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OxfordshireChildren's Services Procedures Manual

Delegated Authority and Decision Making Process for Placements of Looked After Children

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

This chapter sets out the arrangements in place for decision making about LAC placements, both for internally provided OCC provision (fostering and residential placements), and externally, through private providers of fostering and residential placements and specialist provision (collectively known as agency placements).

 

Contents

  1. Processes and Decision-Making
  2. Agency Placements Panel
  3. Agency Placements Panel Members
  4. Process and Decision-Making Arrangements for Placements of LAC
  5. Key Contacts

    Appendices

    Appendix 1: Agency Placement Referral Form

    Appendix 2: Joint Placement and Commissioning Panel Referral Form

    Appendix 3: Complex Care Referral Form

1. Processes and Decision-Making

The table below sets out each process, together with the Delegated Decision Maker, actions and supporting documents required for each process.

This should be read in conjunction with Sections 3 and 4 of the Oxfordshire Children, Education and Families Directorate, Children's Social Care Procedures Manual, which sets out the policy and procedures in relation to Permanence Planning Guidance.

2. Agency Placements Panel

A monthly Agency Placements Panel has been set up to consider all requests for agency residential placements and specialist placements (including joint CSC, SEN and Health placements, and parent-infant assessment placements), and requests for long term IFA placements.

3. Agency Placements Panel Members

Social Care Manager, Chair (Julie Shepherd)
Corporate Parenting Manager (Matthew Edwards)
Placements Duty Manager (Jackie Giles)
Business Support Officer, Placements (Alison Walker)
Co-opted members as required

Staff may be invited to attend Panel to present their case.

The timetable for the Panel will be issued separately.

All requests for agency residential placements and specialist placements (including joint CSC, SEN and Health placements, and parent-infant assessment placements), must be authorised by the relevant Area Social Care Manager and then referred to the Agency Placements Panel for consideration and approval, prior to referral to the Joint Placements and Commissioning Panel.

Please refer cases for the Agency Placements Panel to the Placements Duty Team Manager.

Urgent cases will be notified to the Agency Placements Panel Chair (Social Care Manager) for decision-making in advance of the monthly Panel meeting, if required.

4. Process and Decision-Making Arrangements for Placements of LAC

Process Decision maker Action Supporting documentation required
Recommendation that child should become LAC (S20) and internal foster care or internal residential care is required. Area Social Care Manager (ASCM). Referral to Placement Duty Team via Placement Request Episode.
  • Child and Family Assessment incorporating risk assessment;
  • Chronology;
  • Care Plan;
  • Placement Duty Referral form - clear evidence of family, friends and community alternatives explored, including Family and Placement Support Service (FPSS) and Family Group Conference (FGC);
  • Reasons for alternative options being ruled out.

Recommendation that child should become LAC (S20), and suitable friends and family care has been identified.

Area Social Care Manager
THEN
Agency Decision Maker (Independent Chairs Service Manager) must give approval for Temporary Connected Person status.

Complete Connected Person Episode - authority for Regulation 24 placement (immediate placement).

If approved, refer to Fostering Team for full assessment.

Decision to remove child via EPO.

Team Manager -following consultation with Legal Services.

Written Legal Advice to be placed in case notes on Frameworki.

Referral to Legal Panel - see CSC procedures manual section 3.1A.2 (Application for Emergency Protection Orders).

Completion of other actions required, as above, if the child is to remain LAC.

Referral to FGC if not already arranged.
  • Child and Family Assessment and risk assessment;
  • Chronology;
  • Care Plan;
  • Assessment of suitability of Connected Person (where applicable);
  • Child Protection Conference Report;
  • Initial Statement for Court (Pro forma at Section 3.1A.8 of Procedures Manual).
Decision to remove child via ICO.

Area Social Care Manager for operational team and Legal Panel.

(In urgent cases the decision may need to be made by the Area Social Care Manager prior to Legal Panel, and will follow consultation between the Team Manager and Legal Services.

Referral to Legal Panel - see CSC Procedures Manual, section 3.1A.1 (Care proceedings and the role of the Legal Panel).

