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2.9 Leaving the Home

REGULATIONS AND STANDARDS

The Care Planning Standard
Regulation 14

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

AMENDMENT

This chapter was slightly amended in June 2013 in regard to:

For a temporary move out of the home (in an emergency into e.g. rented accommodation) it must be remembered that the child will remain under current Care Plan and the staff should discuss with the child that expectations such as house rules, education etc. still apply.


Contents

  1. Decision Making and Notice Period
  2. Arrangements for the Transfer or Discharge
  3. Notifications
  4. Aftercare/Contact


1. Decision Making and Notice Period

Children must remain in the home until moving is in their best interests.

  • No transfers or changes of placement may be made without consulting the following people, (NOTE: if a Child is moved in an emergency where it is impossible to notify/consult the following people, they must be notified within 1 working day. If a Child is moved out of the home temporarily, they should be treated as if they are still living at the Children’s Home in which they were placed and their placement cannot be terminated without the agreement of the placing authority as described below);
  • The child;
  • The child’s Social Worker;
  • If the child in Key Stage 4 (year’s 10 or 11), the change of placement must be agreed by a senior manager in the placing authority; the senior manager must ensure that the child’s wishes and feelings have been obtained and that the Designated Teacher in the child’s school has been consulted;
  • The child’s Independent reviewing Officer (IRO), who may decide to convene a Looked After Review before any decision is made to move the Child;
  • The social worker should notify/consult the child’s parents.

Where it appears that the young person will benefit from a transfer from one Home to another, the Home Manager should consult with the Corporate Parenting Manager (or above) and consider if a submission to the LAC (Looked After Children) panel is appropriate. Once a decision in principal has been agreed, and an appropriate internal placement which can meet the child's needs can be identified. At this point discussions will take place with the independent Reviewing Officer (if not already consulted) outlining the reasons for the proposed transfer. The Corporate Parenting Manager (and above) can give approval for a move of placement in the event of an incident or series of events that endanger the welfare of the child or other young people in the home, as well as discussion with the independent Reviewing Officer at the earliest opportunity.

For a temporary move out of the home (in an emergency into e.g. rented accommodation) it must be remembered that the child will remain under current Care Plan and the staff should discuss with the child that expectations such as house rules, education etc. still apply.

Any decision to terminate a young person's placement and request that s/he be discharged and moved to a home outside our care must be approved by the Manager of the home in the first instance.

Normally, young people will remain in their existing home for a minimum of 28 days after the decision to move has been reached. In exceptional circumstances, it may be necessary for a young person to move immediately, from one home to another. In such circumstances, the Manager will consult with the social worker but the final decision will rest with The Corporate Parenting Manager and above.

If the young person is placed by an Authority other than Slough Borough Council the agreement to the Transfer/discharge must be issued by the placing authority in writing.


2. Arrangements for the Transfer or Discharge

When the social worker and IRO have been consulted, the Home Manager should liaise with the Manager of the new placement and take all reasonable steps to ensure the young person's transfer or discharge is managed sensitively.

The young person and Parents should be consulted and kept informed of all key decisions and arrangements in relation to any transfer or discharge. If possible, the young person and parents should undertake visits to the new Home/Placement and should be provided with information such as brochures or guides.

The Home Manager should liaise with the following people to ensure adequate plans and records (see below) are completed or brought up to date before the young person moves:

  • The social worker;
  • Parents or those with Parental Responsibility;
  • The young person;
  • The Manager of the new placement;
  • Teacher/School;
  • Other relevant people/agencies, e.g. Personal Adviser, advocates.

The Plans or records that must be brought up to date or completed by the social worker or others, and the information contained within made available for the Manager of the new placement, are:

For transfers between our Homes, the Home manager and New Home Managers must liaise with each other to ensure that all appropriate arrangements are made, for example:

  1. The young person's Placement Plan - the New Home Manager is responsible for this but the Existing Home Manager should contribute/offer advice on plans/strategies that have been used. As a minimum the Placement Plan must be completed before or upon admission. The exiting Home Manager must produce an End of Placement report within 3 days of the child's discharge.

    No contact may be permitted between the young person and his/her parents, relatives or friends unless agreed with the social worker and set out in the young person's Placement Plan;
  2. The Home Manager should ensure that the young person's file is brought up to date, collated, and the relevant information is passed to the New Home Manager;
  3. If it appears necessary, the New Home Manager should arrange a Planning Meeting, preferably before the move/transfer but within 7 days. See Placement Planning and Disruption Meetings Procedure;
  4. If there is a risk that the young person may abscond, become missing or may absent him/herself without authority, the New Home Manager should arrange for a Risk Assessment regarding the safe management of absconsion to be completed;
  5. The New Manager should liaise with the social worker to ensure arrangements are in place for the young person to be registered with a GP, Dentist and Optician (see Health Notifications and Access to Services Procedure) and should liaise with the previous Home Manager to obtain information/arrangements for any medication or other healthcare arrangements;
  6. The New Home Manager should check to ensure that the young person has had a Health Care Assessment in line with set out in Health Care Assessments and Plans Procedure, and liaise with the social worker as necessary if this is required;
  7. The New Home Manager should ensure the young person is provided with:
    • A copy of the Our Children's Guide;
    • A copy of the Placing Authority's Complaints Procedure;
    • A Discharge Clothing List;
    • Details of an independent advocate;
    • All personal items and belongings (excluding withheld items).

For all transfers/discharges within our care or to other placements, the previous Home Manager should ensure the following arrangements are made:

  1. That the young person takes all his/her clothing and personal belongings or those arrangements are made for them to be passed to the New Home Manager. The Existing Home Manager must ensure that the young person's belongings/clothing are packed in a luggage case or other appropriate packaging.

    Where children have been with our care for an extended period, memento albums and photographs and moments about the home should be prepared for them so they have a record of their period of life at the home. If the move is in response to exceptional circumstance and these items are likely to be destroyed or damaged by the child, items should be stored by the social worker and should be given at a more appropriate time;
  2. If the young person is discharged from our care, the Home Manager must ensure that the young person's site file is brought up to date, collated and archived. The Social Worker is responsible for any Electronic or centrally held records;
  3. The Keyworker should inform Opticians, Dentist, YOT (and any other agencies entitled to know) that a change of address is taking place to prevent void correspondence or appointments;
  4. The Social Worker and New Home Manager must ensure that those listed in Section 3, Notifications are notified of the transfer/discharge.


3. Notifications

The New Home Manager should liaise with the social worker to ensure that notifications of the placement are sent, by the social worker, to the Health Trust, Local Education Authority and Children's Services Department in the area where the child is placed if the move is into another Local Authority Area; these notifications must be made in writing advising of the placement decision and the name and address of the Home where the child will be placed.

The social worker should also notify the young person's parents and significant relatives or friends, and should liaise with the New Home Manager to arrange contact with the young person. NOTE: No contact may be permitted between the young person and his/her parents, relatives or friends unless agreed with the social worker and set out in the young person's Placement Plan.


4. Aftercare/Contact

Any arrangements for aftercare or contact between Mallards staff and the young person or his/her parents/family must be agreed with the Manager, the social worker and be set out in the young person's Placement Plan.

End