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9.4 Handover Policy


This chapter gives guidelines in regard for Handover Meetings at Breakaway.

This chapter was added to the manual in June 2013.


  1. Purpose
  2. References
  3. Procedure
  4. Process
  5. Documents
  6. Conclusion/Review

1. Purpose

  • The Handover meeting is to ensure staff are fully informed of issues relating to the care given to the children and young people and the service experienced by the children, young people and their families, thereby equipping members of staff to give the appropriate levels of safe care, welfare and promotion of safe parenting to the children, young people and their families;
  • The Handover meeting should be conducted in a professional manner and issues discussed/exchanged should be done appropriately and confidentially.

2. References

  • The Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations - Volume 4;
  • Children Homes Regulations.

3. Procedure

  • There are three Handover meetings performed each day at Breakaway, the morning Handover (7am to 7.15 am approx.), the afternoon Handover (2pm to 2.30pm approx.) and an evening Handover (9.15/30pm to 9.45/10pm).

The morning handover starts at 7am and ends at 7.15am.

It takes place between the ‘waking night staff’, the person who has ‘slept-in’ (the shift-leader) and the other early team members.

It should include the following:

  • A summary of the child and young person who have slept in the unit, what their night was like, sleeping patterns, disruptions, and confirmation of the child and young person who are awake. If any are, these are to allocated to a member of the early team by the shift leader, who will then inform that worker of any tasks/duties allocated to them during the handover meeting;
  • Confirmation of children due to leave the unit and those due to attend school;
  • Identification of children’s needs, medication, waking-up routine, personal hygiene support needs, independence programme or behavioural triggers;
  • Between 7.00 and 7.15 am the shift should be planned by the shift-leader. (Please see Shift Leader Policy for detailed breakdown of duties).

The afternoon handover starts at 2pm. It takes place between the early team shift leader and the afternoon team.

It should include the following:

  • A summary of the children who are due to return from school, due to arrive for day care or overnight stay;
  • Identification/clarification of children’s needs, medication, behavioural triggers/routines independence programme and personal hygiene support needs, planned unit activities;
  • Please see Shift Leader Policy for a more detailed breakdown of responsibilities and duties of the shift leader.

The evening handover starts at 9.30pm (when the night worker comes on shift). It takes place between the night-worker and the person sleeping-in, just before this worker goes off shift.

This should include the following:

  • A summary of the children due to sleep in the unit/overnight stays, confirmation of the children who are/not asleep;
  • Identification/clarification of children’s needs, medication given/verified, behavioural triggers/night routines, independence programmes, personal care needs at night;
  • Identification/confirmation of ‘Night tasks’ (please see Nightly domestic tasks checklist in Night time Policy - to follow);
  • Confirmation that final night security checks have been completed;
  • Confirmation that final medication has been administered and verified;
  • Anything that needs checking out and packing.

4. Process

  • All staff on the incoming shift need to attend Handover;
  • Shift leader needs to manage this meeting, keep it focused, avoid discussing personal issues and keep within time limits;
  • Information on all children using the service from one handover to the next must be discussed, all significant information shared, explored and assessed;
  • Children should still be attended to during handover, telephones, doors and visitors must also be attended to, shift leader must co-ordinate;
  • A handover checklist, which is specific to Breakaway, should be devised to assist the handover process;
  • Information exchanged at/during handover must be recorded in appropriate document;
  • Staff members must keep themselves updated with handovers they may have missed.

5. Documents

The printed and bound Handover book will be used during these meetings.

One book per month, paged numbered and dated.

Message book, Fire log book and unit diary will also be used to verify information and cross reference/check appointments.    

6. Conclusion/Review

This handover policy will be reviewed, updated and or amended as part of team development during team meetings no later than annually.