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3.3.1 Emergency Review

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

This procedure applies to the review of emergency placements of children in residential care, including secure accommodation.

See below for the definition of an Emergency Placement.

Also see Placement in Residential Care Procedure, and Placements in Secure Accommodation on Welfare Grounds Procedure on the placement of children in an Emergency.


Contents

  1. Criteria of Emergency Reviews
  2. Timing of Emergency Reviews
  3. Arranging and Conducting Emergency Reviews
  4. Who Should Contribute to Emergency Reviews?
  5. Chairing and Preparation for the Review
  6. Purpose of the Review


1. Criteria of Emergency Reviews

An Emergency Review must be conducted if there has been an Emergency Placement of a child in residential care, including secure accommodation.

An Emergency Placement is a Looked After placement made without the usual planning and/or thorough assessment process having taken place because of the need to ensure the safety and the welfare of the child immediately. Therefore the following placements are deemed to be Emergency Placements:

  • The placement of a child out of normal working hours, made by the Emergency Out of Hours Service;
  • Any other placements where the necessary plans are not in place, for example because of a Court decision to Remand the child to local authority accommodation;
  • The placement of a child in secure accommodation for a period of up to 72 hours with the authorisation of a Designated Manager (Secure Accommodation).


2. Timing of Emergency Reviews

Emergency Reviews should be conducted within 72 hours of the placement; however, in exceptional circumstances, e.g. Bank Holidays, these timescales may be extended. 

This is a maximum timescale; the urgency of the situation (e.g. where a child is placed in secure accommodation without a court order for a maximum of 72 hours) may dictate that the timescales should be shorter.


3. Arranging and Conducting Emergency Reviews

The manager of the children's home will normally arrange and chair the Emergency Review. This responsibility may be delegated to a member of staff.

Emergency Reviews can be conducted in the form of a meeting or may be conducted over the telephone, if the manager and child's social worker agree.


4. Who Should Contribute to Emergency Reviews?

The following people should be invited to attend or contribute to the review.

  1. The child's social worker
  2. The child
  3. The child's parents
  4. A representative from the home

Other significant people should be invited including any providers/carers who have been looking after the child immediately prior to the placement.


5. Chairing and Preparation for the Review

Additional detailed guidance on preparation and chairing of reviews is contained in Children's Reviews Guidance.

Before the review, the chairperson should attempt to collate relevant documentation, such as referral records, a Care Plan, Pathway Plan and other relevant background information about the child.

If a Care Plan and Pathway Plan are not available, they must be made available to the home within 7 days of the placement; copies should be given to the child.


6. Purpose of the Review

The purpose of the Emergency Review is to consider whether the placement is suitable for the child; having regard for the child and the other children in the placement.

The views of the child, parents and others should be accounted for; but the child's social worker and manager or chairperson should make the decision.

The matters that should be considered are:

  1. The likely appropriateness of the placement in meeting the child's needs, as set out in the Care Plan or Pathway Plan in the context of the Statement of Purpose for the home.
  2. Whether the placement of the child may adversely affect any other children in the placement;
  3. Whether it is possible to facilitate a speedy return home or rehabilitation.

If there is a view that the placement is suitable or that additional support is required to make it suitable, the Placement Information Record/Placement Plan should be updated to reflect this decision.

If there are concerns that the placement is not suitable, even with additional support, consideration should be given to the following:

  1. The child remaining in the placement until a more suitable placement can be found; in which case, the Placement Information Record/Placement Plan should be updated to reflect this decision.
  2. The immediate ending of the placement, in which case no Placement Plan is necessary.

If the Placement Information Record/Placement Plan cannot be completed sufficient to sustain the child until the first Looked After Review, the chairperson must arrange for a Placement Plan Review to occur within 7 days so that the plan can be completed.

If this is necessary, the chairperson must agree what further information is required in time for the Placement Plan Review.

End