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CoventryChildren's Services Procedures Manual

Permanency Planning Tracking for Looked After Children

AMENDMENT

In September 2018, this chapter was extensively updated and should be reread.

Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Timing of Panels
  3. Purpose
  4. Conditions for Success
  5. Overall Process
  6. Appendix 1: Paperwork Required at Each Panel

1. Introduction

Following an evaluation of the permanency planning tracking for looked after children (first established in June 2017), some changes have been made to the arrangements to improve the focus on ensuring that permanency planning at the second review is robust. The revised arrangements are set out in this paper and take effect from 1 May 2018. The key changes are as follows:

  • There will be 4 panels known as the Legal Planning and New Admissions Panel, Court Progression Panel, Permanency Panel and Resource Panel;
  • The Legal Planning and New Admissions Panel and Court Progression Panel functions will remain the same;
  • The Permanency Panel will focus on confirming and progressing the permanency plan to ensure that by the second Looked After Children review there is an identified plan to be ratified and plans are progressed without delay following the final order being obtained;
  • A Resource Panel will be established to agree financial requests for residential placements, residential staffing ratio costs and any therapeutic assessments/support packages.

2. Timing of Panels

The Legal Planning and New Admissions Panel will meet every Tuesday from 9am to 3pm.

The Court Progression Panel will meet every Thursday from 2pm to 4pm.

The Permanency Panel will meet every Thursday from 10am to 12pm.

The Resource Panel will meet every Monday from 2pm to 4pm.

3. Purpose

  1. Ensure that permanency planning for children is progressed with the pace and urgency that is needed, including achieving legal or emotional security for children and young people;

  2. Improve the timeliness and the quality of evidence for court work, including pre-proceedings work. This should also include ensuring assessments of connected persons are timely and robust and those children and their carers receive appropriate support;
  3. Ensure that children are prepared well for moving to their permanent home, including starting life story work at an earlier stage.

4. Conditions for Success

The panels should not be used to supplement assessments or undertake supervision or case management. This is the role of service and team managers. Managers and social workers attending the panels must ensure that the correct documentation is available to the panels in a timely way so that the discussions are purposeful. Managers and social workers will be held to account if there is a lack of compliance.

Cases that are due to come to the panels must not be delayed as the whole purpose is to avoid any drift or delay. Equally if a case requires an urgent legal planning meeting, this should take place and not wait for a panel date.

5. Overall Process

Assessment Triangle

If a young person is not yet looked after and requires resources to prevent family breakdown, they should not wait for a panel and services should be put in place straightaway. The Menu of Services is available in the Document Library.

 

If an emergency admission into care is required, the social work team should:

  • Seek agreement from the Operational Lead;
  • Give an early warning to the Placements Team;
  • Book onto the Legal Planning and New Admissions Panel.

Appendix 1 summarises the paperwork required for each Panel. The templates can be found in the Document Library

Legal Planning and New Admissions Panel

What?

The function of this panel is to:

  • Determine threshold for accommodation, pre proceedings and instigation of care proceedings;
  • Initiate activity to ensure legal and emotional security at the earliest possible point.

This Panel will consider the following:

  • S20 where manager agreed to accommodate in emergency situation;
  • Requests for S20 (previous edge of care cohort);
  • All new admissions;
  • Legal planning arrangements including pre proceedings;
  • Unborn babies where previous siblings were removed (public or private proceedings);
  • Relinquished babies;
  • Those S20 for longer than the original agreed period;
  • PLO pre-proceedings – review at week 6;
  • PLO pre-proceedings – review at week 12;
  • PLO pre-proceedings – exceeding 12 weeks.

The following identified by case progression:

  • S37 notifications;
  • Those on Supervision Orders due to expire within 3 months;
  • Those Police Protected then return home or have S20 agreed;
  • UASC where they have been accommodated under S20 for 6 weeks or more.
Who?

