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Amendments

July 2017

Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Emergency Duty Team Practice Guidance This chapter was amended throughout to update the communication process required when the EDT are asked to continue with progressing work initiated during Office Hours and to acknowledge the EDT’s responsibilities and expectations with respect to case recording. Social Work Teams are also required to ensure that Case Summaries are up to date and include contingency plans and that EDT Case Alerts are completed to ensure EDT can respond in the most effective and appropriate manner.
Single Assessment Framework This chapter was updated to emphasise that children should be observed at their home, (see The Framework for Social Work Assessment) and that where plans are ‘stepping down’ a Single Assessment should be undertaken to evidence this, (see Assessment – Timely, Transparent and Proportionate to Need). Note also that Single Assessments should be completed in 30 days, unless there are exceptional circumstances.
Family Group Conference Policy This chapter was amended throughout to further detail the processes of family involvement and reflect the updated role of the Family Group Conference Co-ordinator role.
Transfer Policy This chapter was updated to reflect current procedures and confirm that The Transfer Pro Forma is now held on ICS.
Practice Standards This chapter was updated throughout, notably to ensure broader communication with partner agencies, (see Section 47 Enquires and Initial CP Conference), with respect to strategy discussions and to confirm that the family should have the Initial Child Protection Conference report shared with them at least 24 hours before the conference itself, (see Initial Child Protection Conference).
Strategy Discussion/ Meeting Protocol This chapter was updated to reflect current processes and procedures, notably with regard to strategy discussions, (see Introductions) and to update contact details, (see Appendix B).
Child Protection Review Process This chapter was reviewed and amended to reflect current requirements and expectations, notably to ensure the chair of the conference should have access to the report at least 3 working days before the conference.
Cancellation of Conferences and CLA Reviews This chapter was reviewed and amended and acknowledges that there should be agreement with the Quality Assurance manager when cancellation is being considered.
Policy for Children’s Participation in the Child Protection Conference Process This chapter was updated to identify that Quality Assurance generate a referral for NYAS for any child over 11 yrs subject to a Conference which the social worker is required to complete. Please re-reference.
Child Protection Conference Chairs Challenge Process This chapter was updated to advise that IROs are required to report to the Quality Assurance Officer to ensure the ICS Challenge template is also entered onto the Challenge Log. Please re-reference.
Young Persons Housing and Homeless Prevention Protocol for 16 and 17 yr olds This chapter seeks to promote the consistent and joint working response between the Children’s Social Care, Youth Offending and Strategic Housing Services to young people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. The chapter provides ‘Accommodation’ and ‘Decision-making’ pathways together with a number of Appendices which provide additional contact, resource and legal information as well as a Process Flow Chart and Escalation Process. Please re-reference.
Services to Parents with Disabilities (Substance Misuse, Physical, Learning Disabilities or Domestic Abuse) and their Children This chapter has been updated to reflect the impact of the Care Act (2014). Please re-reference.
Contract Monitoring Process This chapter was updated to reflect current roles and responsibilities in Knowsley. Please re-reference.
Permanency Policy and Care Planning Procedure This chapter was reviewed and amended, particularly to acknowledge that the Decision Maker should agree any financial commitments.
Delegated Authority This chapter was reviewed and updated, particularly with respect to the idea that all foster carers should have the Delegated Tool completed on them, especially for children who have a designated long term fostering plan, (see The Placement Plan).
Placement with Connected Persons This chapter was reviewed and refreshed to identify that interim placements and the financial support of Connected carers should be agreed by the Assistant Director.
Placements in Children's Homes This chapter was reviewed and refreshed to reflect current processes and organisational decision-making and to confirm that the Access to Resources Team should consult other neighbouring authorities for availability of placements and provide the outcomes with the searches outlined, together with a Statement of the placement’s purpose.
Placements in Foster Care This chapter was reviewed and refreshed throughout. Any foster carer match will need the foster carer to be approved as a long term foster carer and this would need to be a panel recommendation and ADM decision before the matching meeting occurs.
Placement Plans This chapter was reviewed and refreshed throughout. Any foster carer match will need the foster carer to be approved as a long term foster carer and this would need to be a panel recommendation and ADM decision before the matching meeting occurs.
Child Looked After Reviews This chapter was reviewed and amended in line with current processes. In particular, that reviews must not be cancelled without the explicit permission of the Quality Assurance Unit Manager.
CLA Review Process

This chapter was reviewed to update time frames, viz. Consultation on venue, invitations and dates to take place with child/ren and IRO within 5 days and the second review should be held within 3 months. A Care planning meeting to be held at least 10 working days before the review and should include parents, health professionals, education as well as the child and safeguarding staff and other relevant professionals.

