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Amendments

November 2020

CAPTION: November 2020
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Complaints and Representations Information contained in this procedure has been reviewed and refreshed as required.
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 procedure has been updated throughout and should be re-read.
Placements in Secure Accommodation on Welfare Grounds Section 6, Placements of Children under the age of 13 Years has been updated following publication of revised DfE guidance.
Notifications of Significant Events This procedure has been updated to reflect the latest Ofsted guidance for social care providers on the types of incident which they consider to be serious and which will therefore require notification to the regulatory authority.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Use of Social Media Sites by Social Care and Safeguarding Staff This chapter has been added to the manual.
Storage of Data on Mobile Devices This chapter has been added to the manual.
Capacity and Consent This chapter has been added to the manual.
CAPTION: next update
   
Next Update: April 2021

May 2020

CAPTION: May 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.
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?).
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.
Unaccompanied Migrant Children and Child Victims of Trafficking and Modern Slavery This chapter has been updated to take account of the new NRM digital referral form to report Modern Slavery.
Notifications of Significant Events This procedure has been updated to reflect revised guidance issued by Ofsted to Children's Homes Providers in August 2019. The revised guidance sought to clarify what is meant by a 'serious event' in relation to a child living in a Children's Homes with the aim of reducing the overall number of notifications made to Ofsted, and in particular reducing the number of repeat notifications made as a result of submitting additional / updated information.
Allegations Against Foster Carers This chapter has been reviewed and refreshed, and terminology has been updated where required.

November 2019

CAPTION: November 2019
   
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).

It has also been updated 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.
Private Fostering This chapter has been amended. It confirms in After the Section 14, Private Fostering Arrangement Ends that any request for support by the young person should be made to the local authority in which they are resident or where the education and training is being provided.
Decision to Look After and Care Planning This chapter has been 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 - Contents).
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 of this Chapter).
Social Worker Visits to Children Looked After This chapter has been amended in to include a link to the Leaving Care and Transition Procedure in relation to Personal Adviser visits to 'Relevant' or 'Former Relevant' young people.
Secure Accommodation (Criteria) Reviews This chapter has been reviewed and updated. 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 updated throughout and should be re-read.
Education of Looked After and Previously Looked After Children This chapter has been updated throughout and should be re-read.
Leaving Care and Transition

This chapter has been updated. Amendments have been made in:

  • 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 A link has been added to Attending an IRM Panel: Information Sheets. See Section 9, Representations / Independent Review Procedure.
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 / Review Procedure.
Assessment and Approvals of Prospective Adopters This chapter has been amended in to reflect the national changes in adoption registration and matching (see Section 9, After the Panel Recommendation). A link was added to Attending an IRM Panel: Information Sheets. See Section 10, Representations / Independent Review Procedure.
Placement for Adoption This chapter has been amended to reflect the national changes in adoption registration and matching (see Section 7.13, Inter Agency Placements and Section 11, Children Approved for Adoption for Whom no Placement has been Identified).
Access to Birth Records and Adoption Case Records A link has been added to Attending and IRM Panel: Information Sheets. See Section 3.2, Adoption Orders made on or after 30 December 2005.
Applications for Special Guardianship Orders This chapter has been updated to reference and reflect the Family Court Justice Interim Guidance on Special Guardianship, Courts and Tribunals Judiciary, (see new Section 6.2, Special Guardianship Applications in Care Proceedings).
Court Reports in Placement Order Applications and Adoption/Special Guardianship Guidance This chapter has been updated to note the Family Court Justice Interim Guidance on Special Guardianship, Courts and Tribunals Judiciary (May 2019). See Section 3, Special Guardianship - Matters to be Dealt with in Report for the Court, initial note, points 11 and 12.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Placing and Visiting Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities or Health Conditions in Long-Term Residential Settings This chapter has been added to the procedures manual.
Scheme of Delegated Decision Making This sets out the authority required to undertake a range of key case management decisions. Please familiarise yourself with this document.
Removed Chapters
  • Key Legislation;
  • Chronology;
  • Transfer Principles;
  • EDT;
  • CFIS;
  • Private Law Proceedings;
  • Legal Guidance/Case Law;
  • Templates;
  • Assessment of Need 16 and 17 Year Olds/legal status;
  • Section 20 Guidance/Process;
  • Junior Individual Savings Accounts (JISA) for Children in Care;
  • Sexual Health.