Completion of other actions as above.

Referral to FGC if not already arranged.
  • As above.
Decision to seek short-term Independent Fostering Agency placement (no suitable in house option available). Placements Duty Team Manager. Placements Duty Team Manager notifies Team Manager and Agency Placements Panel Chair.
  • Placements matching grid;
  • Carer/child matching documentation.
Decision re continuation of short term Independent Fostering Agency placement on a long term basis. Area Social Care Manager for operational team.

Team Manager refers to their Area Social Care Manager for authority to seek long-term IFA placement.

Referral to Agency Placements Panel.
  • Child and Family Assessment;
  • Chronology;
  • SW report to LAC Review;
  • LAC Review minutes;
  • Care Plan (to include plan for education and health provision if out of Oxfordshire);
  • Agency Placement Referral pro forma (Appendix 1: Agency Placement Referral Form);
  • Family Finder report;
  • Matching document.
Request for agency social care residential placement (no in-house placement available). Area Social Care Manager for the operational team.

Team Manager refers to their Area Social Care Manager for authority to seek residential placement.

Referral to Agency Placement Panel.
  • Child and Family Assessment;
  • Chronology;
  • Care Plan (to include plan for education and health provision);
  • Evidence of alternative resources considered and rationale for the request (using Agency Placement Referral pro forma Appendix 1: Agency Placement Referral Form).
Request for specialist parent-child assessment foster placement identified. Area Social Care Manager for operational team.

Team Manager refers to Area Social Care Manager for authority to seek specialist placement.

Referral to Agency Placements Panel.
LAC (or CP or CIN) Review and/or SEN review identifies potential need for joint social care and education placement.

Area Social Care Manager/Disabled Service Manager.

SEN Manager.

LAC (or CP or CIN) Review and SEN review meeting recommendation.

Referral to Agency Placements Panel.

Referral to SEN Complex Cases Panel (if required).
LAC (or CP or CIN) Review and SEN review identifies potential need for joint social care, health and education placement.

Area Social Care Manager/Disabled Service Manager.

SEN Manager.

Referral to Oxford Health Complex Needs/Continuing Care Team).

Referral to Joint Placement and Commissioning Panel (if authorised by Agency Placements Panel.
LAC review and court process identify need for long term placement for permanency (adoption or long term fostering).

Team manager for child.

LAC review meeting recommendation.

Referral to ADM/Adoption and Permanency Panel.
  • Child and Family Assessment;
  • Chronology;
  • Care Plan;
  • SW report to LAC Review;
  • LAC Review Minutes/
Panel paperwork - CPR/Form E and additions.
Decision to match child for permanency (adoption or long term fostering). Team Manager for Family Support and Team Manager for Looked After Children AND Team Manager of Adoption Team or Fostering Team. Referral to Permanency/Linking Panel.

Social worker

  • Child Permanency report;
  • Medical Advisors report;
  • Psychologist Report;
  • Carers Report;
  • Linking Panel Report (APR for adoption).

Family Finder

  • Adopter/Carer Reports - PAR or Form F and additions.
Request for secure accommodation. Deputy Director Children's Social Care. Team Manager seeks authority from Area Social Care Manager to refer to Deputy Director.
  • Child and Family Assessment;
  • Multi-agency Risk Assessment;
  • Care Plan;
  • Chronology.

5. Key Contacts

SEN

Janet Johnson Children with SEN Manager
Hester Collicutt, SEN Manager (x0546)
Judi Williams, SEN Team Leader (Central) (x6220)
Karen Wallace, SEN Team Leader (South) (x0638)
Janet Ayers, SEN Team Leader (North) (x0507)

Oxford Health

Emma Leaver, Joint Head of Children's Community Services, Oxford Health
Jenny Bransby-Meehan, Children's Complex Care Lead, Oxford Health
(Jennifer.bransby-meehan@oxfordhealth.nhs.uk)

Appendices

Click here to view Appendix 1: Agency Placement Referral Form

Click here to view Appendix 2: Joint Placement and Commissioning Panel Referral Form

Click here to view Appendix 3: Complex Care Referral Form