accommodation are met must come before a LAC review so the decision can inform the LAC review and they must be chaired by different individuals.
Notifications of Significant Events This chapter has been revised throughout.
Education of Looked After and Previously Looked After Children

This chapter has been updated throughout.

It incorporates changes introduced by the Children and Social Work Act 2017 and updated Keeping Children Safe in Education (2018). New sections have been added with regard to Unaccompanied Migrant Children, and the role of the Virtual School Head in relation to Previously Looked After children is emphasised. It also includes a refence to Upskirting (which is now a criminal offence) and a new section on Serious Violence. Information has been added to reflect OFSTED's advice that LAs should exercise due diligence in ensuring schools for LAC pupils are registered with the DFE.

Minor amendments have been made throughout in line with local practice.
Holidays and School Trips In and Outside the UK Minor amendments have been made throughout in line with local practice.
Assessment and Approvals of Foster Carers

A link has been added to Attending an IRM Panel: information sheets. See Section 10, Representations / Independent Review Procedure.

The chapter has been updated throughout in line with local practice.
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).
Review and Termination of Approval of Foster Carers

A link has been added to Attending an IRM Panel: information sheets. See Section 6, Representations / Independent Review Procedure.

The chapter has been updated throughout in line with local practice.
Allegations Against Foster Carers

This chapter has been reviewed and refreshed, and terminology has been updated where required.

Minor amendments were made throughout in line with local practice.
Local Contacts

Updated February 2020: LADO; Children and Young Peoples Service (CYPS; 14+ Team; Disabled Children's Team; Report a concern about a child; Report a concern about an adult; Report a concern about Hate Crime Domestic Abuse or antisocial behaviour.

Added February 2020: LAC Designated Nurse.
New Chapters
Chapter Name Details
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).

August 2019

Caption: August 2019
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Children's Consultation and Participation The Related Guidance section has been updated to add supporting resources with regard to children's consultation and participation.
Assessments A link to the Assessment Visit Flowchart has been added.
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, a new subsection of Section 4.1, Local Authority Documentation - 'Final Care Plan' provides further detail on the importance of recording information on the Care Plan which will help the child, parent or the child's carer understand why decisions have been or are being made.
Death or Serious Injury to a Child (Looked After and Child In Need) This chapter has been updated to reflect Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018) and the process for reporting a serious incident to the Panel via the Child Safeguarding Incident Notification System
Case Records and Retention A table specifying the time periods for retention of records has been added.
Children and Young People Aged 0-25 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities This chapter has been updated. A link to the Parent Carers Needs Assessment form has been added.
Short Breaks A link to the Northumberland county council s20 agreement template has been added.
Unaccompanied Migrant Children and Child Victims of Trafficking and Modern Slavery A new section on suitable placements has been added along with details of the National Transfer Scheme Protocol for unaccompanied asylum seeking children.
Private Fostering The chapter has been amended to confirm that any request for support by the young person after the private fostering arrangement ends should be made to the local authority in which they are resident or where their education and training is being provided.
Decision to Look After and Care Planning

This chapter has 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 (see Section 2.1, The Care Plan).

A link to a template Agreement for s20 placement of a child by Northumberland County Council has also been added.
Ceasing to Look After a Child This chapter has been updated in line with the Children and Social Work Act 2017 and revised statutory guidance.
Permanence Planning Guidance

This chapter has been updated in line with the Children and Social Work Act 2017 and revised statutory guidance.

These changes relate to the status of 'previously Looked After Children'. A previously Looked After Child is one who is no longer looked after in England and Wales because they are the subject of an Adoption, Special Guardianship or Child Arrangements Order which includes arrangements relating to with whom the child is to live, or when the child is to live with any person, or has been adopted from 'state care' outside England and Wales.

Previously Looked After Children are entitled to support from their school through the Designated Teacher
Placements with Parents A hyperlink to the schedule 3 Assessment of Parents has been added.
Placements in Secure Accommodation on Welfare Grounds This chapter has been updated with a link to a template Agreement for s20 placement of a child by Northumberland County Council.
Social Worker Visits to Looked After Children This chapter has been amended to include a link to the Leaving Care and Transition Procedure in relation to Personal Adviser visits to 'Relevant' or 'Former Relevant' young people.
Education of Looked After and Previously Looked After Children

This chapter has been updated to reflect amendments made by the Children and Social Work Act 2017.

