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1.4.3 Notifications by other Local Authorities of Looked After Children Placed in Southwark

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 Southwark.

AMENDMENT

This chapter was amended in September 2014 in line with 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 and to update the chapter with regard to the organizational structure.


Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Procedure on Receipt of Notifications in relation to a Looked After Child placed in Southwark


1. Introduction

Where a Looked After child is placed in the area of another local authority (regardless of the type of placement), notification must be made by the placing authority to the local authority's Children's Social Care Services where the child is living. (The Education Service and the relevant Health Trust 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.

Each local authority (Children's Social Care Services) is required to 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.

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 or Supervision Order;
  • The contact details for:
    • The child’s placing authority; and
    • The child’s Independent Reviewing Officer.
  • Whether the child has a statement of Special Educational Needs and, if so, details of the local authority which maintains the statement.

1.1 The Register of Looked After Children

The register should include the following information:

  • 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 has a Child Protection Plan;
  • Whether the child is disabled;
  • The date on which the placement was made and the date when it terminated including the reason for the termination;
  • 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 placed in Southwark

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 Southwark should be passed to the CLA administrative officer in the Quality Assurance unit. (e-mail Qaulac.Admin@southwark.gov.uk).

The CLA admin officer will enter the child's details on Mosaic and ensure, through communication with the placing local authority where necessary, that the information required has been provided by the placing authority and is recorded on ICS.

The officer will check and search the address on Mosaic to establish whether there is any information or activity recorded in relation to the address. If so, this information must be communicated to the Assessment and Intervention Team (or allocated worker if appropriate) and the allocated social worker in the local authority with responsibility for the child.

Where the placing local authority requests that Southwark carry out certain functions in relation to the child on its behalf e.g. supervision of the placement, the Assessment and Intervention manager will arrange for this request to be discussed at a formal planning meeting involving representatives of the placing local authority. The Assessment and Intervention Team will take responsibility for chairing the meeting.

In these circumstances, Southwark may agree to undertake the following:

  • Supervise the placement in order to be satisfied that the welfare of the child continues to be suitably provided for; and/or
  • Visit the placement on a regular basis.

It would never be appropriate for Southwark to agree to a request to supervise a child placed in secure accommodation and/or subject to Section 53 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933.

Where it is agreed at a planning meeting that Southwark will undertake supervision of a placement on behalf of a placing authority, a social worker from the Care Service will be allocated. The placing local authority should be requested to provide sufficient information about the child and the placement to enable the social worker to supervise the placement competently, including the following:

The agreement to supervise the placement should be detailed in writing and signed by the relevant Heads of Service for the two local authorities. It should include an expectation that the allocated social worker in Southwark will be invited to contribute to the child’s Looked After Review.

Where a significant incident arises in the placement whilst the child is placed, Children’s Social Care Services in Southwark 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), Children’s Social Care Services in Southwark should not take any significant action or remove the child, without consultation with the child's social worker or Team Manager within the placing local authority.

Children’s Social Care Services in Southwark 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, by fax or secure email.

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

In the event that Children’s Social Care Services in Southwark 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 the London Child Protection Procedures.

2.2 Maintaining the Register

The Quality Assurance Service is responsible for maintaining the register of Looked After children (see Section 1, Introduction) and will ensure that the name of the child is added to the register.

This register is maintained in the Quality Assurance Service and includes:

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

The Quality Assurance Service will ensure that the following teams /agencies are notified:

  • The Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG);
  • The Education Welfare Service;
  • The Looked After Children Education Team.

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