Slough Children's Homes logo

Top of page

Size: View this website with small text View this website with medium text View this website with large text View this website with high visibility

2.1 Referrals and Placements


The Quality and Purpose of Care Standard
Regulation 6

The Care Planning Standard
Regulation 14


The area local authority (if different from the placing authority) must be notified without delay of the admission of a child to the Home.

The notification must state:


In January 2015, a new Section 6, Placements Out of Area was added.


  1. Introduction
  2. Mallards Admission Guidelines and Procedure
  3. The Admission Checklist
  4. Points to Consider when Admitting a Young Person
  5. Placements Out of Area

1. Introduction

Mallards has a clear and comprehensive Child Centred Admissions procedure (with Guidance) which aims to ensure all Standards are met in a practical and measurable way.

The admission of any young person at Mallards is supervised and monitored by the Manager or an Assistant Team Manager of Mallards staff.

The Admission Guidelines and procedure is included below, and is self explanatory.

2. Mallards Admission Guidelines and Procedure

The guidelines and procedure set out are to assist staff at Mallards with a young person’s admission to the unit.

This procedure incorporates a checklist of tasks to carry out through the admission process and useful pointer/reminder of issues to take into account throughout the process.

Some of the tasks included in the checklist are listed more than once, both in the pre-admission section and at the point of admission section. Thus taking into account that each admission is unique and therefore recognises those children and young people may have their own fears, anxieties and differential circumstances. Therefore, each admission is child/young person led. However, there has been some attempt to put the checklist in order of pre-admission and point of admission but allows for flexibility.

Requests for looked after placements (except in an emergency) must be discussed at the Placements and Resources Panel (held every Wednesday) and agreed by the Head of Service chairing the Panel. The Placement Co-ordinator should then receive a referral to begin the search for an appropriate placement.

If Mallards is the preferred placement then the following process must be followed:

  • Referral form to be completed by social worker and sent to the Registered Manager;
  • Reply to referral form by the manager at Mallards – within 72 hours;
  • Meeting arranged with the young person and current carers – within 7 days;
  • Meeting to take place between manager at Mallards and the young person’s social worker;
  • Impact risk assessment to be completed by manager at Mallards and signed off by Head of Service Placements and Resources;
  • Placement agreed or rejected by Mallards Manager in consultation with Head of Service Placements and Resources. NB In the event of a difference of opinion with the placing social work service, the Assistant Director (Responsible Individual) will consider the request for a placement and make the final decision taking into account the impact risk assessment;
  • Young person to visit Mallards;
  • Young person agrees to an overnight visit at Mallards where possible;
  • Placement confirmed by all parties;
  • Key worker allocated;
  • Date agreed to commence placement;
  • All relevant consent forms completed and provided; relevant legal orders provided;
  • Placement and Care Plan must be provided at point of admission;
  • Six week in- house assessment of placement to commence in line with impact risk assessment before an on going in depth placement plan is drawn up;
  • Placement meeting to take place within 72 hours of admission;
  • LAC review to take place within 28 days of admission.

Placement in an emergency:

Emergency placements will also be considered at Mallards based on the relevant documentation being provided and long term plans being adhered to. Relevant documentation must include completed referral form, a copy of most recent looked after review. An impact risk assessment must also be completed by Mallards. The admission to Mallards must be made by a social worker.

There will be review after 72 hours about suitability and whether the placement should continue. This will be chaired by the manager of Mallards.

3. The Admission Checklist

The checklist is to be used as a guideline - in order to ensure that tasks are carried out and to ensure that information has been shared with the young person. Therefore it is recommended that the admissions checklist is placed in the young person’s working file.

Mallards has a “living away from home” booklet (Children’s Guide) with information regarding Mallards. The young person will be given a copy on (or prior to) admission.

If requested, a copy of the Statement of Purpose can also be given or made available.

4. Points to Consider when Admitting a Young Person

  • Wherever possible an identified keyworker should be involved in the admissions process and on duty at the point of admission;
  • The young person may need to hear, discuss and ask questions with regards to their placement with Mallards;
  • Give permission and opportunity for the child/young person to express their feelings of loss and grief;
  • Be available both physically and emotionally: you do not need to be solely at the child’s/young person’s disposal but be aware of particularly stressful situations e.g. bedtime;
  • Prepare current children/young people resident for the new admission of another child/young person. Acknowledge their feelings and fears. Where appropriate they can be involved in the admission e.g. showing the child/young person around the unit and may be able to empathise with the young person;
  • Accept the young person as an individual. They will come with their own needs, difficulties, strengths, skills and history. We will receive information relating to the young person e.g. behavioural difficulties, which can lead staff to prejudge them. It is important to acknowledge and accept this information, but this may relate to the environment they were in. It is important to balance the need for using the information received and acknowledge a start in a new environment;
  • Acknowledge feelings of the staff team about an admission. These feelings need to be discussed. We want to provide the best possible reception for the young people.

5. Placements Out of Area

Within the placing authority, the decision to place a child out of area must be approved by the Nominated Officer, unless it is a Placement at a Distance, (i.e. outside the area of the local authority and not within the area of any adjoining local authority), in which case the approval of the Director of Children’s Services is required.

The Nominated Officer/ Director of Children’s Services must be satisfied of the following:

  • That the child's wishes and feelings have been ascertained and given due consideration;
  • That the placement is the most appropriate placement available for the child and consistent with the Care Plan;
  • That relatives have been consulted where appropriate;
  • That the Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO) has been consulted (usually the IRO will discuss with the child after the child has visited the proposed placement);
  • That the area authority has been notified, or, for a Placement at a Distance, the area authority have been consulted and have been provided with a copy of the child’s Care Plan.

The social worker must assess the suitability of the placement.  This includes referring to the Home’s Statement of Purpose and location assessment, consulting the Home’s manager to ensure that proper arrangements are in place for the child to have contact with his/her family and significant others, particularly when the child is placed at a distance away from their family home and considering the arrangements for meeting the child’s health and education needs.

For more information, see The Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations - Volume 2: Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (2015).

Pre-Admission Visit

Click here to view Pre-Admission Visit Form.

Overnight Stay

Click here to view Overnight Stay Form.

On Admission

Click here to view On Admission Form.

Personal Possessions

Click here to view Personal Possessions Form - to follow.