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9.5 Shift Leader Policy


  • This policy is designed to outline the essential role of the shift leader. It includes the expectations and the responsibilities of the shift leader when a member of the team is rota’d into this role as part of their shift;
  • The shift leader will be the member of staff responsible for the smooth running of the shift, the delegation of tasks and duties, the medication administrator and the person expected to notify parents, managers, social worker and/or EDT of serious/minor incidents at Breakaway.

This chapter was added to the manual in June 2013.


  1. Procedure
  2. The Process
  3. Documents
  4. Conclusion

1. Procedure

The shift leader is responsible for:

  • Ensuring the handover starts on time;
  • Planning the shift;
  • Ensuring that all available information is known to manage a safe shift;
  • Ensuring that all staff have read each child young person’s This is Me, Risk Assessments and programmes;
  • Ensuring that all agency workers have an up to date Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate and that Breakaway has a copy;
  • Ensuring that all children and young people are signed into the fire book and all staff have signed themselves into fire book and the names of the staff and children and young people on that shift are entered into the message book;
  • Ensuring that there are enough staff for the next shift;
  • Checking that all tasks are completed;
  • Administering medication;
  • Ensuring that medication is packed into the child or young person’s school bag at the end of their stay with a label informing others of medication in the bag;
  • Allocating child/young person/staff and this to be recorded on the handover sheet;
  • Allocating tasks/duties to members of staff;
  • Identifying a fire persons 1 and 2;
  • Final night time security and medication checks by p.m. shift leader;
  • Ensuring that keys are all present;
  • Any incident/accident forms are filled in correctly before staff leave the building and made accessible for management attention/signing off;
  • Notifying parents/carers, manager/social worker of any incidents and faxing information if serious incident;
  • Ensuring that a verbal handover is given to the on-site manager who arrives first in the morning;
  • Ensuring that children or young person’s bedrooms have been personalised, and that activities/toys are out ready for child or young person;
  • Ensuring shift tasks, daily jobs are completed;
  • To take handover of:
    • Petty Cash;
    • Pocket Money.
  • Checking the diary for visits and appointments;
  • Risk Assessments for outings are completed;
  • Ensuring that any tasks not completed are handed over and a reason why is given;
  • Handing over to the shift leader on the following shift;
  • Holding a de-briefing session before staff leave the unit if deemed necessary.

2. The Process

The shift leader is the member of staff who takes responsibility for the smooth running of the shift and the child or young person placed with staff members on duty, this includes Health & Safety. The shift leader needs to feel confident about being in this role and understand the important communication and delegation processes needed to ensure the effectiveness of their role and the safety of the shift.

2.1 What does the Shift Leader do?

  • Receive and participate in the handover given by the previous shift leader and ask relevant questions about the child or young person in the unit during their shift;
  • Check and ensure that all staff joining the shift have read the ‘This is Me’ and Risk Assessments of the child or young person in the unit on their shift;
  • Discuss/debrief and evaluate the information received and make decisions about the forthcoming shift with the shift team;
  • Allocate children/young people/:staff and record which worker is allocated to which child on the handover sheet, shift tasks and daily jobs;
  • Keep staff informed and aware of any changes to the child or young person’s Care Plans, shift changes/developments, visitors, breaks and their availability to support them;
  • Sign off all Risk Assessments undertaken as part of the shifts activities (in the absence of a manager), oversee all accident/incident reports, ensuring that they are available for the manager’s signature;
  • Ensure daily logs are completed;
  • Allocate staff breaks of 20 minutes in a shift longer than 6 hours (2 x 10 mins or 4 x 5 mins);
  • Inform cook of any changes to children or young people, diets or numbers;
  • Make decisions using their own judgement without calling the manager;
  • Take responsibility for the unit keys, the Health & Safety of all the children or young people and shift members, visitors and the building and act as Fire Officer 1 until the end of the shift;
  • Take responsibility for informing parents/carers, manager, social worker of any minor/serious incidents. This includes any child protection issues, whistle blowing, minor/major incidents, calling the police/emergency services, social worker, or EDT;
  • Take responsibility for the communication flow across the shift with all shift members;
  • If needed, change the delegated person working with a child or young person and record clearly on handover sheet;
  • Ask relevant questions about previous experience, practice, confidence levels, the child or young person in the unit and about the tasks to be allocated;
  • Ensure that all staff, including agency/As and When workers are aware of child or young person who are 1:1 and what 1:1 means.

3. Documents

The pre-printed handover sheet will be the document used to record all elements of the shift.

Ensure that contact sheets and daily logs are completed and put on ICS.

Ensure all accident/incident forms are completed by staff before leaving the building.

4. Conclusion

This handover policy will be reviewed, updated and/or amended annually as part of team development during team meetings.