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5.1.5 Notifications from Other Local Authorities/Placement Providers

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

This chapter addresses the action to be taken on receipt of a notification from another local authority that a Looked After child has been placed at an address in this authority.

This chapter was introduced to the Manual in June 2014 and reflects the Children's Homes and Looked after Children (Miscellaneous Amendments) (England) Regulations 2013 in relation to notifications received from children’s homes of children admitted to/discharged from the Home.

RELEVANT GUIDANCE

The Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations Volume 2: Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (2015)

AMENDMENT

The chapter has been reviewed in June 2015 to update and clarify procedures and expectations with regard to children being placed outside of Knowsley MBC and those placed by other local authorities within it. A link to the DfE, Out of Authority Placement of Looked-after Children: Supplement to The Children Act 1989 Volume 2: Care Planning, Placement and Case Review Guidance (2014) has been added.


Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Procedure on Receipt of Notifications in Relation to a Looked After Child


1. Introduction

Where a Looked After child is placed by a local authority in the area of another local authority, notification must be made by the placing authority to the local authority's Children's Social Care Services where the child's placement is located.

The Education Service and the relevant Health Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) for the area in which the Looked After child is placed must also be notified.

The notification will include the address where the child is placed.

The Local Authority where the child is placed must maintain a register of Looked After Children for whom it is responsible and all looked after children placed in its area, including those children who are the responsibility of another local authority.

Under the Children's Homes and Looked After Children (Miscellaneous Amendments) (England) Regulations 2013, the Manager of a children’s home must notify without delay the area local authority (if different from the placing authority) of the admission to/discharge from the Home of any child. This means that any private children’s homes that are located in Knowsley must advise Children’s Services if a child from another Local Authority is placed with them.

The notification must state:

  • The child’s name and date of birth;
  • Whether the child is Accommodated under Section 20 or subject to a Care Order Section 38 or Section 31;
  • The contact details for:
    • The child’s placing authority; and
    • The child’s Independent Reviewing Officer;
  • Whether the child has an Education, Health and Care Plan and, if so, details of the local authority which maintains the Plan.

Under the Children's Homes and Looked after Children (Miscellaneous Amendments) (England) Regulations 2013, the Manager of a children’s home must notify without delay the area local authority (if different from the placing authority) of the admission to/discharge from the Home of any child.

Knowsley has the same statutory duty to advise any other Local Authority of children they have placed outside of the Borough of Knowsley; there is the same duty on all Local Authorities to advise when a placement ends.

1.1 The Register of Looked After Children

The Register should include the following information in relation to each child:

  • The name, gender and date of birth of the child;
  • The name and address of the person with whom the child is placed and, if different, the name and address of the child's parents and all those with Parental Responsibility;
  • The name of the placing authority;
  • Whether the child is subject to a Child Protection Plan;
  • Whether the child is disabled;
  • The date on which the placement was made and the date when it ended including the reason;
  • The child's legal status;
  • Where arrangements have been made by the host local Children's Social Care Services to undertake the duties of the placing local authority; what those arrangements are and the name of the person within the placing authority with whom they were agreed.


2. Procedure on Receipt of Notifications in Relation to a Looked After Child

2.1 Responsibilities of the Children's Social Care teams

Any notification received from another local authority that a Looked After child has been placed in the authority should be directed to the MASH (see Knowsley MASH (Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub)) who will complete the notification on ICS.

The MASH will ensure, through communication with the placing local authority where necessary, that the information required in Section 1.1, The Register, is provided and recorded.

The MASH will also arrange for a check to be carried out of the address on the data management system (e.g. ICS) to establish whether there is any information recorded in relation to the address. If so, this information must be communicated to the allocated social worker in the local authority with responsibility for the child.

Where a significant incident arises in the placement whilst the child is placed, the authority where the child is placed will be expected to respond to the presenting needs. However, except in an absolute emergency (e.g. where it is not possible to contact the child's social worker or their Team Manager, or if out of hours the placing local authority's Emergency Duty Team), the authority should not take any significant action or remove the child, without consultation with placing local authority.

The authority should never take action on the basis of the placing authority's verbal authority, but must be certain that required actions are as a result of a written request.

At all times case management responsibility remains with the placing authority.

In the event that the authority where the child is placed has to have an involvement in an emergency situation where the child is at risk of Significant Harm and the placing authority cannot be contacted, any action should be on the basis of the requirements of local Safeguarding Children Procedures.

2.2 Maintaining the Register

The Performance Team and the Quality Assurance Team is responsible for maintaining the register of Looked After children (see Section 1, Introduction).

This register must include:

  • Children looked after by the authority;
  • Children looked after by another local authority but placed within the authority, where there has been agreement that the authority will carry out some of the responsibilities of the placing local authority;
  • Children looked after by another local authority but placed within the authority, where the placing local authority continues to carry out all the functions in relation to the child.

The ICS system automatically ensures that the following teams /agencies are notified:

  • The Designated Nurse;
  • The Attendance Service;
  • The Virtual Headteacher.

The Performance Team and the Quality assurance Unit will maintain the register by:

  • Ensuring there are clear instructions regarding notifications available through the ADCS and Knowsley’s own website. A letter is also written to every Local Authority on a bi annual basis to enquire whether any child is placed in Knowsley or has left Knowsley;
  • Meet with the designated manager for education and health needs of Looked After children on a bi-annual basis to ensure communication is effective and procedures are being followed.

End