Amendments

July 2021

CAPTION: July 2021 Amendments
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Children's Services Policies, Values and Principles This chapter has been updated throughout.
Children's Consultation and Participation This chapter has been updated throughout.
Threshold Document - Continuum of Help and Support This chapter has been updated throughout.
Child in Need Plans and Reviews This chapter has been updated throughout.
Care and Supervision Proceedings and the Public Law Outline This chapter has been updated throughout.
Complaints and Representations This chapter has been updated throughout.
Confidentiality Policy This chapter has been updated throughout.
Direct Payments This chapter has been updated throughout.
Short Breaks This chapter has been updated throughout.
Placing and Visiting Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities or Health Conditions in Long-Term Residential Settings This chapter has been updated throughout.
Young Carers This chapter has been updated throughout.
Placements with Connected Persons This chapter has been updated throughout.
Advocacy and Independent Visitors This chapter has been updated throughout.
Education of Looked After and Previously Looked After Children This chapter has been updated throughout.
Personal Care and Relationships This chapter has been updated throughout.
Behaviour Management and Safe Caring This chapter has been updated throughout.
Leaving Care and Transition This chapter has been updated throughout.
Inter Country Adoption This chapter has been updated throughout.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Aftercare under Section 117 of the Mental Health Act 1983 This chapter has been added to the manual.
Next update: December 2021

December 2020

CAPTION: December 2020 Amendments
   
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 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 considerably updated.
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.
Assessment and Approvals of Foster Carers A revised link has been added to Prepare for a review panel: adopters and foster carers.
Altering the Approval of a Foster Carer and Exemptions This chapter has been reviewed locally. Section 4, Do Changes to a Foster Carer's Approval have to go back to Panel? has been updated throughout.
Smoking, e-cigarettes and Health Policy for Foster Carers, including Connected Persons This chapter has been reviewed locally. Section 1, Introduction and Background has been updated to include reference to current policy around carers who use electronic / e-cigarettes.
Review and Termination of Approval of Foster Carers A link to Prepare for a review panel: adopters and foster carers has been added into Section 6, Representations/Independent Review Procedure.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Capacity and Consent This chapter has been added to the manual.
Storage of Data on Mobile Devices This chapter has been added to the manual.
Use of Social Media Sites by Social Care and Safeguarding Staff This chapter has been added to the manual.

June 2020

CAPTION: June 2020 Amendments
   
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.

December 2019

CAPTION: December 2019 Amendments
   
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 Justice Council Interim Guidance on Special Guardianship, Courts and Tribunals Judiciary (May 2019). (See Section 1, Introduction).
Death or Serious Injury to a Child (Looked After, subject to Child Protection Plan and Child In Need) This chapter has been updated significantly and therefore should be re read in its entirety.
Private Fostering This chapter has been substantially updated and should be re-read.
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 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 significantly updated therefore should be re-read in its entirety.
Education of Looked After and Previously Looked After Children This chapter has been significantly updated therefore should be re-read in its entirety.
Assessment and Approvals of Foster Carers This procedure has been updated throughout to reflect local practice.
Supervision and Support of Foster Carers This chapter has been significantly updated therefore should be re-read in its entirety.
Assessment and Approvals of Prospective Adopters This procedure has been updated throughout to reflect local practice.
Practice Guidance for Foster Carers Expressing an Interest in Adopting a Specific Child This procedure has been updated locally.
Briefing on Adoption Panel/Agency Decision Maker (ADM) Processes This procedure has been updated locally.
Placement for Adoption This chapter has been reviewed.
Monitoring and Supervision of Adoptive Placements This chapter has been updated and should be re-read.
Adoption Reviews This chapter has been updated and should be re-read.
Disruption of Adoptive Placements This procedure has been updated locally.
Non Agency Adoption This chapter has been updated and should be re-read.
Adoption Case Records This chapter has been updated and should be re-read.
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.
Court Reports in Adoption/Special Guardianship Guidance This chapter has been updated to note the Family Justice Council 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 and final paragraphs 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 procedure has been added to the manual.

June 2019

CAPTION: June 2019
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Assessments This chapter was 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 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.

It has also 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). 
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 has been added. Details of the National Transfer Scheme Protocol for Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children Version 2.0 March 2018 have been added into Section 1, Introduction and Definitions.
Prevention of Homelessness and provision of accommodation for 16 and 17 year olds This chapter has been re written. It should be re read in its entirety.
Decision to Look After Child This chapter has been amended in 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).
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.

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 (see Section 2.5, Children Who Move into Permanency). 
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.

Children subject to a Adoption, Special Guardianship or Child Arrangements Order are entitled to support from their school, through the designated teacher.
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 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.
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 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. The chapter includes a new Section 15, Mental Health and a new Section 8, Safeguarding the Looked After Child at School. A link has been 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).
Leaving Care and Transition This chapter has been reviewed.
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, see Section 7.7, 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 updated in relation to placing young people in custody, see Section 3.8, How to Request a Transfer or Placement Review.
Adoption Support 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 for Looked After Children, to offer support to previously looked after children.

