South West Safeguarding and Child Protection Procedures
South West Safeguarding and Child Protection Procedures South West Safeguarding and Child Protection Procedures

5.1.11 Notification of Significant Events (Fostering)

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

This policy specifically addresses the requirements for fostering agencies to notify significant events to appropriate authorities. It is a requirement under National Minimum Standards, Standard 29 - Notification of Significant Events that the Registered person of the fostering agency has a system in place to notify, within 24 hours, persons and appropriate authorities of occurrence of significant events as set out in regulation 36 (see (a) to (j) below). The system should also cover what to do at the weekend.

RELEVANT CHAPTER

Death or Serious Injury to a Child (Looked After and Child In Need) Procedure

RELEVANT GUIDANCE

Flowchart for Notification of Incidents / Significant Events (Schedule 7)

AMENDMENT

Appendix 2: Schedule 7: Events and Notifications, the Table was amended and updated in November 2015.


Contents

  1. Which Events are Covered?
  2. Reporting
  3. Recording
  4. Other Notifications

    Appendix 1: Flowchart for Notification of Incidents / Significant Events (Schedule 7)

    Appendix 2: Schedule 7: Events and Notifications

    Appendix 3: Notifications

    Appendix 4: Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006


1. Which Events are Covered?

Regulation 36 of the Fostering Services Regulations 2011 requires that the following events set out in Schedule 7 of the regulations should be notified by the registered person to the appropriate authorities (see Appendix 2: Schedule 7: Events and Notifications).

  1. Death of a foster child placed with foster parents;
  2. Information is provided to the Independent Safeguarding Authority under any of sections 35, 36, 39, 41 or 45 of the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006(37) in respect of an individual working for a fostering service;
  3. Serious illness or serious accident of a child placed with foster parents;
  4. Outbreak at the home of a foster parent of any infectious disease which in the opinion of a registered medical practitioner attending the home is sufficiently serious to be so notified;
  5. Allegation that a child placed with foster parents has committed a serious offence;
  6. Involvement or suspected involvement of a child placed with foster parents in prostitution;
  7. Serious incident relating to a child placed with foster parents necessitating calling the police to the foster parent’s home;
  8. A child placed with foster parents is missing from the placement;
  9. Any serious complaint about any foster parent approved by the fostering agency;
  10. Instigation and outcome of any child protection enquiry involving a child placed with foster parents.

In addition to the events outlined in (a) to (j) above (and in Appendix 1: Flowchart for Notification of Incidents / Significant Events (Schedule 7)) the registered person should also have a system for notification to responsible authorities of any serious concerns about the emotional or mental health of a child, such that a mental health assessment would be requested under the Mental Health Act 1983 (NMS 29.3). (See Appendix 2: Schedule 7: Events and Notifications).


2. Reporting

Notifications on all the above including emotional and mental health should be made without delay (within 24 hours) to the responsible authority by the registered person and confirmed in writing. The registered person should also discuss with the authority any further action that should be taken (NMS 29.4).

The table in Appendix 2 specifies which authorities should be informed regarding the above events.

If the incident or event occurs out of hours the EDS social worker on duty should inform the fostering Team Manager as soon as possible and arrangements should be made to inform the relevant authorities as soon as is practicable.

Where notification of a serious child care incident is required please refer to the policy and procedures on Death or Serious Injury to a Child (Looked After and Child In Need).


3. Recording

It is a requirement that a written record should kept which includes details of the action taken, and the outcome of any action or investigation, following a notifiable event (NMS 29.2).

The following Schedule 7 forms should be completed by the fostering social worker according to the type of event and signed off by the fostering Team Manager:

  • Incident Report (covers Accident / Illness / Injury; Missing / absconding; serious incident resulting in Police being called) Record of Complaint / Allegation The above reports are collated by an administrator and recorded centrally on a monthly report to generate statistical information.

In addition to this fostering Social Workers should ensure that:

  • Details of events are recorded in the relevant foster carer’s PARIS case notes and that they inform the child’s social worker who will then update the child’s individual PARIS record;
  • Signed copies of schedule 7 forms are scanned and uploaded on to PARIS external documents and a paper copy added to the foster carer’s paper file.

