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5.1.5 Placement Planning and End of Placement Review Meetings

AMENDMENT

This chapter was refreshed in December 2022.


Contents 

  1. Placement Planning Meetings/Placement Agreement Meetings
  2. End of Placement Review Meetings


1. Placement Planning Meetings/Placement Agreement Meetings

Note: In relation to foster placements, these meetings are known as Placement Agreement Meetings.  In addition to the general information in this section, see the specific information in the Placements in Foster Care Procedure, Placement Planning and Placement Agreement Meetings.

Placement Planning meetings should be convened as part of the process of identifying and placing a child - as set out in the Placements in Foster Care Procedure and the Placements in Residential Care Procedure. The first Placement Planning Meeting in relation to a placement should be held before the placement. Where this is not possible because of the urgency of the situation, it should be held in order that the Placement Plan is prepared within 5 working days of the start of the placement.

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

The social worker and home manager/foster carers supervising social worker will agree the best format and venue for the meeting and who will chair the meeting.

In the case of a fostering placement, the  Placement Agreement Meeting Agenda (Fostering Placements) (see Placements in Foster Care Procedure, Appendix 3: Placement Agreement Meeting Agenda) should be followed.

The people listed below should contribute to the meetings :

  1. The child’s social worker and/or other professional associated with the child e.g. Personal Adviser or advocate;
  2. The child;
  3. The child’s parents;
  4. For children in residential care, the child’s link worker/keyworker and, where appropriate the home manager;
  5. For children in foster care, the foster carers and their supervising social worker.
Before any meeting, the chairperson should obtain or be updated on the following, if available:
  • The child's Placement Plan (recorded on the Placement Information Record on ICS);
  • Any work which has been undertaken in supporting the child’s placement;
  • If relevant: the child’s Care Plan, Personal Education Plan and Pathway Plan.

Where the proposed placement has the effect of disrupting the arrangements made for the child's education and training - see Education of Children with a Social Worker, Looked After and Previously Looked After Children Procedure.

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.

If children are not settling into their placement, or 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.


2. End of Placement Review Meetings

Consideration should always be given to convening an End of Placement Review Meeting in relation to children whose placement has ended abruptly or on an unplanned basis.

When endings are unplanned, the welfare and well-being of children remain paramount. The needs and feelings of other children living in a foster/residential home will also be taken into account.

For children whose adoptive placement disrupts, an End of Placement Review Meeting must take place - see Disruption of Adoptive Placement Procedure.

Careful consideration should be give as to when the meeting is convened. The need to hold a meeting promptly must be balanced with the need to allow the carers enough time to recover from the ending of the placement.

The meetings should be convened by the Supervising Social Worker (in the case of a fostering placement, the carer’s link Supervising Social Worker), and should be chaired by a manager without direct responsibility for the case concerned.

The meetings are designed to:

  • Offer staff and carers an opportunity to agree on areas of learning from the placement;
  • Agree on actions required, e.g. training, review of procedures, support;
  • Provide appropriate closure for unplanned endings of placements;
  •   Meetings should be conducted in a supportive manner, and not to attribute blame.

Attendance

Those invited, or asked to contribute, should be:

  1. The child (where appropriate);
  2. The parents;
  3. The child's social worker and manager;
  4. The link worker/keyworker (for residential care) and home manager;
  5. The foster carer(s) and supervising social worker;
  6. The child's Independent Reviewing Officer;
  7. The child's current carers;
  8. 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.

Where appropriate, foster carers must be supported to maintain links with children who leave their care.

Agenda

The precise agenda will depend on the child/circumstances, but will usually include:

  • Brief history of the child’s care prior to the request for placement;
  • Identified needs of the child for accommodation or care;
  • Foster carer approval and skills to meet the child’s needs including relevant training that has been undertaken (in the case of a fostering placement);
  • The matching and introductions process;
  • The placement;
  • The stages of the placement and support given, role of carer’s support network, social worker and supervising social worker support, CAMHS support;
  • The circumstances leading to breakdown, including impact on other children in placement (including, in the case of a fostering placement, any birth children of the carers and  extended family members), contact issues, relationship with birth parents and delegated authority;
  • The views and progress of the child/young person after the placement ended;
  • Recommendations.

The chairperson 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 placement;
  • 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.

Minutes should be taken, recorded on the child’s file (and, in the case of a fostering placement, on the foster carer’s file). Copies should also be sent to the foster carer (in the case of a fostering placement), social work team manager, Family Placement Team manager and the Head of Service (Children in Care).

In relation to the disruption of an external residential placement, consideration needs to be given to further use of the resource by the authority.

In relation to the disruption of a permanent foster placement, where the foster carers are in-house approved carers, consideration should be given to holding an early Foster Carer Review to consider the foster carer's approval - see Review of Foster Carers Procedure.

The Child’s Independent Reviewing Officer must be informed by the child’s social worker of a child’s unplanned change of placement.

End