Please re-reference.
The Personal Education Plan (PEP) This chapter was reviewed and amended to reflect the current terminology.
Reviewing and Updating the Personal Education Plan (PEP) This chapter was reviewed and amended to reflect the current terminology.
When a Child is Absent from School This chapter was updated to add a link to ‘Knowsley Virtual School for Children Looked After: School Attendance and Exclusions Strategy’, (see Relevant Guidance). Please reference.
Concerns about Behaviour and School Exclusions This chapter was updated to add a link to the Knowsley Virtual School for Children Looked After: School Attendance and Exclusions Strategy, (see Relevant Guidance).
First Aid and Medication This chapter was reviewed and amended to confirm that all placements should keep comprehensive records of any drugs, medication or ‘remedies’ administered to a child.
Drugs and Substance Misuse This chapter was reviewed and minor adjustments were made. Please re-reference.
Contact with Family and Friends This chapter was reviewed and amended throughout and confirms that overnight stays for children should be exceptional and part of the child’s care plan and be recommended following a risk assessment, (see Section 1, Approving and Planning Contact). Any contact outside of the care plan should be agreed with the Team Manager and IRO. All contacts should be recorded on ICS. (See Section 2, Supervised Contact)
Overnight Stays Away from the Placement or Other Staying Contact or Care Arrangements This chapter was reviewed and amended throughout to reflect updated processes and procedures and highlights that the delegated Authority form on ICS should be completed for all children and that checks should be undertaken for family, friends and relatives and agreed by the Head of Service. Please re-reference.
Assessment and Approval of Foster Carers This chapter was reviewed and amended to further adjust previous changes, namely to acknowledge the role of the Recruitment and Marketing Coordinator (see Section 1, Responding to Enquiries) and to identify that some countries are able to issue certificates of good conduct, (see, Section 4.4, Where the Applicant and Other Adults have Lived Overseas/Foreign National applicants).
Fostering Panel This chapter was reviewed and refreshed to acknowledge that the Panel may also consider the requirements in relation to the recommendations required from the agenda items and a record of attendees is made in the Panel Minutes.
Supervision of Foster Carers This chapter was reviewed and updated to reflect that a schedule of visits by the supervising social worker to the foster carer can be done via ICS and needs to be agreed by the Team Manager. It should be kept up-to-date. Visits should include observing the children in the placement and therefore may need to be undertaken at evenings or weekends. Those Foster Carers who are Connected Persons and who have been approved on an interim basis, (Reg 24 of the Care planning, placement and review regulations 2010), should receive supervisory social work visits as all other foster carers. Unannounced visits, (see Section 4, Unannounced Visits), will take place at a minimum of twice yearly and the foster carer should not be advised about the timing of such visits.
Knowsley Foster Carer Review Policy This chapter was reviewed and refreshed to confirm that foster carer reviews will be chaired by the Fostering Team Manager. Please re-reference.
Smoking Policy This chapter was amended to confirm that E-cigarettes are included in the smoking Policy together with any other form of vapour. (See Policy).
References and Checks This chapter was amended to identify that every three years Enhanced DBS checks need to be undertaken on all people in the household who are 18 and over, including young adults who are ‘Staying Put’, (see Requirements for Checks).
Foster Carers and Baby Sitting This chapter was reviewed and amended to acknowledge that those baby-sitting for children in foster care should do not always require the normally have been subject to the usual vetting checks. However, the Local Authority at any time may deem it appropriate to carry out police checks and or DBS checks for regular baby sitters and or support networks.
Foster Carers Record Keeping and Retention Policy This chapter was reviewed and amended to acknowledge that when a child’s placement has ended, the foster carer or supervising social worker needs to ensure the information about the child or young person is removed and disposed of in an appropriate manner, (see Types of Information Held by Foster Carers). Foster carers should not keep any written record or photo of any child on their compute or social media. (See Computer use).
Foster Carers who wish to Adopt a Child who they are Currently Fostering This chapter was reviewed and refreshed to acknowledge that when adoption becomes the plan for a child, foster carers who have formed a close attachment to the fostered child may ask to be considered as adoptive parents; this should be considered with the child’s timescales in mind.
Fostering for Adoption and Concurrent Planning Placements in Knowsley This chapter was amended to acknowledge it may be subject to review with the introduction of the Regional Adoption Agency, AIM.
For Safe and Proper Use of Internet and Computers for Children Looked After This chapter was reviewed and small adjustments were made.
Safer Caring Guidelines for Foster Carers This chapter was reviewed and adjusted when the chapter was re-titled and reference throughout made to ‘Safer Caring’.
Transfer of Foster Carers Protocol This chapter was reviewed to advise that a carer should not give 28 days notice when children are in place, unless they do not wish for the placement to continue. Also, that transferring to another agency will be subject to their approval (as carers).
Allegations Against Foster Carers and/or Prospective Adopters

This chapter was reviewed and amended to reference both foster carers and prospective adopters and to emphasise that managers dealing with such issues should seek advise and guidance from the LADO at the initial stages, (see Initial Action).