As part of the reporting process the registered manager should provide written information on the event to the relevant authorities.


4. Other Notifications

In addition to the events in (a) to (j) above the 2011 fostering regulations also require the notifications regarding any changes to the management of the fostering agency. Please refer to Appendix 3: Notifications for details.


Appendix 1: Flowchart for Notification of Incidents / Significant Events (Schedule 7)

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Appendix 2: Schedule 7: Events and Notifications

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Appendix 3: Notifications

Notification of Offences (Regulation 9)

Where the registered person or the responsible individual is convicted of any criminal offence, whether in England and Wales or elsewhere, that person must without delay give notice in writing to the Chief Inspector of:

  1. The date and place of the conviction;
  2. The offence of which they were convicted; and
  3. The penalty imposed on them in respect of the offence.

Notification of Manager (Regulation 10)

Each local authority must appoint one of its officers to manage the local authority fostering service, and must notify the Chief Inspector without delay of:

  1. The name of the person appointed; and
  2. The date on which the appointment is to take effect.

The local authority must also notify the Chief Inspector without delay if the person appointed (as above) ceases to manage the local authority fostering service.

Notice of Absence of Registered Manager (Regulation 38)

Where the registered manager proposes to be absent from the fostering agency for a continuous period of 28 days or more, the registered person must give notice in writing to the Chief Inspector of the proposed absence.

Except in the case of an emergency, the notice referred to above must be given no later than one month before the proposed absence is to start, or within such shorter period as may be agreed with the Chief Inspector, and the notice must specify:

  1. The length or expected length of the proposed absence;
  2. The reason for the proposed absence;
  3. The arrangements which have been made for the running of the fostering agency during that absence;
  4. The name, address and qualifications of the person who will be responsible for the fostering agency during the absence; and
  5. The arrangements that have been made or are proposed to be made for appointing another person to manage the fostering agency during the absence, including the proposed date by which the appointment is to start.

Where the absence arises as a result of an emergency, the registered person must give notice of the absence within one week of its occurrence, specifying the matters mentioned in (a) to (e) above.

Where the registered manager has been absent from the fostering agency for a continuous period of 28 days or more, and the Chief Inspector has not been given notice of the absence, the registered person must without delay give notice in writing to the Chief Inspector specifying the matters mentioned in (a) to (e) above.

The registered person must notify the Chief Inspector of the return to duty of the registered manager not later than 7 days after the date of return.

Notice of Changes (Regulation 39.1)

The registered person must give notice in writing to the Chief Inspector without delay if any of the following events takes place or is proposed to take place:

  1. A person other than the registered person carries on or manages the fostering agency;
  2. A person ceases to carry on or manage the fostering agency;
  3. Where the registered provider is an individual, they change their name;
  4. Where the registered provider is a partnership, there is any change in the membership of the partnership;
  5. Where the registered provider is an organisation:
    1. The name or address of the organisation is changed;
    2. There is any change of director, manager, secretary or other similar officer of the organisation;
    3. There is to be any change in the identity of the responsible individual.
  6. Where the registered provider is an individual, a trustee in bankruptcy is appointed or he makes any composition or arrangement with his creditors; or
  7. Where the registered provider is a company, or a partnership, a receiver, manager, liquidator or provisional liquidator is appointed in respect of the registered provider.

In addition to the above the registered provider (39.2) must notify the Chief Inspector in writing and without delay of the death of the registered manager.


Appendix 4: Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006

Section 35: Regulated activity providers: duty to refer

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126. This section relates to referrals of information from employers to the IBB. It sets out the circumstances in which a regulated activity provider and a responsible person (within the meaning of section 23) must provide the IBB with prescribed information about an individual. These are that:

  1. The provider or other person withdraws permission for the individual to engage in a regulated or controlled activity (for example an employer dismisses an employee); and
  2. The permission is withdrawn for one of the specified reasons e.g. that the provider or other person thinks that any of the criteria specified in Schedule 3 for inclusion in a barred list applies.

127. The duty also applies if the provider or other person would or might have withdrawn permission if the individual had not otherwise stopped being engaged in the regulated activity (for example because the employee resigned before he could be dismissed). The duty does not apply to a person who is permitting an individual to engage in activity mentioned in section 16 that is regulated activity relating to vulnerable adults.

