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

4.1.5 Placement Planning and Disruption Meetings

RELATED CHAPTER

Delegation of Authority to Foster Carers and Residential Workers Procedure

AMENDMENT

The chapter was updated in January 2014 to include a new Appendix and a link to the Delegation of Authority to Foster Carers and Residential Workers chapter.

Contents 

  1. Placement Planning Meetings
  2. Disruption Meetings

    Appendix 1: Individual Placement Agreement (IPA) Form - Agreement with the Service Provider


1. Placement Planning Meetings

Placement Planning meetings should be convened as part of the process of identifying and placing a child - as set out in the Placement in Foster Care Procedure and the Placement in Residential Care Procedure. The first Placement Planning Meeting in relation to a placement should be held before the placement. Where this is not possible because of the urgency of the situation, it should be held in order that the Placement Plan is prepared within 5 working days of the start of the placement.

Further Placement Planning Meetings should be held at intervals agreed with the manager of the residential home or the foster carers and their supervising social worker - or as required for example where there are issues to be resolved in relation to the day to day arrangements for the placement or when the placement is likely to disrupt.

The social worker and home manager/foster carers supervising social worker will agree the best format and venue for the meeting and who will chair the meeting. (It is the responsibility of the child’s social worker to arrange, chair and minute the placement planning meeting).

The people listed below should contribute to the meetings:

  1. The child’s social worker and/or other professional associated with the child e.g. Personal Adviser or advocate;
  2. The child;
  3. The child’s parents;
  4. For children in residential care, the child’s link worker/keyworker and, where appropriate the home manager;
  5. For children in foster care, the foster carers and their supervising social worker.
Before any meeting, the chairperson should obtain or be updated on the following, if available:

The chairperson (child’s social worker) should also ensure that the child, parent(s) and others who have been asked to contribute understand the purpose of the meeting, how it will be conducted and are given the opportunity to put their views and suggestions.

If there are concerns about the suitability of the placement, consideration should be given to the following:

  • Whether it is possible to sustain the placement until the next Looked After Review by, for example, providing additional support to the placement;
  • Bringing forward the date of the next Looked After Review;
  • Ending the placement.

Checklist for Chair Person

See also: Appendix 1: Individual Placement Agreement (IPA) Form - Agreement with the Service Provider

The information gathered under the headings below will inform the Placement Plan and Placement Information Record. For children placed in foster care, the placement planning meeting should cover the following areas:

  1. The type of accommodation to be provided and the address;
  2. The purpose of the placement and legal status of child;
  3. The expected duration of the arrangements and the steps to bring the arrangements to an end, including arrangements for the child to return to live with parents/anyone with Parental Responsibility;
  4. The child's personal history, religious persuasion, cultural and linguistic background and racial origin;
  5. How the child’s day to day needs will be met, including daily routine;
  6. Expected outcomes for child in placement;
  7. Contact arrangements, including any decisions to refuse contact;
  8. Arrangements for the social worker to visit;
  9. Arrangements for health and education;
  10. Child or young person’s leisure interests and attendance at clubs etc;
  11. Where the child is Accommodated, the respective responsibilities of the Local Authority and parents/anyone with Parental Responsibility; any delegation of responsibility (see Placements in Foster Care Procedure, Delegated Authority) by parents/anyone with Parental Responsibility to the Local Authority for the child's  day-to-day care; the expected duration of the arrangements and the steps to bring the arrangements to an end, including arrangements for the child  to return to live with parents/anyone with Parental Responsibility; where the child  is aged 16 or over and agrees to being provided with accommodation under Section 20 Children Act 1989, that fact;
  12. The circumstances in which it is necessary to obtain in advance the Local Authority's  approval for the child to take part in school trips or overnight stays;
  13. The Local Authority's arrangements for the financial support of the child during the placement;
  14. The obligation on the carers to comply with the terms of the foster care agreement; 
  15. The type of introduction process required, for example whether arrangements should be made for the child, parents and the social worker to visit the foster home and/or whether it may be appropriate to have an introductory overnight stay.


2. Disruption Meetings

Consideration should always be given to convening a Disruption Meeting in relation to children whose placement has ended abruptly or on an unplanned basis.

For children whose adoptive placement disrupts, a Disruption Meeting must take place - see Disruption of Adoptive Placement Procedure.

A Team Manager or Independent Reviewing Officer will usually chair the meeting. In complex cases, however, consideration will be given to appointing an independent person as chair.

Those invited, or asked to contribute, should be:

  1. The child;
  2. Child’s Advocate;
  3. The parents (where appropriate);
  4. The child's social worker and manager;
  5. The link worker/keyworker (for residential care) and home manager;
  6. The foster carer(s) and supervising social worker;
  7. The child's Independent Reviewing Officer;
  8. The child's current carers;
  9. Other relevant staff/professionals.

The meeting will ensure the child (depending on his or her age and level of understanding) is given the opportunity to understand the reasons for and be supported with managing the transition.

Where appropriate, foster carers must be supported to maintain links with children who leave their care.

The precise agenda will depend on the child/circumstances, but the chairperson should ensure the circumstances leading to the disruption are properly reviewed, and that all concerned are provided with opportunities to express their views freely with a view to establishing:

  • How and why the emergency/disruption occurred;
  • To learn from what happened and avoid the same thing happening again - for the child or others in the placement;
  • To contribute to the future planning for the child;
  • To identify work to be done and to ensure it is completed;
  • To identify if any additional resources are needed to support the placement;
  • To ensure that appropriate notifications and other post placement arrangements have been undertaken.

The chairperson should keep minutes, which must be circulated to all concerned.

In relation to the disruption of an external residential placement, consideration needs to be given to further use of the resource by the authority.

In relation to the disruption of a permanent foster placement, where the foster carers are in-house approved carers, consideration should be given to holding an early Foster Carer Review to consider the foster carer's approval - see Review and Termination of Approval of Foster Carers Procedure.


Appendix 1: Individual Placement Agreement (IPA) Form - Agreement with the Service Provider

Click here to view Appendix 1: Individual Placement Agreement (IPA) Form - Agreement with the Service Provider

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