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Amendments

March 2019

Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Children's Policies, Values and Principles - Including Recording, Confidentiality and Consultation

A new section has been added on Corporate Parenting in response to the DfE Applying Corporate Parenting Principles to Looked-after Children and Care Leavers – Statutory Guidance (Feb 2018). It includes the seven corporate parenting principles set out in the guidance.

Section 6, Recording Values and Principles and Section 7, Confidentiality Values and Principles has also been reviewed and updated following the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018. Please fully re-reference.
Electronic Recording of Meetings and Conversations This guidance has been reviewed and updated following the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018.
Family and Friends Care

This chapter has been substantially updated to reflect current legislation and terminology and to add links to Children Act 1989: Family and Friends Care, Family Rights Group, Initial Family and Friends Care Assessment and Looking After Someone Else's Child.

Please fully re-reference.
Protocol for Single Assessments (agreed with Southwark Safeguarding Children Board) This chapter has been revised to reflect updated guidance on Assessment in Working Together to Safeguard Children. Additionally a note has been added to reflect the issues around working with parents who have learning difficulty (see The Single Assessment process).
Care and Supervision Proceedings and the Public Law Outline

This chapter has been updated to provide some emphasis on parents who lack capacity and added links to the President of the Family Division, Family Proceedings: Parents with a Learning Disability note, and a relevant link to working with parents who have a learning disability, (see Pre-proceedings) and Practice Direction 3aa - Vulnerable Persons: Participation in Proceedings and Giving Evidence) see case management in Section 4, Documentation). In Related Guidance a link was added to Research in Practice supporting information and guidance on the Social Work Evidence template (SWET).

Also, Section 4.2, Case Analysis has been updated to reflect the ‘permanence provisions’ of the Care Plan added by s. 8 Children and Social Work Act 2017 (amending section 31(3B) Children Act 1989) which a court is required to consider when deciding whether to make a Care Order. Please re-reference.
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 amended to reflect that from 29 June 2018 local authorities in England must notify the national Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel within 5 working days of becoming aware of a serious incident.
Access to Records / Subject Access Requests Guidance This chapter has been substantially amended, updated and re-titled to reflect the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018. Please reference.
Child in Need Plans and Reviews This chapter has been updated by adding a new Section Moving to Another Authority. Information and communication is important between the respective local authorities to ensure appropriate services continue for the child and family and, where relevant, any risk of harm is recognised and identified with the receiving local authority. It should be noted that the responsibility for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of the child lies with the local authority where the child is to be found.
Children's Consultation and Participation This chapter has been amended to reflect Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018.
Decision to Look After and Care Planning Additional information has been added in to Section 1.3, Section 20 Accommodation, in line with recent case-law. Also, in section 2.1.1 The Care Plan – Contents was amended to reflect the additional ‘permanence provisions’ of the Care Plan (s. 8 Children and Social Work Act 2017 amends section 31(3B) Children Act 1989) which a court is required to consider when deciding whether to make a Care Order.
Ceasing to Look After a Child

This chapter has been updated in line with the Children and Social Work Act 2017 and revised statutory guidance.

These changes relate to the status of ‘previously Looked After Children’. A previously Looked After Child is one who is no longer looked after in England and Wales because they are the subject of an Adoption, Special Guardianship or Child Arrangements Order which includes arrangements relating to with whom the child is to live, or when the child is to live with any person, or has been adopted from ‘state care’ outside England and Wales.

Previously Looked After Children are entitled to support from their school through the Designated Teacher (see Section 2.5, Children Who Move into Permanency).
Permanence Fostering Procedure

It is intended that a long-term fostering placement will last throughout childhood and into adulthood, including Staying Put, as appropriate for that young person. 'Long-term fostering' as a term will be restricted to care planning for permanence.

This chapter describes and explores the process of achieving long-term foster care planning children where other forms of permanency are not appropriate or available. It can include placements where children are already placed. Please reference.
Placements in Secure Accommodation This chapter has been updated to fully reflect the updated guidance ‘Secure children’s homes: how to place a child aged under 13 (July 2018)’. (See Placements of Children under the age of 13 Years). Please re-reference.
Out of Area Placements This chapter has been updated to add a link to ‘Briefing: Approving Placements of Children Looked After at a Distance & Process’, (see Local Guidance). Please reference.
Looked After Reviews Section 9, The Role of the Looked After Review in Achieving Permanence for the Child has been amended to reflect the outcome of a High Court Judgement in respect of children who were subject to Section 20 and where there were concerns of significant delays in their planning for permanence. The court noted the IROs’ recognition and action over a number of reviews but acknowledged that a more robust response had been needed.
Education of Looked After Children This chapter has been comprehensively updated in line with the Children and Social Work Act 2017, Keeping Children Safe in Education (2018) and Information Sharing 2017. In addition a number of relevant links have been added, including ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ and ‘GOV.UK, The national protocol on reducing unnecessary criminalisation of looked-after children and care leavers’, (see Scope Box). Please fully re-reference.
Assessment and Approval of Foster Carers Section 8, After the Panel Recommendation has been updated to clarify the decision as to the suitability of the applicant must be made within 7 working days of receipt of the panel’s recommendation and final set of panel minutes – The Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations Volume 4 and Standard 14 (14.9) Fostering panels and the fostering service’s decision-maker.
Health Care Assessments and Health Care Plans A new Section 3.2, Consent to Health Care Assessments has been added.
Placement for Adoption Section 1, Planning for Permanence has been updated to reflect the additional consideration, (added by section 9 Children and Social Work Act 2017 amends section 1(4)(f) of the Adoption and Children Act 2002) into the list of considerations that whenever a court or adoption agency is coming to a decision relating to the adoption of a child), of the relationship which the child has with relatives, with any person who is a prospective adopter with whom the child is placed and with any other person in relation to whom the court or agency considers the relationship to be relevant.
Adoption Panel This guidance has been reviewed and updated following the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018.
Fostering for Adoption, Concurrent Planning and Temporary Approval as Foster Carers of Approved Prospective Adopters (Early Permanence) Section 4.1 Duty to Consider Fostering for Adoption Placement has been updated to reflect the additional consideration (added by section 9 Children and Social Work Act 2017 into the list of considerations whenever a court or adoption agency is coming to a decision relating to the adoption of a child), of the relationship which the child has with relatives, with any person who is a prospective adopter with whom the child is placed and with any other person in relation to whom the court or agency considers the relationship to be relevant.
Relinquished Children Section 5, Consent and Competency has been updated to include additional information on parental capacity to consent, in line with High Court case-law.
Adoption Case Records Section 3, Security Retention and Sharing of Records has been updated in line with Adoption and Care Planning (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2018, which provides that an adoption agency may disclose an adoption case record to another adoption agency for purposes related to either agency’s functions as an adoption agency. Further information has been added in relation to adoption records where an Adoption Order is not made.
Adoption Support Services