May 2019

CAPTION: May 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 This chapter has been revised to reflect updated guidance on Assessment in Working Together to Safeguard Children.
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). 
Death or Serious Injury to a Child (Looked After and Child In Need) This chapter has been updated to reflect the process for reporting a serious incident to the Panel via the Child Safeguarding Incident Notification System
Recording Policy and Guidelines 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). 
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.
Unaccompanied Migrant Children and Child Victims of Trafficking and Modern Slavery This chapter has been updated, a new Section 6, Suitable Placements was added. Details of the National Transfer Scheme Protocol for Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children Version 2.0 March 2018 were added into Section 1, Introduction and Definitions.
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 updated.
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.
Education of Looked After and Previously Looked After Children

This chapter has been updated to to include new sections on Unaccompanied Migrant Children, and the Role of the Virtual School Head in relation to Previously Looked After Children, (see Section 1, Duty to Promote the Educational Achievement of Looked After and Previously Looked After Children). In this latter respect, the chapter highlights that where support and interventions are sought for Previously Looked After Children, then this must be with the understanding and agreement of the parent or person with Parental Responsibility as, they, like all parents, are responsible for overseeing their child's progress in education. The chapter includes a new Section 15, Mental Health and a new Section 8, Safeguarding the Looked After Child at School. A link was added to the National Curriculum Assessments at Key Stage 2.

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 (Open Beta: Version1.0) (August 2018).
Children Looked After and Young People in Contact with Youth Justice Services This chapter has been updated in relation to placing young people in custody, see Section 7.7, How to Request a Transfer or Placement Review.
Responsibilities of the Local Authority to Former Children Looked After and Young People in Custody This chapter has been updated in relation to placing young people in custody, see Section 3.8, How to Request a Transfer or Placement Review.
Life Story Books Guidance This chapter has been updated.

November 2018

CAPTION: November 2018
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Children's Services Policies, Values and Principles A new Section 2, Corporate Parenting has been added in response to the DfE Applying Corporate Parenting Principles to Looked-after Children and Care Leavers – Statutory Guidance (Feb 2018). It includes the seven corporate parenting principles set out in the guidance.
Care and Supervision Proceedings and the Public Law Outline This chapter has been updated to provide some emphasis on parents who lack capacity and added links to the President of the Family Division, Family Proceedings: Parents with a Learning Disability note, and a relevant link to working with parents who have a learning disability, (see Section, 2 Pre-proceedings) and Practice Direction 3aa - Vulnerable Persons: Participation in Proceedings and Giving Evidence (see case management in Section 4, Documentation).
Death or Serious Injury to a Child (Looked After and Child In Need) This chapter has been amended. From 29 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 In November 2018, this guidance has been reviewed and updated following the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018.
Access to Records / Subject Access Requests This chapter has been extensivley updated and should be re read.
Confidentiality Policy This guidance has been reviewed and updated following the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018.
Electronic Recording of Meetings and Conversations This guidance has been reviewed and updated following the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018.
Family and Friends Care Policy, Procedures and Guidance This chapter has been replaced with the West Sussex Family and Friends Policy, Procedures and Guidance
Relinquished Children Section 5, Consent and Competency has been updated to include additional information on parental capacity to consent, in line with High Court case-law.
Decision to Look After and Care Planning Additional information has been added in to Section 1.3, Section 20 Accommodation, in line with recent case-law.
Social Worker Visits to Children Looked After Section 2, Exceptions has been revised to set out more clearly the circumstances where visiting requirements differ from those set out in Section 1, Normal Frequency.
Looked After Reviews Section 9, The Role of the Looked After Review in Achieving Permanence for the Child has been amended to reflect the outcome of a High Court Judgement in respect of children who were subject to Section 20 and where there were concerns of significant delays in their planning for permanence. The court noted the IROs' recognition and action over a number of reviews but acknowledged that a more robust response had been needed.
Health Care Assessments and Plans A new Section 3.5, Consent to Health Care Assessments was added.
Leaving Care and Transition This chapter has been revised throughout to reflect the provisions of the Children and Social Work Act 2017 which require local authorities to offer Personal Adviser support to all care leavers up to the age of 25; to publish their Local Offer for care leavers; and to have regard to seven 'Corporate Parenting Principles'.
Adoption Panel This guidance has been reviewed and updated following the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018.
Inter Country Adoption Section 8, Home Study has been updated to include a link to GOV.UK Benefits.
Adoption Case Records Section 3, Security Retention and Sharing of Records has been updated in line with Adoption and Care Planning (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2018, which provides that an adoption agency may disclose an adoption case record to another adoption agency for purposes related to either agency's functions as an adoption agency. Further information was added in relation to adoption records where an Adoption Order is not made.
List of Agency Decision Makers, Designated Managers and Nominated Officers This chapter has been updated.