These changes relate to the status of 'previously looked after children' i.e. a previously looked-after child is one who is no longer looked after in England and Wales because s/he is the subject of an adoption, special guardianship or child arrangements order which includes arrangements relating to with whom the child is to live, or when the child is to live with any person, or has been adopted from 'state care' outside England and Wales. The chapter includes a new Section 15, Mental Health and a new Section 8, Safeguarding the Looked After Child at School.

In addition the chapter reflects the statutory guidance Keeping children safe in education (KCSIE) 2018, as it relates to Looked After Children and guidance regarding Data protection and safeguarding as set out in Data protection: a toolkit for schools.

Leaving Care and Transition

This chapter has been updated with changes to:

  • Section 5, Leaving Care Assessment of Need - in relation to children who are victims of trafficking or unaccompanied asylum seeking children;
  • Section 7, Reviews of Pathway Plans - in relation to Relevant/Former Relevant young people moving to 'unregulated' accommodation; and
  • Section 8, Personal Advisers - in relation to frequency of visits by Personal Advisers.
Assessment and Approvals of Foster Carers The link to the GOV.UK Criminal records checks for overseas applicants has been updated.
Comments and Complaints, Advocacy and Whistle blowing A link to the Voices Making Choices website has been added.
List of Agency Decision Makers, Designated Managers and Nominated Officers This list has been updated.
Removed Chapters
  • Northumberland Family Placement Service - Adoption Agency statement of Purpose;
  • Assessment and Approvals of Prospective Adopters;
  • Adoption Panel;
  • Placement for Adoption;
  • Adoption Support;
  • Monitoring and Supervision of Adoptive Placements;
  • Adoption Reviews;
  • Disruption of Adoptive Placements;
  • Allegations Against Prospective Adopters and in Relation to Children Placed for Adoption or Already Adopted;
  • Inter Country Adoption;
  • Non Agency Adoption;
  • Adoption Case Records;
  • Access to Birth Records and Adoption Case Records;
  • Intermediary Services;
  • Life Story Books Guidance;
  • Later Life Letters;
  • Fostering for Adoption, Concurrent Planning and Temporary Approval as Foster Carers of Approved Prospective Adopters;
  • Applications for Special Guardianship Orders;
  • Court Reports in Placement Order Applications and Adoption/Special Guardianship Guidance.

 

January 2019

Caption: January 2019
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Assessments This chapter has been revised to reflect updated guidance on Assessment in Working Together to Safeguard Children.
Child in Need Plans and Reviews This chapter has been updated with revised timescales.
Care and Supervision Proceedings and the Public Law Outline This chapter has been amended to reflect HHJ Greensmith's comments regarding M and N (Children: Local authority gathering, preserving and disclosing evidence) [2018] EWFC 40 (1 June 2018)). (See Section 9, Good Local Authority Practice During Proceedings).
Complaints and Representations This chapter has been updated with a link to the Northumberland Council online Complaints and Compliments webpage.
Death or Serious Injury to a Child (Looked After and Child In Need) This chapter has been updated to take account that from 29th June 2018 local authorities in England must notify the national Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel within 5 working days of becoming aware of a serious incident.
Recording Policy and Guidelines This guidance has been reviewed and updated following the introduction of the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018, and to reflect HHJ Greensmith's comments regarding M and N (Children: Local authority gathering, preserving and disclosing evidence) [2018] EWFC 40 (1 June 2018).
Access to Records / Subject Access Requests This chapter has been revised following the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation And The Data Protection Act 2018.
Children and Young People Aged 0-25 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

This chapter has been updated in line with the Children and Social Work Act 2017 and revised statutory guidance which require schools, through the designated teacher to provide support to previously Looked After Children.

A previously Looked After Child is one who is no longer looked after in England and Wales because they are the subject of an Adoption, Special Guardianship or Child Arrangements Order which includes arrangements relating to with whom the child is to live, or when the child is to live with any person, or has been adopted from 'state care' outside England and Wales.
Short Breaks This chapter has been revised and updated.
Prevention of Homelessness and Provision of Accommodation for 16 and 17 year olds who may be Homeless and/or require Accommodation; and Duty to Refer This chapter has been revised to include the duty to refer where there are concerns about the young person becoming homeless.
Family and Friends Care A link has been added in Related Guidance to 'Looking after someone else's child' (GOV.UK) - government advice on the support and financial help available if someone else's child is living with you full time.
Young Carers This chapter has been revised with information about funding an assessment added to Section 3, Assessing Need and Providing Support.
Permanence Planning Guidance Section 5, Assessing and Planning for Permanence, has been updated to reflect the additional 'permanence provisions' of the Care Plan (under Section 8 Children and Social Work Act 2017 amends Section 31(3B) Children Act 1989) which a court is required to consider when deciding whether to make a Care Order.
Placements with Parents A link to the Schedule 3 Assessment has been added.
Placements in Foster Care

Section 2, Placement Request has been revised.

