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September 2017

Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Foreword and Introduction This chapter has been reviewed and amended.
Thresholds for Children’s Social Care Safeguarding Services This chapter has been amended, in particular to add a new Appendix 1: MASH Interagency Referral Form and Appendix 4: Early Years Contacts information. The referral processes have also been updated to reflect current procedures with regard to early help.
Contacts and Referrals This chapter has been updated to reflect the amended Threshold and MASH Team procedures.
Pre-Birth Assessment Procedure This chapter has been updated to reflect the updated MASH and Thresholds to Children’s Safeguarding Service. (See Section 4, Initial Contact Stage).
Assessment of the Needs of Disabled Parents and Their Children (Young Carers) - Children's Social Care and Adult Assessment Services - Interim Joint Protocol This chapter has been significantly amended to include the role of the single assessment, including the timescales identified by Working Together to Safeguard Children (2015).
Action to be Taken in the event of the Death of or Serious Injury to a Child or Other Critical Incidents This chapter has been updated in line with the requirement to notify Ofsted of any serious childcare incident using the Ofsted Notification Form for Serious Childcare Incidents.
Southwark Safeguarding Children Board Protocol for Children at Risk of Sexual Exploitation This chapter has been amended to update the CSE Risk Screening Tool and Guidance (see Appendices) and to add links to 'DfE, Child sexual exploitation: definition and guide for practitioners (2017)' and 'London Child Protection Procedures, Safeguarding Children from Sexual Exploitation'.
Activities and Transporting Children This chapter has been updated to reflect changes to the laws around booster seats and babies who now need to stay in rear facing seats until 15 months. (See Section 4, Transport Arrangements – General).
Private Fostering This chapter has been amended to add clarity to the definition of private fostering with regards to the legislation and children under 16 who spend more than 2 weeks in residence during holiday time in a school.
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’, emphasizing its judgment should not alter the content or effect of these. (See Section 1.3.1, Obtaining Parental Consent). The chapter also contains links to two forms; Appendix 1: Section 20 Agreement between Southwark Council and Parents and Appendix 2: Section 20 Certification Upon Obtaining Section 20 Form.
Guidance to Accommodating Children under Section 20 Children Act 1989 This chapter has been updated to add a new Appendix 2: Section 20 Certification Upon Obtaining Section 20 Form, (a checklist for social workers accommodating children under Section 20 (Children Act 1989)).
Placements in Secure Accommodation on Welfare Grounds This chapter has been significantly updated and now includes new/enhanced sections on 'Applications for Secure Accommodation'; 'Children to Whom Section 25 Applies', (including the issues of children aged 16 years and Section 20 Accommodation); 'Placements for Children aged under 13 years' and 'Support, Monitoring and Ending of Placements' etc. The chapter has also been re-titled to reflect its (original) content and purpose (that of applications for children on 'welfare grounds'), thereby distinguishing it from the 'Remands to Local Authority Accommodation, etc.' (LASPO Act 2012). The chapter also details the Southwark Threshold of Secure meeting. (See Section 5.2, Threshold of Secure Meeting)
Placement 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 Friends and Family Foster Carers (also known as Connected Persons carers) This chapter has been amended to note that consideration of any pets and the environment in which they are kept, should be undertaken when completing an initial assessment of a Connected Person. (See Section 2, Emergency Placements (Regulation 24, Care Planning, Placement and Case Review Regulations (2010)).
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, June 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.
Education of Looked After Children This chapter has been updated to reflect the current organisation structure of the virtual school and to detail more the role of The Virtual Headteacher. (See Section 5, The Role of the Virtual School).
Role and Responsibilities of the Virtual Headteacher This chapter has been amended to reflect updated organisational terminology with regard to the Virtual School and its Head.
Supervision and Support of Foster Carers Section 6, Support Provided by the Supervising Social Worker (During Placement) has been updated to reflect that the Safer Caring Plan, any changes in household circumstances along with any health and safety issues including the addition of any new pets and the environment in which they are kept should be reviewed as required.
Placement for Adoption This chapter has been updated by adding a link to – research in practice, Contact after adoption, (see Related Guidance).
Assessment and Approval of Prospective Adoptive Parents Section 5.3, Assessment 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. The chapter has also been updated to reflect current organisations / links, e.g. Adoption Match (see Section 9, After the Panel Recommendation).
Inter Country Adoption

This chapter has been updated by amending Section 11, After Approval. After Approval information has been added on the Intercountry Adoption Forms: checklist for adoption which details the paperwork adoption agencies must include in the inter-country adoption applications they submit to the Department for Education.

In addition, a link to ‘Adopting a child from overseas (GOV.UK)’ has been added. (See Relevant Guidance).
Applications for Special Guardianship This chapter has been substantially revised throughout to reflect the most recent national 'Special Guardianship Guidance (January 2017)' - see Related Guidance.
Advocacy and Independent Visitors This chapter has been amended to update the contact for the advocacy contact details. (See Section 2.1, When to Appoint). A link has also been added to The Children’s Society, ‘Advocacy Services for Children and Young People – A Guide for Commissioners’ (see Related Guidance).
Case Records for Looked After Children 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).
Education of Looked After Children This chapter has been updated to reflect the current structure and terminology within Southwark and also to revise national standards and attainments, (see Appendix 1: Understanding the Education System).
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 DoH, 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).
IRO Escalation Process This chapter has been amended to more fully acknowledge and reflect the IRO escalation process and identify ten criteria for escalating a child’s circumstances or review process, (see Section 2, Criteria for IRO Escalation). The chapter also includes an Appendix 1: IRO Escalation Form.
Local Contacts These details have been updated.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Children's Consultation and Participation

Working Together 2015 states clearly that one of the key principles underpinning safeguarding should be: ‘’a child-centred approach: for services to be effective they should be based on a clear understanding of the needs and views of children.’’

It is essential therefore that children and young people are enabled by professionals to participate in matters that affect them, particularly any plans or arrangements that will affect them and/or their family and are consulted with regard to processes designed to improve services both to them individually and more generally. Please reference.
Southwark Virtual School - Educational Placement Protocol

This protocol is written in order to ensure consistency of practice across the Virtual School and in liaison with Social Work teams responsible for arranging care placements. It is hoped that, in developing and sharing key principles relating to education placement, earlier and more strategic involvement of the Virtual School can avoid placement in inadequate or otherwise inappropriate schools or Alternative Provision placements.

Please note a young person who is Looked After by Southwark will never be placed in a grade 4 school.

Next update: March 2018


2017 Amendments

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2015 Amendments

2014 Amendments