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4.4.3 Notifications and Transfer of Children Subject to Child Protection Plans Moving from/to Other Local Authority Areas - Local Protocol

AMENDMENT

This chapter was extensively updated in February 2015 and should be read in its entirety.


Contents

  1. Purpose
  2. Principles
  3. Movement of Children Subject to a Child Protection Plan to Blackburn with Darwen from another Local Authority Area
  4. Movement of Children Subject to a Child Protection Plan from Blackburn with Darwen to another Local Authority Area
  5. Resolving Cross Boundary Differences


1. Purpose

This guidance aims to:

  • Promote the safe and efficient transfer of children subject to child protection plans in and out of the Blackburn with Darwen area;
  • Promote consistent action and responses to the transfer of cases where children are subject to child protection plans to and from other Local Authority Areas.


2. Principles

This guidance should be applied with regard to the following:-

  • The child’s welfare and safety is paramount;
  • Promoting and creating positive communication and information sharing within Blackburn with Darwen, and between Blackburn with Darwen and other Local Authority Areas in respect of children subject to child protection plans;
  • Promoting effective child protection plan case transfers to avoid drift and delay for the child and their parents/carers and to ensure children are safeguarded;
  • Ensuring services in the local area are identified and offered in a timely manner to children suffering or at risk of suffering significant harm who move into the Blackburn with Darwen area;
  • Child Protection Planning is robust and timely and takes account of all available information.


3. Movement of Children Subject to a Child Protection Plan to Blackburn with Darwen from another Local Authority Area

All requests for a transfer–in conference should be received and responded to by the Review and Quality Admin Team Manager who will pass to the Duty Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO) and will make the child subject to a temporary CP plan on the day of receipt. Where a request is made by telephone by another Local Authority Area, the IRO should request that this is put in writing and either securely faxed, emailed or posted to the Review and Quality Admin Team Manager.

It is the responsibility of the Local Authority requesting the transfer-in to ensure the written follow-up is made in a timely manner. The 15 day timescale for convening the transfer- in conference will commence upon receipt of the written information.

Following a request for a transfer-in conference, the IRO will collate relevant information. As a minimum this will include:

  • Full details of the child – name, DOB, gender, ethnicity, current address and planned Blackburn with Darwen address;
  • Details of any siblings – names, DOB, gender, ethnicity, current address and planned Blackburn with Darwen address;
  • Details of Parents and/or carers – names, DOB, gender, ethnicity, current address and planned Blackburn address;
  • Background information relating to the case:
    • Reason for the Child Protection Plan;
    • Category of abuse;
    • Length of time the child has been the subject of a plan;
    • Overview of the historical involvement with the child and their family, including any history of previous sibling adoptions or previous periods of being a Looked After Child;
    • Assessment and intervention work undertaken;
    • Any legal information including whether or not subject to PLO;
    • The organisations contributing to the plan;
    • The planned outcomes for the child.

Request the responsible Local Authority to forward copies of updated single assessment child protection plan, minutes of the Initial Child Protection Conference, Child Protection Review Conferences, all core group minutes, legal papers and any other relevant assessments or information, including the Section 47 Child Protection Enquiry via secure email or by recorded delivery

The IRO will then:

  • Establish if Blackburn with Darwen holds any historical information in relation to the child, their siblings, their parents or carers and record the information on the relevant format in the integrated children’s system (ICS) as a case note;
  • Liaise with the Review and Quality Admin Manager to request that information is shared to enable all relevant systems in Children’s Services and in partner agencies to be updated to include details of the child and their status;
  • Notify the MASH Team Manager of the intention to convene a transfer-in conference and provide the background information to the case; sharing the contact details for the responsible authority;
  • Request the Review and Quality Admin Manager to convene the transfer-in conference within 15 working days of written notification of the permanent address or when the child/ren have been resident at a temporary address for 3 months or more;
  • Include in the recommendations of the transfer in conference the need to undertake a children and families assessment in Blackburn with Darwen.

The Social Worker/Area Team Manager should always give consideration to the need to read the case records held in the Responsible Local Authority area. Any historical records relating to the child or their family in Blackburn with Darwen should ALWAYS be accessed and read by the allocated worker in Blackburn with Darwen.

Where the child and their family are moving to Blackburn with Darwen and the planned address is temporary, e.g. a refuge, supported housing provision or other temporary accommodation, the Review and Quality Admin Team Manager will collate the information as outlined above. The information should then be passed to the IRO if this becomes a permanent move.

