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Amendments

2024

February 2024

Early Permanence: Fostering for Adoption, Concurrent Planning and Temporary Approval as Foster Carers of Approved Prospective Adopters

In February 2024, this chapter was refreshed and a link was added to National Early Permanence Practice Standards (Coram Centre for Early Permanence).

Health and Safety

In February 2024, additional information was added about online safety.

Aftercare under Section 117 of the Mental Health Act 1983

Section 2, Ordinary Residence was updated in February 2024 in line with case law.

Placements in Secure Accommodation on Welfare Grounds

Section 10, Use of Inherent Jurisdiction to Authorise a Placement Involving a Deprivation of Liberty was updated in February 2024 to include information from Guidance - Placing Children: Deprivation of Liberty Orders - guidance for providers, social workers and placement commissioners on placing children, subject to a deprivation of liberty order (DoL), in unregistered settings and President of the Family Division Practice Guidance: Placements in Unregistered Children's Homes in England or Unregistered Care Home Services in Wales.

Supporting the Education and Promoting the Achievement of Children with a Social Worker, Looked After and Previously Looked After Children

This chapter was updated in February 2024.

Placements in Residential Care

In February 2024, this chapter was updated to include information from Guidance - Placing Children: Deprivation of Liberty Orders - guidance for providers, social workers and placement commissioners on placing children, subject to a deprivation of liberty order (DoL), in unregistered settings and President of the Family Division Practice Guidance: Placements in Unregistered Children's Homes in England or Unregistered Care Home Services in Wales.

Capacity and Consent

In February 2024, amendments were made to reflect case-law in relation to assessing legal capacity.

Unaccompanied Migrant Children and Child Victims of Trafficking and Modern Slavery

This chapter was updated in February 2024. Information in relation to the National Age Assessment Board was added into Section 4, Assessment.

Care and Supervision Proceedings and the Public Law Outline

In February 2024, information was added into Section 4, Care Orders and Supervisions Orders on a Care Plan of the Child Remaining at Home in relation to Supervision Orders, in line with Public Law Working Group (PLWG) Recommendations to Achieve Best Practice in the Child Protection and Family Justice Systems: Supervision Orders.

Placements in Other Arrangements

This chapter was updated in February 2024.

Children and Young People Aged 0-25 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

This chapter was amended in February 2024 to include information from Special Educational Needs and Disability: Improving Local Authority Decision Making - Report of the Administrative Justice Council's Working Group on Special Educational Needs and Disability. Information in relation to legal aid for foster carers and prospective adoptive parents in First Tier Tribunal appeals was also added into Section 15, Resolving Disagreements.

Families with No Recourse to Public Funds

Section 5.2.5, Providing Support was updated in February 2024 to reflect the Home Office increase in financial support to individuals waiting to find out if they will be given asylum in the UK.

2023

August 2023

Leaving Care and Transition

This chapter was amended in August 2023 to note that with effect from 1 April 2023, the leaving care allowance increased from £2,000 to £3,000. It was also revised to include information from the revised Ofsted inspection framework.

Applications for Special Guardianship Orders

In August 2023, this chapter was updated to reflect the updated Public Law Working Group Best Practice Guidance. This includes the new interim guidance, issued by the President of the Family Division, that addresses the lawful extension of care proceedings beyond 26 weeks. Section 6.3, Placement before a Special Guardianship Order (SGO) is Granted was added in line with guidance that states where there is no pre-existing relationship between the child and special guardians the child should be placed on an interim basis before the special guardianship order is made.

Health Care Assessments and Plans

In August 2023, information in relation to allergies was added into Section 4, Health Plans.

Aftercare under Section 117 of the Mental Health Act 1983

This chapter was amended in August 2023 to include a link to 'Self-harm: Assessment, Management and Preventing Recurrence NICE Guidance'. See Further Information.

Health and Safety

In August 2023, information in relation to allergies was added into Section 6, Diet, Nutrition and Allergies.

Managing Allegation and Suspicions of Harm Policy

In August 2023, this chapter was amended in line with revised Keeping Children Safe in Education. A new Section 2, The Difference Between an Allegation of Harm and a Concern was also added.

Children and Young People Aged 0-25 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

In August 2023, this chapter was updated to include information from Guidance: Area SEND Inspections Framework and Handbook (November 2022). 

Decision to Look After

Section 4, Section 20 Accommodation was updated in August 2023 in line with case-law.

Children Involved in the Youth Justice System: Additional National Guidance

This chapter was added in August 2023.

Ofsted Inspection Framework

Statement of Purpose

This chapter was updated in August 2023.

Placing and Visiting Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities or Health Conditions in Long-Term Residential Settings

In August 2023, this chapter was updated to include information from the UK Social Work Practice in Safeguarding Disabled Children and Young People report.

March 2023

Remands to Local Authority Accommodation or to Youth Detention Accommodation

This chapter was updated in March 2023 in line with Local Procedure/Guidance.
In addition, this chapter was amended to include information from Annex to MOJ Circular 2022/03: Additional Information on Remand to Local Authority Accommodation (RLAA).

Care and Supervision Proceedings and the Public Law Outline

This chapter was updated in March 2023 in line with Local Procedure/Guidance.
Section 8, Court Hearings was also updated in line with A View From the President's Chambers: Relaunching the PLO (November 2022) and that section should be re-read.
In Relevant Guidance, a link was added to Pre-proceedings and Family Justice Hub (Research in Practice).

Capacity and Consent

This chapter was updated in March 2023 in line with Local Procedure/Guidance.

Ceasing to Look After a Child

Care Planning

Placements in Secure Accommodation on Welfare Grounds

Placements in Foster Care

Fostering Panel

Placements with Connected Persons

Social Worker Visits to Looked After Children

Placement Planning and Disruption Meetings

Looked After Reviews

Permanence Planning Guidance

Guidance on Safer Caring Plan

Supporting the Education and Promoting the Achievement of Children with a Social Worker, Looked After and Previously Looked After Children

Review and Termination of Approval of Foster Carers

Relinquished Children

Leaving Care and Transition

Placements Outside England and Wales

Confidentiality Policy

Appointment and Role of Independent Reviewing Officers

Placements with Parents

Placements in Residential Care

Unaccompanied Migrant Children and Child Victims of Trafficking and Modern Slavery

Young Carers

Decision to Look After

Assessments

Recruitment, Assessments and Approvals of Foster Carers

Contacts and Referrals

Delegation of Authority to Foster Carers and Residential Workers

Health Care Assessments and Plans

Disability Living Allowance - Children in Care in Foster Placements

Early Permanence Placements/Fostering for Adoption

Child in Need Plans and Reviews

Change to the Foster Carer's Terms of Approval

48 Hours and preferably with 24 hours Child Protection Enquiries (Section 47)

Death or Serious Injury to a Child (Looked After and Child in Need)

Legal Gateway/Planning Meetings

Private Fostering

Applications for Emergency Protection Orders

Notifications from Other Local Authorities/Placement Providers

Advocacy and Independent Visitors

Family Time with Parents/Adults and Siblings

Foster Carers Record Keeping and Retention

Secure Accommodation (Criteria) Reviews

Persons Disqualified from Fostering

Exemptions

Marriage/Civil Partnership of a Looked After Child

The Staying Put Scheme - Information for Foster Carers

Use of Social Media Sites by Social Care and Safeguarding Staff

Foster Carers who Wish to Adopt

Guidance for Supervising Social Workers when Foster Carers Separate

Behaviour Management Policy for All Foster Carers

Personal Care and Relationships

Family Placement and Smoking Policy

Looked After Children and Young People in Contact with Youth Justice Services