The members of this panel are:

Strategic Leads (Chairs) – to attend on a rota basis, arranged between themselves:
Neil MacDonald
Jane Brooks
Paul Smith

Legal Services – to attend on a rota basis arranged between themselves:
Claire Coulson-Haggins
Corrina Knott
Tracey Wainwright
Shannon Reade

Commissioning
Milan Jagatia 

Placement Service
Team Manager, Placements Team

Case Progression Manager
Jennifer Harrison

Family Group Conference Manager
Shaminder Uppal

MST and Crisis Intervention Manager
Margaret Conway

Social Worker and Team Manager bringing the case

Paperwork Required for Legal Panel and New Admissions Panel

Along with the documents below, copies of attendance note from the previous panel must be provided:

  • S20 – emergency accommodated – Admission to care form to include case summary and proposed plan.
  • S20 – request for accommodation – Admission to care form to include case summary and proposed plan.
  • S20 – those accommodated longer than originally agreed – case summary, LAC review minutes and most recent care plan along with any other reports and assessments completed.
  • LPM cases – SWET (whole form), any other reports and assessments, draft immediate issue letter or draft Letter before Proceedings, Parenting Assessment Plan.
  • Unborn babies – SWET (whole form), pre-birth assessment (if completed), any other reports and assessments, draft immediate issue letter or Letter before Proceedings, Parenting Assessment Plan.

 

  • PLO pre-proceedings – week 6:
    • SWET presented to Legal Planning and New Admissions Panel at initial meeting;
    • Letter before Proceedings;
    • PLO meeting minutes and agreed action plan;
    • FGC (family group conference) date/minutes;
    • Viability Assessment dates/outcomes, any other relevant reports;
    • Parenting Assessment Plan.
  • PLO pre-proceedings – week 12:
    • SWET – latest copy to be updated to consider progress made during PLO;
    • Review PLO meeting minutes and action plan;
    • Assessments completed and any relevant reports.
  • PLO pre-proceedings – exceeding week 12:
    • SWET – latest copy to be updated to consider progress made during PLO;
    • Review PLO meeting minutes and action plan;
    • Assessments completes and any relevant reports.
  • S37:
    • Draft S37 report.
  • Supervision Order review:
    • Case summary outlining progress made under the supervision and recommendation on whether the order can expire or application to be considered to extend;
    • Final Order and any documents to inform a discussion.

Court Progression Panel

What?

The function of this panel is to:

  • Provide a robust overview of the cases within care proceedings to ensure we meet the requirements of the revised Children and Families Act 2014;
  • Improve the timeliness and the quality of evidence for court work, including pre-proceedings work;
  • Endorses the final Care Plan.

This Panel will consider the following:

  • Care Proceedings, checkpoint 1 – following Case Management Hearing, approximately week 4;
  • Care Proceedings, checkpoint 2 – approximately 3 weeks prior to filing final evidence, date set at checkpoint 1 and is dependent on timetable for assessments.
Who?

The members of this panel are:

Strategic Leads (Chairs) – to attend on a rota basis, arranged between themselves:
Neil MacDonald
Jane Brooks
Paul Smith

Legal Services
Annette Rabjohn

Case Progression Manager
Jennifer Harrison

Connected Persons Team Manager
Hayley Read

Paperwork Required:

  • Proceedings, checkpoint 1 – following the Case Management Hearing:
    • SWET – copy submitted to court with all sections completed;
    • CMO from Case Management Hearing and any subsequent hearing;
    • Any assessments/reports completed by order of the court.
  • Proceedings, checkpoint 2 – prior to final evidence:
    • SWET – copy submitted to court with all sections completed;
    • CMO from Case Management Hearing and subsequent hearings;
    • Any assessments/reports completed by order of the court or progress there of;
    • Draft final care plan;
    • Any minutes from attendance at panel for checkpoint 1.

Permanency Panel

What?

The function of this panel is to:

  • Ensure that children’s permanence plans are progressed with the pace and urgency that is needed, including achieving legal or emotional security at the earliest point;
  • To act as a Permanence Planning Meeting prior to the second Looked After Children Review so the identified plan/s can be ratified by the Independent Reviewing Officer;
  • Ensure permanence plans are progressed without delay following the final order being obtained.

This Panel will consider the following:

  • S20 accommodation agreed at the Legal Planning and New Admissions Panel, appropriate and with an agreed plan to remain looked after until 18;
  • Adoption is progressed;
  • Long term fostering matches are progressed;
  • SGO considered and Support Plans ratified;
  • Revocation of Care or Placement Order;
  • UASC – 16+.
Who?

The members of this panel are:

Operational Leads (Chairs) – to attend on a rota basis, arranged between themselves:
Jazmine Walker
Matt Clayton

Virtual School
Jim Horgan

Looked After Health Team
Ann Smith – LAC Health Team Manager
Jeremy Pearce – LAC CAMHS Team Manager

Fostering
Katherine Robinson

Social Worker and Team Manager bringing the case

Paperwork Required:
Care plans.