Placements in Children's Homes This chapter has been revised to ensure consistency of terminology and provide additional detail.
Placements in Secure Accommodation on Welfare Grounds This chapter has been updated to fully reflect the updated guidance 'Secure children's homes: how to place a child aged under 13 (July 2018)'. (See Section 6, Placements of Children under the age of 13 Years).
Remands to Local Authority Accommodation or to Youth Detention Accommodation This chapter has been updated in relation to placing young people in custody, see Section 2.3, How to Request a Transfer or Placement Review.
Delegation of Authority to Foster Carers and Residential Workers This chapter has been amended to include information on Fraser Guidelines.
Social Worker Visits to Looked After Children This chapter has been revised with revisions to the agreed timescales in Section 1, Normal Frequency.
Education of Looked After and Previously Looked After Children This chapter has been revised. A link has been added to the National Curriculum Assessments at Key Stage 2.
Safe Caring Policy for Looked After Children in Foster Care This chapter has been updated.
Looked After Children and Young People in Contact with Youth Justice Services This chapter has been updated in relation to placing young people in custody, and how to Request a Transfer or Placement Review.
Responsibilities of the Local Authority to Former Looked After Children and Young People in Custody This chapter has been revised with guidance on how to request a transfer of review of placement.
Supervision and Support of Foster Carers This chapter has been updated with minor revisions to the text and corrections regarding the training and development of Foster carers
Review and Termination of Approval of Foster Carers This chapter has slight amendments throughout.
Life Story Books Guidance This chapter has been extensively revised and should be reread.
Later Life Letters This chapter has been extensively revised and should be reread.
Applications for Special Guardianship Orders This chapter has been updated to reflect the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman good practice points to follow when working with Special Guardians. A link to the full report 'Firm Foundations: Complaints about Council Support and Advice for Special Guardians (Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman) (May 2018)' has been added into the Relevant National Guidance section of this chapter.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Leadership Pledge Statement from Northumberland children's services management team setting out the strategic direction for children's services.
Standards of Care This chapter has been updated, it is originally from the Northumberland Fostering and Adoption Services Manual and has been updated.
Matching Children with Permanent Foster Carers This chapter has been updated, it is originally from the Northumberland Fostering and Adoption Services Manual and has been updated.
Promoting Education and Leisure Activities This chapter has been updated, it is originally from the Northumberland Fostering and Adoption Services Manual and has been updated.
Policy on the Storage of Medicine and Administration of Medicine or Treatment This chapter has been updated, it is originally from the Northumberland Fostering and Adoption Services Manual and has been updated.
Bedroom Sharing Policy This chapter has been updated, it is originally from the Northumberland Fostering and Adoption Services Manual and has been updated.
Consumption of Alcohol by Foster Carers and Young People Policy This chapter has been updated, it is originally from the Northumberland Fostering and Adoption Services Manual and has been updated.
Children Missing from Care This chapter has been updated, it is originally from the Northumberland Fostering and Adoption Services Manual and has been updated.
Criminal Records Disclosure Procedure This chapter has been updated, it is originally from the Northumberland Fostering and Adoption Services Manual and has been updated.
Foster Carers Record Keeping and Retention Policy This chapter has been updated, it is originally from the Northumberland Fostering and Adoption Services Manual and has been updated.
Transfer of Foster Carers Protocol A link to the fostering network guidance has been added.
Comments and Complaints, Advocacy and Whistle blowing This chapter has been updated, it is originally from the Northumberland Fostering and Adoption Services Manual and has been updated.
Guidance and Policy on Payment and Use of Disability Living Allowance by Foster Carers This chapter has been updated, it is originally from the Northumberland Fostering and Adoption Services Manual and has been updated.
Northumberland Family Placement Service - Adoption Agency statement of Purpose The statement of purpose of the Family Placement Service setting out its commitment to finding permanent families for children.
Adopt North East Regional Adoption Agency A link to the regional adoption agency.