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2.6 Placement Planning and Disruption Meetings


Regulation 5 – Engaging with the Wider System to Ensure Each Child’s Needs are Met

The Quality and Purpose of Care Standard
Regulation 6


This chapter provides procedures on:

  1. Pre-Placement Planning Meetings (where placements are being considered);
  2. (Post) Placement Planning Meetings, including Emergency* Meetings/Reviews;
  3. Disruption Meetings for children whose placement has ended abruptly or on an unplanned basis.

*Emergency Placement Planning Meetings/Reviews are meetings for children placed on an unplanned or emergency basis in children's homes; or meetings regarding children whose placements are at risk of breaking down.


  1. Purpose of Placement Planning Meetings
  2. Frequency of Placement Planning Meetings
  3. Convening and Chairing Planning Meetings
  4. Who Should Attend or Contribute to the Meeting
  5. Preparation and Conducting of the Meeting
  6. Recording of Outcomes
  7. Progress Chasing Outcomes
  8. Disruption Meetings

1. Purpose of Placement Planning Meetings

The purpose of Placement Planning Meetings is to ensure that children's Placement Plans (which is recorded on the Placement Information Records) is brought or kept up to date and continue to meet the needs of broader or wider plans, such as a Care Plan, Personal Education Plan or Pathway Plan.

2. Frequency of Placement Planning Meetings

Placement Planning Meetings should be held at the following intervals:

  1. Within seven working days of the child's placement if a Placement Plan was not completed prior to the placement, sufficient to sustain the child until the first Looked After Review;
  2. As part of all Looked After Reviews or, if this is not possible, a Placement Plan Review should be conducted as soon as possible after each Looked After Review;
  3. After serious Incidents or in the light of significant changes in the child's circumstances which suggest that it is necessary to review the arrangements set out in the Placement Plan;
  4. At other times agreed between the social worker and provider/carer;
  5. Where the Statement of Purpose for a home determine that such reviews should occur.

3. Convening and Chairing Planning Meetings

Meetings will be arranged and chaired by the home's manager or Supervising Social Worker.

Meetings should be conducted in the form of a face to face meeting but may be conducted over the telephone if necessary in order to ensure the welfare of the child or the protection of other children, and when there is agreement between the Manager/ Home’s Manager/Social Worker that this is necessary.

4. Who Should Attend or Contribute to the Meeting

The following people should be invited to attend/have their views represented at the Placement Planning Meetings.

  1. The child's social worker;
  2. The child’s Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO);
  3. The Child;
  4. The child's parents;
  5. If placed in a foster home, the foster carer(s) and a family placement worker/social worker;
  6. If placed in a children's home, the child's Link Worker, if known, or a member of staff;
  7. Other significant people/agencies.

If any of these people can not attend it does not preclude the meeting from occurring, if the manager/chair agree; in which case, the manager/chair obtain their views.

5. Preparation and Conducting of the Meeting

Before the meeting, the chairperson should obtain or be up dated on the following:

The chairperson 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.

During the meeting, the chairperson should ensure the following:

  • That consideration is given to the continuing appropriateness of the placement within the context of the child's Care Plan or Pathway Plan and the need for the Placement Plan to be amended as appropriate;
  • That the child's Placement Plan is updated if appropriate, and new or updated copies are circulated to those who were invited or contributed.

This does not mean that amendments to Placement Plans may only be made at Placement Planning Meetings. When a Placement Plans is formulated and at each Placement Planning Meetings, the social worker and manager/chair should agree the extent to which they can be amended, between Placement Planning Meetings or without consultation. 

The chairperson should consider whether the child requires an Advocate or the appointment of an Independent Visitor; if so, this should be raised with the Social Worker. See Advocacy and Independent Visitors Procedure.

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.

6. Recording of Outcomes

The Chairperson must ensure the following is recorded at the end of the Placement Planning Meeting:

  • The updating or amendment of the child's Placement Plan;
  • Additional minutes of any discussions and decisions made at the Placement Planning Meeting.

Copies of these records should be circulated to those who attended or were invited to contribute.

7. Progress Chasing Outcomes

Where the chairperson is concerned about delay in implementation of aspects of the Placement Plan, he or she should monitor the progress made by those responsible with taking further actions and, if necessary, take matters up with relevant managers.

Where the chairperson is concerned that recommendations or agreements have not been incorporated into the child's plan, he or she may take this up with the relevant person/manager and/or consider whether to reconvene the Placement Plan Meeting.

8. Disruption Meetings

Disruption Meetings should be convened in relation to children whose placement has ended abruptly or on an unplanned basis. Strenuous efforts must be made to seek to resolve the unplanned endings of placements for children. An emergency placement planning meeting should always be held where there are fears that a placement is at risk of disruption.

Where a placement breaks down or ends on an unplanned basis, the Social Worker must convene a Disruption Meeting within 5 working days.

The manager of the home or an independent manager can also convene and chair the meeting. Those invited, or asked to contribute, should be:

  1. The social worker;
  2. The Keyworker or carer(s);
  3. The parents and child;
  4. Other relevant staff/professionals;
  5. The child’s Independent Reviewing Officer.

The precise agenda will depend on the child/circumstances, but the manager/chair 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 disruption occurred;
  • To learn from what happened and avoid the same thing happening again - for the child or others in the home;
  • To contribute to the future planning for the child;
  • To identify work to be done and to ensure it is completed.

Minutes must be taken during the meeting and then circulated to all concerned within a reasonable time with a copy kept on the child’s file.