Resource Panel

The function of this panel is to:

  • Consider financial requests for residential placements, residential staffing ratio costs and any therapeutic assessments/support packages.

This Panel will consider the following:

  • All placements made since the last panel;
  • Any additional costs associated with the placement e.g. solo placements, additional staffing, bed blocking costs;
  • There will be a longer monthly panel which will consider all high cost placements to ensure care plans and step down plans are being progressed.

Who?

The members of this panel are:

Strategic Leads (Chairs) – to attend on a rota basis, arranged between themselves:
Neil MacDonald
Jane Brooks
Paul Smith

Operational leads
Katherine Robinson – Fostering
Angela Whitrick – Placements

Virtual School
Jim Horgan

Looked After Health Team
Ann Smith – LAC Health Team Manager
Jeremy Pearce – LAC CAMHS Team Manager

Social Worker and Team Manager bringing the case

Paperwork Required:
Referral form
Care plans

Appendix 1 – Paperwork Required at Each Panel - At a Glance

Legal Planning and New Admissions Panel

Request for new admission to care

  • Admission to care form, to include case summary and proposed plan.

Review emergency admission to care

  • Admission to care form, to include case summary and proposed plan.

Review Police Protection

  • Admission to care form, to include case summary and proposed plan;
  • Case summary to include proposed plan (for children who have not remained in care following PP being taken).

Request to extend current Section 20 approval

  • Case summary to include proposed plan;
  • Latest LAC review minutes;
  • Current care plan;
  • Any assessments completed;
  • Minutes from attendance at previous panel date.

UASC in care over 6 week period

  • Admission to care form, to include case summary and proposed plan.

Relinquished baby

  • Admission to care form, to include case summary and proposed plan.

Legal Planning Meeting Paperwork

Care / Supervision Order

  • Draft SWET;
  • Any assessments prepared to date;
  • Draft letter before proceedings or immediate issue letter;
  • Suggested action plan, to include details of any further assessments required (if relevant);
  • Parenting assessment plan;
  • Any minutes from attendance at panel previously.

Discharge care order

  • Initial draft statement;
  • Updated care plan;
  • Copy of the final child in need plan to detail the action taken to date, whether any on-going monitoring is required and what the step down process will be.

Section 37

  • Draft Section 37 report.

Section 20 – review of status

  • Admission to care form agreed at the point of coming into care;
  • Updated case summary to include actions taken to date and proposed steps to return the child home;
  • Latest LAC review minutes;
  • Current care plan;
  • Any assessments completed;
  • Any minutes from attendance at panel previously.

Review of Supervision Order

If seeking approval for the order to expire:

  • Case summary to detail the action taken to date, whether any on-going monitoring is required and what the step down process will be;
  • Child in need plan.

If seeking an application to extend the order:

  • Draft initial statement and updated care plan.

Secure Accommodation Order

  • Draft initial statement and care plan, to include exit strategy.

PLO review – 6 week point

  • SWET presented to Legal Planning and New Admissions Panel;
  • Letter before Proceedings;
  • PPM minutes and agreed action plan;
  • FGC (family group conference) date/minutes;
  • Viability Assessment dates/outcomes, any other relevant reports;
  • Parenting assessment plan;
  • Any minutes from attendance at panel previously.

PLO review – 12 week point and beyond

  • SWET – latest copy to be updated to consider progress made during PLO;
  • Review PPM meeting minutes;
  • Assessments completed and any relevant reports;
  • Any minutes from attendance at panel previously.

Court Progression Panel

Care Proceedings:

Checkpoint 1

  • SWET – the copy submitted to court upon issue;
  • CMO from Case Management Hearing and any subsequent hearing;
  • Any assessments/reports completed by order of the court.

Care Proceedings:

Week 11, or 3 weeks prior to final evidence (date to be set at week 4 panel)

  • SWET – the copy submitted to court upon issue;
  • CMO from Case Management Hearing and last hearing;
  • Any assessments/reports completed by order of the court or progress there of;
  • Draft final care plan;
  • Any minutes from attendance at panel for checkpoint 1.


Permanency Panel

All cases

  • Current care plan;
  • Any minutes from attendance at panel previously.


Resource Panel

All cases

  • Referral form;
  • Current care plan;
  • Any minutes from attendance at panel previously.