A previously looked-after child is one who is no longer looked after in England and Wales because 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).
Applications for Special Guardianship Orders 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.

It has also 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.

January 2019

CAPTION: January 2019
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Children's Services Policies, Values and Principles This guidance has been reviewed and updated following the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018.
Assessments Section 4, Communication has been updated to include reference to parents with learning disabilities.
Allocation of Work and Transfer between Teams This chapter has been reviewed and updated. It should be re-read throughout.
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. It has also 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 2.1, Principles) and Practice Direction 3AA - Vulnerable Persons: Participation in Proceedings and Giving Evidence (see Case management in Section 4, Documentation). In Related Guidance, a link has been added to Research in Practice supporting information and guidance on the Social Work Evidence template (SWET)
Death or Serious Injury to a Child (Looked After, subject to Child Protection Plan 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 This guidance has been reviewed and updated following the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018.
Guidance on Supervision This chapter has been reviewed and updated. It should be re-read throughout.
Case Records and Retention Section 1, The Case Record has been updated in line with Adoption and Care Planning (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2018, which permits the transfer of a copy of the child's case record (or part of that record) to another adoption agency when the local authority considers this to be in the interests of the child.
Access to Records / Subject Access Requests This chapter has been reviewed and updated. It should be re-read throughout.
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.
Unaccompanied Migrant Children and Child Victims of Trafficking and Modern Slavery This chapter has been reviewed and updated. It should be re-read throughout.
Family and Friends Care Policy This chapter has been reviewed and updated. It should be re-read throughout.
Decision to Look After Child 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. Additional information was also added in Section 1.4, Section 20 Accommodation, in line with recent case-law.
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 2.1, Assessment and Checks before Placement).
Social Worker Visits to Looked After Children 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.
Looked After Children Statutory Health Assessments and Health Action Plans A new Section 3.5, Consent to LAC Health Assessments has been added.
Leaving Care and Transition This procedure has been updated throughout to reflect local practice.
Pathway Plans and Reviews This procedure has been updated throughout to reflect local practice.
Staying Put This procedure has been updated throughout to reflect local practice.
Care Leavers Financial Policy This procedure has been updated throughout to reflect local practice.
Care Leavers Higher Education Financial Policy This procedure has been updated throughout to reflect local practice.
Care Leavers Staying Put post 18-21 yrs Financial Policy This procedure has been updated throughout to reflect local practice.
Leaving Care Setting Up Home Allowance This procedure has been updated throughout to reflect local practice.
Fostering Statement of Purpose This document has been updated.
Assessment and Approvals of Foster Carers This procedure has been updated throughout to reflect local practice.
Fostering for Adoption, Concurrent Planning and Temporary Approval of Approved Prospective Adopters as Foster Carers 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.
Adoption Statement of Purpose This document has been updated.
Assessment and Approvals of Prospective Adopters This procedure has been updated throughout to reflect local practice.
Adoption Panel This procedure has been updated and now includes information regarding Adopt Thames Valley (ATV).
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.
Non Agency Adoption This procedure has been updated.
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.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Deprivations of Liberty A link to this Resource Guide has been added to the manual.
Practice Guidance for Foster Carers Expressing an Interest in Adopting a Specific Child This guidance has been added to the manual.
Briefing on Adoption Panel/Agency Decision Maker (ADM) Processes This briefing has been added to the manual.

May 2018

CAPTION: May 2018
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children Section 3, Assessment has been updated with regards to in advance of undertaking an age assessment for an unaccompanied asylum seeking child, local authorities must seek Home Office assistance with verifying the authenticity of identity documents e.g. travel documents or a birth certificate. A link to the relevant contact details for local authorities has been added. The statutory guidance has been updated to link to the DfE 2017 Care of unaccompanied migrant children and child victims of modern slavery – statutory guidance for local authorities. The Modern Slavery Act 2015 is referenced in relation to age assessments.
Decision to Look After Child This chapter has been significantly updated to reflect local practice. This procedure should be re-read in its entirety.
Looked After Reviews This chapter has been amended to fully reflect the Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations - Volume 2: Care Planning, Placement and Case Review with respect to the circumstances as to when a Looked After Review should be brought forward. The list is not exhaustive (see Section 2, Frequency of Looked After Reviews).
Assessment and Approvals of Foster Carers This procedure has been amended 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 minutes, in line with the Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations Volume 4 (5.39) and Standard 14 (14.9) Fostering panels and the fostering service's decision-maker.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Guidance for Convening a Strategy Discussion on Open Cases where there has been a Safeguarding Incident A revised Guidance has been added to the manual.
Assessment of an (Unborn) Child of a Young Person who is Looked After, Leaving Care or in whom there is Substantial Social Care/YOS Involvement This Document has been added to the procedures manual.
Guidance on Supervision A new local guidance on Supervision has been added.
Mental Capacity This resource has been added to the procedures.
Procedure for an UASC Who is Missing This procedure has been added.
Life Story Work A new Life Story protocol has been added to the manual.
Resolution and Escalation Process A new process on resolution and escalation has been added to the procedures.