Section 36: Personnel suppliers: duty to refer

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128. This section sets out the circumstances in which a personnel supplier must provide the IBB with prescribed information about an individual. The first of these circumstances is where the personnel supplier knows that the individual has ceased to be engaged in regulated or controlled activity in the circumstances set out in Section 35. The second set of circumstances is that:

  1. The personnel supplier decides to stop supplying the individual for regulated or controlled activity or, in the case of an educational institution, decides that the individual should cease to follow a course at the institution; and
  2. It does this for one of the specified reason e.g. the reason for the decision is that the personnel supplier thinks that the individual satisfies any of the criteria specified in Schedule 3 for inclusion in a barred list.

129. Personnel suppliers are employment agencies and businesses, and educational institutions that supply individuals for regulated or controlled activity, such as teacher training colleges.

Section 39: Local authorities: duty to refer

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131. This section sets out the circumstances in which local authorities must provide the IBB with prescribed information about an individual. Broadly, these circumstances are that the local authority thinks that:

  1. An individual satisfies any of the criteria under which he could be barred or considered for barring under Schedule 3;
  2. The individual is engaged or may engage in a regulated or controlled activity; and
  3. The IBB may consider it appropriate for the individual to be included in a barred list.

Schedule 3

4(1)For the purposes of paragraph 3 relevant conduct is—

  1. Conduct which endangers a child or is likely to endanger a child;
  2. Conduct which, if repeated against or in relation to a child, would endanger that child or would be likely to endanger him;
  3. Conduct involving sexual material relating to children (including possession of such material);
  4. Conduct involving sexually explicit images depicting violence against human beings (including possession of such images), if it appears to IBB that the conduct is inappropriate;
  5. Conduct of a sexual nature involving a child, if it appears to IBB that the conduct is inappropriate.

(2)A person's conduct endangers a child if he—

  1. Harms a child;
  2. Causes a child to be harmed;
  3. Puts a child at risk of harm;
  4. Attempts to harm a child; or
  5. Incites another to harm a child.

(3)“Sexual material relating to children” means—

  1. Indecent images of children; or
  2. Material (in whatever form) which portrays children involved in sexual activity and which is produced for the purposes of giving sexual gratification.

(4)“Image” means an image produced by any means, whether of a real or imaginary subject.

(5)A person does not engage in relevant conduct merely by committing an offence prescribed for the purposes of this sub-paragraph.

(6)For the purposes of sub-paragraph (1)(d) and (e), IBB must have regard to guidance issued by the Secretary of State as to conduct which is inappropriate.

Section 41: Registers: duty to refer

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133. This section sets out circumstances in which a professional body whose register is specified in section 41(7) is under a duty to provide prescribed information to the IBB. Broadly, these circumstances are that the professional body thinks that:

  1. An individual who appears on its register or list satisfies any of the criteria under which he could be barred or considered for barring under Schedule 3;
  2. The individual is engaged or may engage in a regulated or controlled activity; and
  3. The IBB may consider it appropriate for the individual to be included in a barred list.

134. This section also provides professional bodies with a power to refer information to the IBB. This power applies where the professional body thinks that a person has engaged in relevant conduct before commencement of the section, that the information may lead to the person’s inclusion in a barred list and that the person is engaged or may engage in regulated or controlled activity.

Section 45: Supervisory authorities: duty to refer

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138. This section relates to the authorities that are set out in subsection (7). The section provides for the circumstances when such a supervisory authority is under a duty to provide prescribed information to the IBB. Broadly, these circumstances are that the supervisory authority thinks that:

  1. The individual satisfies any of the criteria under which he could be barred or considered for barring under Schedule 3;
  2. The individual is engaged, or may engage, in a regulated or controlled activity; and
  3. The IBB may consider it appropriate for the individual to be included in a barred list.

139. This section allows for the list of supervisory authorities to be amended in the future.

140. This section also provides a supervisory authority with a power to refer prescribed information to the IBB. This power applies where supervisory authority thinks that a person has engaged in relevant conduct before commencement of the section, that the information may lead to the person’s inclusion in a barred list and that the person is engaged or may engage in regulated or controlled activity.

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