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October 2017

Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Case Records for Looked After Children This chapter has been reviewed to note the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse requires all institutions to retain their records relating to the care of children for the duration of the Inquiry (see Section 2, Retention and Confidentiality of Records).
Private Fostering This chapter has been amended to add clarity to the definition of private fostering with regards to the legislation and children under 16 who spend more than 2 weeks in residence during holiday time in a school.
Young Carers This chapter has been updated throughout and should be reread.
Worcestershire Children and Young People's Multi-Agency Urgent Mental Health Care Pathway This is the updated pathway and processes that should be followed by partners from health, social care and emergency services who care for children, young people and their families who present in emotional distress or crisis with urgent social, emotional, behavioural or mental health needs which may include deliberate self harm.
Children and Young People 0-25 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities This chapter has been updated to reflect the outcome of a court judgement on Ordinary Residence that was included in DoH, Care and support statutory guidance (December 2016). (See Section 12, Funding Issues - Ordinary Residence). A link has been added into Further Information to guidance on SEND: 19- to 25-year-olds’ entitlement to EHC plans (DfE 2017).
Decision to Look After and Care Planning This chapter has been amended to reflect the outcome of an Appeal Court hearing (2017) with respect to ‘consent’. The court recognised that the term ‘consent’ itself was not used in Section 20. However, it described previous court observations as ‘good practice guidance’, emphasising its judgment should not alter the content or effect of these. (See Section 1.3.1, Obtaining Parental Consent’.)
Placements with Connected Persons Section 3, Approval of Immediate Placements of Looked After Children with Connected Persons has been updated to include matters that should be considered when placing a child with a Connected Person should include an initial risk assessment of any pets, together with the environment in which the pet is kept. A link has been added to Initial Family and Friends Care Assessment: A good practice guide (FRG) A good practice guide on initial family and friends care assessments has been launched by Family Rights Group. The guide is a response to the lack of any minimum standards as to how such assessments, commonly called viability assessments, are conducted.
Placements in Secure Accommodation on Welfare Grounds This chapter has been updated throughout and should be reread.
Placements with Parents Section 1.2, Assessment and Checks before Placement has been updated to include consideration should be given as to whether the home environment is safe for the child including where relevant, the need for a risk assessment of any pets and the environment in which they are kept.
Advocacy and Independent Visitors This chapter has been updated to add a link to the Children’s Society ‘Advocacy services for children and young people – a guide for commissioners’. This guide outlines the legislative requirements of local authorities in the provision of advocacy support to children in need and looked after children. The contacts details for the Advocacy Service in Worcestershire have been added.
Appointment and Role of Independent Reviewing Officers This chapter has been 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 IRO being sensitive to the close and active involvement of parents of a child looked after in a series of Short Breaks and problem-solving where there might be difficulties or issues.
Death or Serious Injury to a Child (Looked After and Child In Need) This chapter has been updated in line with the requirement to notify Ofsted of any serious childcare incident using the Ofsted online notification form.
Social Visits (Including Overnight Stays) This chapter has been updated and should be read throughout.
Supervision and Support of Foster Carers Section 5, Support Provided by the Supervising Social Worker (During Placement) has been updated to reflect that the Safer Caring Plan, any changes in household circumstances along with any health and safety issues including the addition of any new pets and the environment in which they are kept should be reviewed as required.
Assessment and Approvals of Prospective Adopters Section 5.3, Assessment has been updated to include 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.
Placement for Adoption In related guidance a link has been added to Contact After Adoption - Support materials for practitioners working on making positive post-adoption contact plans and supporting birth relatives and adopters through contact planning for their child.
Inter Country Adoption Section 3, Initial Meeting the DfE have published 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.
Applications for Special Guardianship Orders This chapter has been updated throughout and should be reread.
Scheme of Delegation This chapter has been updated throughout and should be reread.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Children's Consultation and Participation This chapter has been added to the manual.

Next update: April 2018


2017 Amendments

2016 Amendments

2015 Amendments