(Please note: this chapter is referenced at point 5.7.6 of the Manual with respect to the section on Foster Carers. It previously linked to the Knowsley SCB chapter which provided strategic guidance.)
Leaving Care Finance Policy This chapter was reviewed and amended throughout to identify the key payments that can be made to care leavers from theirn18th birthday and provides further considerable information and detail. Please re-reference.
Pathway Planning and Reviews The chapter was reviewed and notes that Pathway Plans for after care leavers who are 18+ will be undertaken annually. (See Over 18 Reviewing of Pathway Plans).
Behaviour Management Plans This chapter was reviewed and revised to note that Behaviour Management Plans should be linked to Care Plans, rewards, consequences and risk assessments and inform the actions of all staff and children.
Behaviour Management Policy for Foster Carers This chapter was fully refreshed and updated and identifies that Behaviour Management Plans should be agreed within the placement plan and children looked after reviews. All social work staff involved should understand the rewards, sanctions and behaviour management within the foster carer’s home.
Consequences

This chapter was reviewed and updated and re-titled as a result. All young people should understand the rules of the home and consequences to behaviours. Consequences should be given in order to improve the outcomes for our children.

Consequences should be in accordance with the Behaviour Management Plan for a child. If a restraint or consequences are imposed, this should be on the basis of danger/risk for a child and the manager should be informed immediately with a chronology of events completed before the staff member’s shift is completed. (See Section 2, Permissible Consequences).

Please re-reference.
Physical Intervention: Practice Guidance for Social Workers This chapter was updated to note that any restraint should be made within the parameters of the child’s Behaviour Management Plan and when a child places themselves or others In direct danger. The subsequent report together with any report from others on shift should then be shared immediately with the Registered Manager and Responsible Individual.
Service User Feedback

This chapter was fully updated and re-titled.

Please re-reference.
Quality Assurance and Learning Framework This chapter was amended to emphasise that auditors should consider the impact and outcome of the planned interventions (see Section 4, Assessing and Reviewing Practice). Note also that Appendix 3: Diagram of Audit Pathway has been amended
Personal Care and Relationships This chapter was.updated by adding the DfE definition for Child Sexual exploitation and a link to the DfE Child sexual exploitation: definition and guide for practitioners (2017). (See Sexual Exploitation)
Use of Photography or Videos with Children Looked After This chapter was updated to emphasise the need to ensure photographs and video-images are not made on personal devices and should not be sent electronically, unless they can be sent securely and there is parental consent to do so.
Special Guardianship Orders This chapter was amended as a result of an internal review of Special Guardianship Orders and comprehensively details the policy and processes regarding applications for Special Guardianship Orders, including the financial support that may be available. The chapter provides a link to the latest statutory guidance, (Relevant Guidance).
Local Contacts This chapter was updated.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Knowsley Corporate Parenting Board - Terms of Reference This chapter describes and reflects the Knowsley Corporate Parenting Board’s responsibilities and membership – and contains some clear messages from some children and young people!
Pre-Birth Assessment This chapter provides detailed information and a mult-agency approach to prebirth assessments, including relavant agencies roles and respsonsibilites and the management of the assessment process itself. It highlights a range of key indicators and risks with respect to identifying concerns and useful tools in the Appendices. Please reference.
Case Records and Retention This chapter details the key documents that a child’s record should have – whether electronic or otherwise. The record should be kept up-date and where a child is Looked After, personal achievements, photographs, etc. as appropriate. It is important also to reflect the wishes, feeling and views of the child - irrespective of their legal status.
Joint Housing Protocol for Care Leavers This chapter seeks to promote the necessary joint working between the Children’s Social Care and Strategic Housing departments to ensure that the diverse needs of care leavers are met, prevent homelessness and ensure the effective management of housing crises for young people where they occur.
Appointment and Role of Independent Reviewing Officers This chapter details the role of the IRO – particularly with respect to the expectations of the IRO regarding issues that arise in-between the child’s reviews and as a result legislation and the 'DfE, Care Planning and Case Review Regulations guidance (2015)'.
Relinquished Children

The term 'relinquished child' is used to describe a child, usually a baby or at pre-birth stage, whose parents are making the choice of adoption for the child.

This chapter deals with the first stages of the adoption process for relinquished children, whilst signposting other key processes that should be progressed and which are expected for any child who is Accommodated or where the plan is for adoption. It also summarises the counselling and support that will be made available to the birth family in these circumstances. Once a decision is made and consent is formally given, although not irreversible, the adoption process is as for any other child.
Role of the Supervising Social Worker This chapter details the fostering social worker’s role and the expectations on them in respect of their work with foster carers, including a visiting regime and when a child is initially placed with a carer.
Documents Library

This has been added to the manual and contains links to the 34 residential procedures.

The documents library is accessed via the toolbar button located on the manual, and is also referenced in the Fullerton Eligibility Criteria chapter.
Updated Terminology
Education Support Team This has been replaced with 'Virtual School'.
Child Sexual Exploitation Please note new keyword and reference as required.
Removed Chapters
  • Notifications and Transfer of Children Subject to a Child Protection Plans Moving from/to Other Local Authority Areas
  • Care and Permanence Planning Meetings
  • Electronic Recording of Meetings and Conversations

Next Update: December 2017


Archive

2016 Amendments

2015 Amendments

2014 Amendments

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