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1.2.5 Transfer Policy


All children should be supported by the appropriate team and social worker to best meet their needs. Where case responsibility needs to change, this should be done in a timely and appropriate manner to meet the needs of the child.


North West ADCS Notification and Transfer across Local Authority Boundaries Procedures


This chapter was updated in June 2019 to acknowledge that the fortnightly transfer meeting will be chaired by the Group Manager and to note that Placement with Parents will remain with the Child Protection / Child in Need Service rather than transfer to the Child Looked After Teams. Also, prior to transfer, the social workers will meet to ensure a smooth transfer.


  1. Introduction
  2. Process for Transfer of Cases
  3. When do Cases Transfer Between Teams?
  4. Issues Resolution

1. Introduction

The purpose of the case transfer policy is to ensure the effective transfer of cases between social care teams and to ensure that children, families and professionals are kept informed of such changes.

This policy should be read in conjunction with the pre - proceedings and PLO procedures (see Pre Proceedings and Public Law Outline (PLO) Procedures and Practice Guidance).

2. Process for Transfer of Cases

Once a case is identified as requiring transfer, the case is discussed at the fortnightly transfer panel to identify the receiving team. This will be chaired by the Group Manager and in their absence a Team Manager. The transferring team should provide a brief synopsis of the case at the transfer panel. This synopsis should include any pre-proceedings work that has taken place and the permanence plan should be considered. The process will be tracked and supported by an electronic spreadsheet. This spreadsheet will be reviewed and updated at every meeting. Once a case has been accepted at panel, the receiving team will be identified at panel and a transfer meeting will be scheduled. Any issues about the appropriateness of otherwise of transfer will be considered by the panel.

The panel consists of all team managers from the child protection and permanence services.

Cases will transfer within the permanence service when a young person who is looked after reaches the age of 14 years and between the child protection service and the permanence service when care proceedings have been issued or exceptionally when a young person is looked after under Section 20 of the Children Act 1989 and have a clear permanence plan. All placements with parents will remain the responsibility of the CIN / CP Service.

For cases that are likely to conclude with SGOs and be closed or for those were the plan is Supervision Order the case should not transfer. More detailed information is set out below.

The ICS transfer form should be completed at the case transfer meeting, which takes place between the Team Managers and Children’s Social Workers, Fostering social worker and when the case is in care proceedings a representative from Legal must be present. A Transfer date will be agreed as will clear information about tasks to be undertaken be recorded. This should include: case recordings being up to date; contact and financial arrangements recorded; dates of meetings arranged; court dates; the last statutory visit and PEP completed, and supervision undertaken and any significant case activities. New into care medicals should be requested by the transferring team and in cases where children are 5yrs or under an adoption medical should also be requested by the transferring team, to assist in reducing any delay in the court process. DBS and Medicals should be requested as soon as a positive viability is completed.

Where possible and when cases are identified in a timely manner, it is good practice when transferring a case to Children Looked After that the receiving Social Worker and / or Team Manager are present at the initial court hearing and that case responsibility transfers as soon as possible following that date once all agreed tasks have been completed.

When a case has been subject to the Pre Proceedings protocol, parenting assessments, viabilities and family group conferences should be complete before the point of transfer. The proposed Care Plan should be shared with the receiving Social Worker and Manager. The pre proceedings activity and proposed care plan will be considered by the transfer panel.

It is expected that case files will transfer in good order. Each transferred case will have:

  • An up to date case summary;
  • An up to date social work Chronology;
  • An up to date Genogram;
  • Up to date case notes, statutory visits and records of supervision;
  • Other relevant paperwork, e.g. PEP, PIR, health assessment, Section 47 Enquiry documentation;
  • Child’s record should have an up to date plan (e.g. Child Protection Plan, Child in Need Plan, CLA plan) recording desired outcomes of the child within timescales;
  • Social worker from each team to meet prior to the transfer meeting to share history and any other relevant information that will assist in a smooth handover of the case.

All documentation on case files and ICS, identified in the documentation checklist and all recording, should be up to date when a case is transferred. Any identified outstanding tasks should be completed by the transferring social worker before the case is transferred. However there may need to be some flexibility agreed by the team managers to promote the timeliness of transfer that is in the child’s best interests.

The responsibility for setting up the case transfer meeting sits with the transferring team. The transferring social worker or team manager will be responsible for completing the ICS transfer form.

An introductory joint visit with the existing and new social worker must take place to the child and family.

On the agreed date for transfer and when the tasks as agreed have been completed, the receiving manager will accept the transfer on ICS to allocate to the new social worker.

If the transfer does not occur within two weeks of the agreed transfer date, the transfer meeting should be reconvened to provide the receiving team with an update.

3. When do Cases Transfer Between Teams?

3.1 Child Protection Team to Child Looked After Team and Young Persons Team

  • Children Looked After, subject to an Interim Care Order, will transfer from the Child Protection team to Children Looked After (CLA) team, with the exception of Placement with Parents. The transfer policy should be followed to ensure that children subject to an Interim Care Order are transferred shortly after the making of the Interim Care Order;
  • Where children are subject to Section 20 and it is agreed at the second Looked After Review that rehabilitation has been ruled out, and a Permanency Plan has been ratified, the case will transfer to the CLA team, following agreement from the respective Heads of Service;
  • When a child is looked after transfer to the Young Person’s Team (YPT) will be around the young person’s 14th birthday if there is a plan for permanence.

3.2 Child Looked After Team to the Child Protection Team

On completion of Care Proceedings where no order has been granted or a Supervision Order or Child Arrangements Order has been granted, or where child is not deemed as Looked After Child, the case will remain with the CLA Team for consistency.

3.3 Children with Disabilities

The Children with Disabilities Team (CWD) usually work across CIN, CP and CLA. They will allocate cases at referral and will keep them until closure. However, on occasions children will be identified as having a disability as a result of assessments. In such circumstances transfer will be considered and the process outlined above should be followed.

4. Issues Resolution

The transfer of a case should not be delayed by dispute over the appropriateness of the transfer. Where the transferring managers and receiving managers do not agree on the case transfer or the proposed plan for a child / young person and where the disputed issues cannot be resolved, this must be promptly referred to the relevant Head of Service.