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OxfordshireChildren's Services Procedures Manual

Recent Changes to Manual

November 2017

Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details

Death or Serious Injury to a Child (Looked After, subject to Child Protection Plan and Child In Need)

This chapter has been updated in line with the requirement to notify Ofsted of any serious childcare incident using the Ofsted online Notification of serious childcare incident for local authorities form.

Case Records and Retention

This chapter has been reviewed to note the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse requires all institutions to retain their records relating to the care of children for the duration of the Inquiry (see Section 2, Retention and Confidentiality of Records).

Children and Young People Aged 0-25 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

This chapter has been updated to reflect the outcome of a court judgement on Ordinary Residence that was included in DoH, Care and support statutory guidance (December 2016). (See Section 12, Funding Issues - Ordinary Residence). A link has been added into Related Guidance to guidance on SEND: 19- to 25-year-olds' entitlement to EHC plans (DfE 2017).

Decision to Look After and Care Planning

This chapter has been amended to reflect the outcome of an Appeal Court hearing (2017) with respect to 'consent'. The court recognised that the term 'consent' itself was not used in Section 20. However, it described previous court observations as 'good practice guidance', emphasising its judgment should not alter the content or effect of these. (See Section 1.1.1, Obtaining Parental Consent).

Placements with Parents

Section 1.2, Assessment and Checks before Placement has been updated to include consideration should be given as to whether the home environment is safe for the child including where relevant, the need for a risk assessment of any pets and the environment in which they are kept.

Placements with Connected Persons

Section 1, Assessment and Checks before Placement has been updated to include matters that should be considered when placing a child with a Connected Person should include an initial risk assessment of any pets, together with the environment in which the pet is kept.

Advocacy and Independent Visitors

This chapter has been updated to add a link to the Children's Society 'Advocacy services for children and young people – a guide for commissioners'. This guide outlines the legislative requirements of local authorities in the provision of advocacy support to children in need and looked after children.

Looked After Reviews

This chapter has been amended to note The Law Society guidance 'Attendance of solicitors at local authority Children Act Meetings' and their Code of Conduct where the child or family who attend reviews are supported by a legal representative. (See Section 8, Independent Reviewing Officer's Responsibilities).

Appointment and Role of Independent Reviewing Officers

This chapter has been updated in relation to the role of the Independent Reviewing Officer in line with the Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations - Volume 2: Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (2015). In particular, the IRO being sensitive to the close and active involvement of parents of a child looked after in a series of Short Breaks and problem-solving where there might be difficulties or issues.

Staying Put

Carer's Financial Arrangements have been amended to reflect local practice - carers are entitled to a Staying Put Carer's Allowance and carers will receive £239.72 per week in total made up of a payment for rent.

Staying Put Post 18 Years Financial Policy

This procedure has been slightly updated to reflect local practice.

Supervision and Support of Foster Carers

This procedure has been updated to reflect local practice.

Fostering for Adoption, Concurrent Planning and Temporary Approval of Approved Prospective Adopters as Foster Carers

This procedure has been significantly amended to reflect local practice and guidance.

Adopt Thames Valley - Adoption Recruitment Policy

This procedure has been updated to reflect local practice.

Assessment and Approvals of Prospective Adopters

Section 5.3, Assessments has been updated to include where the applicants have pets, a risk assessment should be conducted and any associated risks should be taken into account with regard to the pet itself and where the pet is kept. Where necessary, an independent assessment should be undertaken by a vet to establish whether the dog falls within the scope of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.

Adoption Panel

This procedure has been updated and now includes information regarding Adopt Thames Valley (ATV).

Placement for Adoption

This procedure has been significantly updated to reflect local practice.

Disruption of Adoptive Placements

Section 6, Reports of Pre-Order Disruptions to the Adoption and Permanence Panel has been updated and should be read in full.

Inter Country Adoption

This chapter has been amended to reflect local practice.

Non Agency Adoption

This procedure has been slightly updated.

Adoption Case Records

This procedure has been updated to reflect local practice insofar that Oxfordshire is the host agency for Adopt Thames Valley.

Oxfordshire County Council Letterbox Service

This document has been added to the manual.

New Chapters
Chapter Name Details

Assessments Overseas

This procedure has been added to the manual.

Young Carers

This revised procedure has been added to the manual.

Social Visits (Including Overnight Stays)

This procedure has been significantly amended and should be re-read in its entirety.

Change of Name of a Looked After Child

This procedure has been added to the manual.

Applications for Special Guardianship Orders

This procedure has been significantly amended and should be re-read in its entirety.

Next update: May 2018

Archive

2017 Amendments