November 2017

CAPTION: 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 DHSC, 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 and Features
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.

July 2017

CAPTION: July 2017
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Oxfordshire Threshold of Needs Matrix This chapter has been updated.
Assessments This chapter has been updated to to reflect the outcome of a judgement following an application to remove a child at birth. The judge highlighted 'good practice steps' to undertaking assessments and issuing care proceedings in respect to the removal of a child at birth. See Section 11.1, Pre-birth 'Good Practice Steps'.
Care and Supervision Proceedings and the Public Law Outline This chapter has been updated to reflect the outcome of a judgment following an application to remove a child at birth. The judge highlighted what were thought to be 'good practice steps' to issuing care proceedings in respect of the removal of a child at birth (see Section 3.1, Pre-birth Planning and Proceedings).
Legal Planning Meetings / Legal Panel This chapter has been updated to to reflect the outcome of a judgement following an application to remove a child at birth. The judge highlighted 'good practice steps' to undertaking assessments and issuing care proceedings in respect to the removal of a child at birth. See Section 2, Considerations.
Recording Policy and Guidelines This chapter has been updated to reflect current practice.
Access to Records This chapter has been amended to reflect current practice regarding Applications by care leavers insofar that local authorities should respond to requests from a direct descendant of a care leaver if information about family history is being sought.
Children and Young People Aged 0-25 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Links to the National framework for Children and Young People's Care and the SEND code of practice have been added to this chapter.
Decision to Look After and Care Planning This chapter has been updated to reflect the ADCS/Cafcass Guidance for the use of Section 20. See Section 1.1, Section 20 Accommodation.
Ceasing to Look After a Child This chapter has been updated following Judge Munby's comments on the good practice guidance issued with regard to using and drafting agreements under Section 20 of the Children Act 1989 - see Section 2.3, Circumstances Around Ceasing to Look After a Child.
Permanence Planning Guidance A link to the local Permanence Planning and Long Term Fostering Guidance has been added to this chapter.
Placements with Connected Persons This chapter has been slightly amended to reflect local practice.
Education of Looked After Children A link to the Mental Behaviour in schools as well as a link to the PEP have been added to this chapter.
Responsibilities of the Local Authority to Former Looked After Children and Young People in Custody This chapter has been updated to reflect changes to the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE) which defines "arrested juvenile" for the purpose of Part 4 of that Act (detention). The effect of the change is that 17 year olds are included in the definition of "arrested juvenile". The amendments made by Section 42 of the Act came into force on 26th October 2015. This chapter should be re-read in full.
Assessment and Approvals of Foster Carers This chapter has been updated to reflect local practice. A new Section 2, Approval of Foster Carers who Child-Mind, has been added to this chapter which should be read in its entirety.
Supervision and Support of Foster Carers A new Section 2, Protocol for Supporting Foster Carers within Their First Year of Approval, has been added to this chapter.
Fostering for Adoption, Concurrent Planning and Temporary Approval of Approved Prospective Adopters as Foster Carers This chapter has been updated and revised with regards to the steps which must be taken where there is a change to the circumstances of prospective carers, including relatives.
Complaints, Allegations or Serious Concerns about Standards of Care in Relation to Foster Carers or Members of their Household This chapter has been updated to reflect local practice.
Adoption Panel This chapter has been significantly updated to reflect local practice and should be read in its entirety.
Oxfordshire County Council Letterbox Service This document has been added to the manual and replaces the Life Story Work chapter.
Applications for Special Guardianship Orders Section 5, Planning Meeting, has been revised and updated to reflect the enhanced assessment and reporting requirements (for all applications made from 29 February 2016) as set out in the Special Guardianship (Amendment) Regulations 2016.
Court Reports in Adoption/Special Guardianship Guidance Section 3, Special Guardianship – Matters to be Dealt with in Report to Court, has been revised and updated to reflect the enhanced assessment and reporting requirements (for all applications made from 29 February 2016 as set out in the Special Guardianship (Amendment) Regulations 2016.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Trafficking Protocol This protocol has been added to the manual.
Electronic Recording of Meetings and Conversations This chapter has been added to the manual.
Remands to Local Authority Accommodation or to Youth Detention Accommodation This chapter has been added to the manual.
Looked After Children and Young People in Contact with Youth Justice Services This chapter has been added to the manual.