This chapter has been updated in line with the Children and Social Work Act 2017 and revised statutory guidance which require schools, through the Designated Teacher for Looked After Children, to offer support to previously looked after children.

A previously looked-after child is one who is no longer looked after in England and Wales because subject of an Adoption, Special Guardianship or Child Arrangements Order which includes arrangements relating to with whom the child is to live, or when the child is to live with any person, or has been adopted from ‘state care’ outside England and Wales).
Adoption Reviews Section 5, The Conduct of Adoption Reviews (bullet point 1.f) has been amended to reflect the status of adopted children as being ‘previously looked after’ when considering their educational needs. A link to DfE guidance on Promoting the Education of Looked After and Previously Looked After children has also been added.
Applications for Special Guardianship

This chapter has been updated in line with the Children and Social Work Act 2017 and revised statutory guidance which require schools, through the designated teacher, to provide support to previously Looked After Children.

A previously Looked After Child is one who is no longer looked after in England and Wales because they are the subject of an Adoption, Special Guardianship or Child Arrangements Order which includes arrangements relating to with whom the child is to live, or when the child is to live with any person, or has been adopted from ‘state care’ outside England and Wales.

It has also been updated to reflect the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman good practice points to follow when working with Special Guardians. A link to the full report ‘Firm Foundations: Complaints about Council Support and Advice for Special Guardians (Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman) (May 2018)’ has been added into the Relevant National Guidance section of this chapter.
Social Worker Visits This chapter has been revised to set out more clearly the circumstances where visiting requirements differ (the Exceptions) from those as set out in 'Normal Frequency'.
Case Records for Looked After Children Section 1, The Case Record has been updated in line with Adoption and Care Planning (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2018, which permits the transfer of a copy of the child’s case record (or part of that record) to another adoption agency when the local authority considers this to be in the interests of the child.
Permanence Planning

This chapter has been updated in line with the Children and Social Work Act 2017 and revised statutory guidance.

These changes relate to the status of ‘previously looked after children’. A previously Looked After Child is one who is no longer looked after in England and Wales because they are the subject of an Adoption, Special Guardianship or Child Arrangements Order which includes arrangements relating to with whom the child is to live, or when the child is to live with any person, or has been adopted from ‘state care’ outside England and Wales.

Children subject to Adoption, Special Guardianship or Child Arrangements Order are entitled to support from their school, through the designated teacher.

Section 5, Assessing and Planning for Permanence, has been updated to reflect the additional ‘permanence provisions’ of the Care Plan (under s.8 Children and Social Work Act 2017 amends section 31(3B) Children Act 1989) which a court is required to consider when deciding whether to make a Care Order.
Protocol regarding the Management of 16 and 17 year old Young People who may be Homeless or require Accommodation The Protocol was agreed in September 2011. It has been updated by tri.x by adding Links to Homelessness Duty to Refer Guidance and Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities (GOV.UK, 2018). Please reference.
New Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Later Life Letters The later life letter is written by child's social worker, and will be given to child when they are considered old enough by their adoptive parent(s). It is an expanded version of the Life Story Books Guidance and gives more detail of the child's history and the decision making process.
Life Story Books Guidance

Good preparation for adoption and good life story work contribute towards a successful adoptive placements. The Life Story Book provides an accessible and child-friendly explanation for the child of how they have comes to be where they are today.

This chapter explains the importance of the Life Story Book for adoptive children, and provides guidance on for social workers on what to include in the life story book. All children with a plan for adoption must have a Life Story Book.
Deprivation of Liberty This is a live tri.x resource that will be updated in light of amendments in the law and practice. This chapter applies to all social care practitioners carrying out any social care function with children who are receiving care or treatment in any setting. The level of deprivation is not comparable to the level of restriction normally placed on child or young person of that age, or in all circumstances the child is over 12, and constitutes a breach of Article 5 of the Human Rights Act.
Mental Capacity

This resource seeks to support practitioners working in statutory social care and provider services to understand the Act and practice confidently when supporting young people to make decisions, assessing mental capacity and applying the Best Interests principle.

This is a LIVE online resource; updated by tri.x as and when it needs to be in response to changes in legislation, case law and best practice. Please reference when required.

Next update: September 2019


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2018 Amendments


2017 Amendments

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