Placement Stability Meetings

This chapter was added to the manual in December 2020.

1. Definition Placement Stability Meeting (formally Pre-Disruption Meeting)

A 'Placement Stability' meeting is called when there are significant issues that are likely to undermine a placement. The issues can be identified by the child, foster carer, children's social care or other agency. A placement stability meeting will focus on the support required to stabilise the placement. It is not a meeting to plan the end of the placement. Changes of placement will be considered via relevant assessments which may be a recommendation of the meeting.

2. When Placement Stability should be Held

Placement stability

If the social worker and or supervising social workers believe a placement will reach crisis point and or the foster carers or children require support, a placement stability meeting should be considered.

A Team Manager from Fostering and Team Manager from Childrens Social Care will review the request and consider if the issues raised can be addressed via other method such as Supervisory visits, statutory visits, Joint visits, or Care planning meetings.

Should a meeting be considered necessary it can be chaired by either the Team Manager for Fostering or a Team Manager from Children's Social Care.

The purpose of the meeting is to ascertain the support and requirements to maintain the placement or if it is believed that the child's needs cannot continue to be met a plan should be devised to reduce the risk of an unplanned ending to the placement.

When the need for placement stability meeting is identified a management oversight case note will be recorded on the foster carer records and the child records respectively to identify how the placement would be supported in the interim and set out actions such as increased visits, respite, direct work etc.

A placement stability meeting will be chaired by a Team Manager with knowledge of the child/ren or the foster carers. Once a placement stability meeting is identified as being required, there is an expectation that this would be arranged and held within 10 working days to ensure that there is appropriate support around the child and the foster carers.

3. Participants in Placement Stability Meetings

Participants required to attend the Meeting will vary depending on the nature of the disruption. Careful consideration must be made by the Children's Team Manager and Fostering Team Manager in regards to who should be invited.

In addition to the Team Manager, the current Childcare Social Worker and Supervising Social Worker, consideration will be given to inviting the following participants:

  • Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO);
  • Carers to the child/ren and their Supervising Social Worker;
  • Present carers;
  • Relevant Fostering Support Team Managers;
  • Fostering agency representative;
  • Looked After Child;
  • Child's advocate / representative;
  • Fieldwork Team Manager of current Social Workers, including child's social worker at the time of disruption;
  • Designated Teacher from school currently attended, previously attended and at the point of disruption;
  • Health representatives e.g. Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, or Health Visitor;
  • Birth parents / family;
  • Access to Resources Team.

Participants who decline an invitation or are unable to attend will be required to present their views in writing.

Consideration should be given as to whether or not it is appropriate to invite the Looked After Child. However this may not always be appropriate or possible. If a Looked After Child is unable to attend the Meeting, It is the responsibility of their current social worker to obtain their views and opinion.

The meeting should be scheduled to ensure the attendance of the current carers.

4. Format of the Meetings

Meetings will cover the following areas:

  • Introductions;
  • Apologies;
  • Purpose of the meeting;
  • Current challenges from perspective of all attendees;
  • Support provided to date;
  • Current assessment of needs and how they are being met;
  • Child's placement experience;
  • Carer's placement experience;
  • The plan for the future support of the placement;
  • Actions, roles and responsibilities.

5. Recording of the Meetings

It is the responsibility of the Chair to ensure that an accurate account of the Meeting is recorded. A minute taker should be present to take notes.

Minutes of the meeting should include a clear summary of the future needs of child and carers involved, as well as recommendations and follow up actions for agencies involved.

6. Meeting Process

Minutes of the meeting should include a clear summary of the future needs of child and carers involved, as well as recommendations and follow up actions for agencies involved and should be circulated to all attendees. The Supervising Social Worker and the Child's social workers should monitor that agreed actions are completed and that the intended outcomes have been achieved. A follow up meeting may be required.