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3.2.8 Notification by other Local Authorities / Placement Providers of Children Looked After Placed in Leeds

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

This chapter addresses the action to be taken on receipt of a notification from another local authority or placement provider that a Child Looked After has been placed at an address in Leeds.

AMENDMENT

This chapter was updated in December 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.


Contents

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


1. Introduction

Where a Child Looked After is placed in the area of another local authority (regardless of the type of placement), the Arrangements for Placement of Children (General) Regulations 1991 (Regulation 5) requires that notification is made by the placing authority to the local authority's children's social care service where the child is living. (The education service and the relevant health trust for the area in which the Child Looked After is placed must also be notified.) The notification will include the address where the child is placed.

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:

1.1 The Register of Children Looked After

Each local authority (children’s social care service) is required (Regulation 10) to maintain a register of Children Looked After for whom it is responsible and all Children Looked After placed in its area, including those children who are the responsibility of another local authority.

Regulation 10 provides that 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 service 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.

Regulation 13 provides that, where children are placed in a series of short term placements at the same place, these can be treated as a single placement provided that all the placements occur within the period of a year, no single placement is for longer than four weeks and the total duration of the placements does not exceed 90 days.


2. Procedure on Receipt of Notifications in relation to a Child Looked After Placed in Leeds

2.1 Team Responsibilities

Any notification received from another local authority that a Child Looked After has been placed in Leeds must be passed to the special safeguarding team within the Placements Service.

The Placements Team will enter the child's details on Mosaic and ensure, through communication with the placing local authority where necessary, that the information required under Regulation 10 has been provided by the placing authority and is recorded on Mosaic.

The Placements Team will check and search the address on Mosaic to establish whether there is any information recorded in relation to the address. If so, this information must be communicated to the allocated social worker in the local authority with responsibility for the child.

The Placements Team will log the notification onto Mosaic as a contact that has an outcome of ‘referral’. The ‘referral’ is closed with an outcome of ‘children placed in Leeds from another LA’. The complete recording process is described here. By completing the recording process an automated register of children placed in Leeds by other LAs can be generated from Mosaic. This process is separate to and distinctly different from the contact and ‘referral’ activities undertaken by the advice and duty team at the contact centre.

Where the placing local authority requests that Leeds carry out certain functions in relation to the child on its behalf e.g. supervision of the placement, the specialist safeguarding team will arrange for this request to be discussed at a formal planning meeting involving representatives of the placing local authority. The ISU will take responsibility for chairing the meeting.

In these circumstances, Leeds 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 Leeds 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 Leeds will undertake supervision of a placement on behalf of a placing authority, a social worker from the area Children Looked After team will be allocated. The placing local authority must 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 must include an expectation that the allocated social worker in Leeds 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 Work Services (CSWS) in Leeds 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), CSWS in Leeds must 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.

CSWS in Leeds must 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 CSWS in Leeds has to have an involvement in an emergency situation where the child is suffering or likely to suffer Significant Harm and the placing authority cannot be contacted, any action should be on the basis of the requirements of the West Yorkshire Consortium Procedures Manual.

2.2 Maintaining the Register (Regulation 10)

The Placements Team are responsible for maintaining the part of the register that records children placed by another LA in the Leeds area as required by Regulation 10 (see Section 1, Introduction) and will ensure that the name of the child is added to the register.

This register is maintained in Mosaic and includes:

  • Children looked after by Leeds (record maintained by the allocated social worker in Leeds);
  • Children looked after by another local authority but placed within the borough of Leeds, where there has been agreement that Leeds City Council will carry out some of the responsibilities of the placing local authority (record maintained by the allocated social worker in Leeds);
  • Children looked after by another local authority but placed within Leeds, where the placing local authority continues to carry out all the functions in relation to the child (maintained by the Placements Service);
  • Children placed for adoption in Leeds.

The Placements Team will ensure that the following teams /agencies are notified:

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