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June 2017

Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Care and Supervision Proceedings and the Public Law Outline (PLO)

This guidance was reviewed and updated throughout. Links have been added to the following documents:

  • Letter Before Proceedings;
  • Letter Before Proceedings – Unborn Child;
  • PLO and Child Protection Workflow;
  • Pre-proceedings Agenda and Guidance;
  • Pre-proceedings Minutes.
Private Fostering

This chapter was reviewed and updated throughout. It should be read in full.

Supporting Documents:

  • Private Fostering Workflow;
  • Private Fostering Tasks by Job Title or Team – Practice Guidance;
  • Private Fostering Visits and Assessment – Practice Guidance.
Further documents are listed at the end of this chapter.
Placements in Secure Accommodation on Welfare Grounds on Welfare Grounds This guidance was reviewed and substantially updated. It should be read in full.
Placements with Parents

This chapter was substantially revised to reflect the adoption of the Reunification Framework by Children’s Social Work Services. It should be read in full.

Leeds Children’s Services have adopted the Department for Education, NSPCC and University of Bristol Reunification Practice Framework. The framework incudes: assessment; analysis of risk and protective factors; analysis of parental capacity to sustain change; decision making; planning; and support for reunification. The Reunification Procedures and Workflow (see Reunification Guidance) should be followed when assessing, and planning for a child to be placed in the care of their parents when they are currently in the care of the Local Authority.
Looked After Reviews Section 7, Supporters and Advocates was updated to include a link to the Law Society guidance ‘Attendance of solicitors at local authority Children Act Meetings’ and their Code of Conduct where the child or family who attend reviews are supported by a legal representative.
Appointment and Role of Independent Reviewing Officers This chapter was 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 need for IROs to be sensitive to the close and active involvement of parents of a child looked after in a series of Short Breaks and to problem-solve where there might be difficulties or issues.
Social Visits (Including Overnight Stays) This chapter was reviewed and updated throughout. It should be read in full.
Supervision of Foster Carers The following information was added into Section 6, During Placement - The Safer Care Policy should be updated as required to reflect any changes in household circumstances and any health and safety issues including the addition of any new pets to the household including the environment in which the pets are kept.
Dogs and Pets Policy and Guidance This updated policy sets out how the Fostering Services aim to take a balanced and proportionate approach to the role of dogs and pets in the fostering household
Leaving Care

Section 3, Contact, Visits and Reviews of Pathway Plans has been updated to reflect that, for all care leavers aged 16, 17 or 18, the IRO will offer to continue to independently review their Pathway Plan. The IRO will offer to chair a maximum of 3 reviews following the young person ceasing to be looked after; the decision to continue the independent oversight of the Pathway Plan will be led by the young person who may not want the IRO to continue in this role or may want the IRO to chair only one or two of the maximum 3 further reviews offered.

The basis for the IRO’s continued involvement is to maintain the benefits of an established relationship between the IRO and the young person. This requires the young person to want to be actively engaged in the review process. If the young person does not wish to take part in any meaningful discussions with the IRO about their Pathway Plan, the IRO will not continue their involvement either in chairing a Pathway Plan review or in overseeing the progress of the Pathway Plan, and will inform the young person and the SW/PA of this decision. The Pathway Plan will then be reviewed by the Social Worker or Personal Advisor.

Assessment and Approval of Prospective Adopters Section 14, Stage Two – The Assessment Process was updated to include a note that, 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.
Inter-Country Adoption

Information was added in Section 3, Initial Meeting on the DfE Intercountry Adoption and Resident Status Requirements which set out the minimum requirements. However entry clearance requirements vary depending upon the circumstances of each case, and prospective adopters will need to obtain their own independent legal advice to establish the requirements that apply to their individual circumstances.

In Section 4, Registration of Interest, a link was added to Intercountry adoption: means test form which contains information on how to apply for a fee reduction for people who wish to adopt a child from overseas and who earn £45,000 per year or less.

In Section 12, After Approval information has been added on the Intercountry Adoption Forms: checklist for adoption which details the paperwork adoption agencies must include in the intercountry adoption applications they submit to DfE.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Trans Guidance for all Schools and Colleges and Children and Families' Services (Draft, March 2017)

This new guidance has been written to inform schools colleges and other children and families’ services about issues which can affect transgender young people.

The aims of this guidance are to minimise distress and disruption to pupils and embed good practice in schools by:

  • Promoting inclusion for all students within education by improving services for transgender or Trans pupils;
  • Ensuring that governors and teachers are able to deal with Trans matters inclusively;
  • Providing information to feel confident that they are complying with the Equality Act 2010 and meeting their Public Sector Equality Duty obligations.

Next update: December 2017


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