May 2018

CAPTION: May 2018
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Child in Need Plans and Reviews This chapter has been updated by adding a new Section 4, Children in Need Moving to Another Authority - Principles. Information and communication is important between the respective local authorities to ensure appropriate services continue for the child and family and, where relevant, any risk of harm is recognised and identified with the receiving local authority. It should be noted that the responsibility for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of the child lies with the local authority where the child is to be found.
Care and Supervision Proceedings and the Public Law Outline Section 4.2, Case Analysis has been updated to reflect the 'permanence provisions' of the Care Plan added by s. 8 Children and Social Work Act 2017 (amending section 31(3B) Children Act 1989) which a court is required to consider when deciding whether to make a Care Order. In related guidance a link was added to the West Sussex Initial Social Work Statement along with a link to guidance on Court Orders and Pre-proceedings produced by RIP and the DfE.
Unaccompanied Migrant Children and Child Victims of Trafficking and Modern Slavery This chapter has been updated.
Provision of Accommodation to Homeless 16 and 17 year olds This national guidance has been updated to reflect changes in homelessness and children's legislation.
Decision to Look After and Care Planning Section 2.1, The Care Plan – Contents has been amended to reflect the additional 'permanence provisions' of the Care Plan (s. 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.
Permanence Planning Guidance Section 5, Assessing and Planning for Permanence has been updated to reflect the additional 'permanence provisions' of the Care Plan (under s.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 This chapter has been updated to reflect that the DBS has no eligibility for a standard or enhanced check for birth parents or other adults living in the household. However, the Local Authority has a requirement under the Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England Regulations) 2010 to obtain information about unspent convictions and cautions before placing a child back with parents. (See Section 1.2, Assessment and Checks before Placement).
Contact with Parents/Adults and Siblings Section 2, Different Types of Contact has been updated to take account of the use of mobile communication with regards to contact.
Assessment and Approvals of Foster Carers Section 8 After the Panel Recommendation has been updated to clarify the decision as to the suitability of the applicant must be made within 7 working days of receipt of the panel's recommendation and final set of panel minutes – The Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations Volume 4 and Standard 14 (14.9) Fostering panels and the fostering service's decision-maker.
Placement for Adoption Section 1, Planning for Permanence has been updated to reflect the additional consideration (added by section 9 Children and Social Work Act 2017 amends section 1(4)(f) of the Adoption and Children Act 2002) into the list of considerations that whenever a court or adoption agency is coming to a decision relating to the adoption of a child), of the relationship which the child has with relatives, with any person who is a prospective adopter with whom the child is placed and with any other person in relation to whom the court or agency considers the relationship to be relevant.
Fostering for Adoption, Concurrent Planning and Temporary Approval as Foster Carers of Approved Prospective Adopters Section 4.1, Duty to Consider Fostering for Adoption Placement has been updated to reflect the additional consideration (added by section 9 Children and Social Work Act 2017 into the list of considerations whenever a court or adoption agency is coming to a decision relating to the adoption of a child), of the relationship which the child has with relatives, with any person who is a prospective adopter with whom the child is placed and with any other person in relation to whom the court or agency considers the relationship to be relevant.
List of Agency Decision Makers, Designated Managers and Nominated Officers This chapter has been updated.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Mental Capacity This tri.x resource will support practitioners working in statutory social care and provider services to understand the Act.
Deprivation of Liberty This tri.x resource will support practitioners working in statutory social care to consider when child may be subject to a deprivation of liberty and when to seek advice from their legal department.