The Review and Quality Admin Manager and Duty IROs will be responsible for liaising with the Responsible Authority on at least a monthly basis to monitor the progress of the case and continue to confirm plans to secure permanent accommodation in the Blackburn with Darwen area; where a permanent address has been secured the transfer-in conference should be convened within 15 working days of receipt of written notification of the permanent address.

If after a period of three months the child and their family continue to live in temporary accommodation in Blackburn with Darwen, a transfer-in conference must be arranged within 15 working days.

Responsibility for the Child Protection Plan during the period in temporary accommodation will remain with the Responsible Authority, (i.e. the Local Authority requesting the transfer-in Child Protection Conference) until the transfer-in Conference has been held in Blackburn with Darwen and a decision whether a child protection plan is required.

At the transfer-in child protection conference the IRO will ensure any gaps in information or the assessment are identified and action taken to address this. Actions and recommendations should be monitored at future child protection review conferences.


4. Movement of Children Subject to a Child Protection Plan from Blackburn with Darwen to another Local Authority Area

It is the responsibility of the Social Worker, or in their absence their manager, to notify the Review and Quality Admin Team Manager when a child who is the subject of a child protection plan is intending to move or has already moved out of the Blackburn with Darwen area, whether this is to a permanent or temporary address.

The notification should be made within one working day from the information coming to the attention of the social worker or their manager.

The social worker/area team manager should provide the following information to the Review and Quality Admin Team Manager:

  • The address to which the child has moved and confirm whether or not this is temporary accommodation;
  • The names, D.O.B and relationships of all adults who have moved with the child;
  • Adults with whom the child will be living with in the receiving Local Authority area;
  • The reason for the move;
  • The arrangements made by the Social worker/Area Team Manager to safeguard the child in the receiving Local Authority area.

The Social Worker/Area Team Manager must notify the receiving children’s social care services providing the required information and determining the need for a transfer in conference.

If a transfer in conference is to take place this will be followed up in writing by the Review and Quality Admin Team Manager. As a minimum the following information will be sent securely by the administrator to the receiving authority:

  • Details of all child subject to a child protection plan – name, DOB, gender, ethnicity, current address and planned address;
  • Details of any siblings – names, DOB, gender, ethnicity, current address and planned address;
  • Details of Parents and/or carers – names, DOB, gender, ethnicity, current address and planned address;
  • Details of other adults who will be living at the planned address;
  • Full details of the allocated Social Worker – their name, work address, telephone number and email address;
  • Background information relating to the case – reason for the Child Protection Plan, category of abuse, length of time the child has been the subject of a plan, legal papers, assessment and intervention work undertaken, the organisations involved and the planned outcomes for the child;
  • The Local Authority to provide copies of the children and families assessment, child protection plan, minutes of the Initial Child Protection Conference, Child Protection Review Conferences, all core group minutes and any other relevant assessments or information, including the Section 47 Child Protection Enquiry.

All documents that are sent to other local authority areas should be sent securely, with a request that the receiving local authority acknowledge safe receipt; where confirmation is not received within 5 working days, the sender should follow this up.

The Review and Quality Admin Team Manager will notify relevant organisations in Blackburn with Darwen that the child has moved out of the area and the forwarding address.

When a date for the transfer-in conference in the receiving Local Authority has been set the allocated social worker or social work representative of the Responsible Local Authority must attend the ‘transfer-in’ conference.

The child’s plan should not be discontinued in Blackburn with Darwen until written confirmation has been given by the receiving Local Authority that the transfer-in conference has been held and a decision made whether the child remains subject to a child protection plan. On receipt of this notification the Review and Quality Admin Team Manager should:-

  • Confirm the decision of the transfer in Child Protection Conference in writing to all relevant organisations and individuals in the area;
  • Update ICS and discontinue the plan, recording the end date as the date the receiving Local Authority held the transfer-in conference and the decision was made.


5. Resolving Cross Boundary Differences

There may be occasions where difficulties arise in the transfer of cases between Local Authority areas. It is essential that any difficulties are addressed and resolved as swiftly as possible by the delegated IRO

In the first instance the matter should be addressed by telephone discussion between the delegated IRO in Blackburn and their equivalent in the other Local Authority area. It is anticipated that most matters will be resolved at this stage. This should be done within 2 working days of an issue with the transfer being raised.

Where the matter remains unresolved following this telephone contact, the delegated IRO should discuss the case with the Service Leader Review and Protection. It may then be appropriate for them to contact their equivalent in the Local Authority area, either in writing or by telephone (or both) in order to ensure the matter remains live and is resolved at the earliest opportunity. Progress should be reviewed on a weekly basis to minimise the risk of drift or further delay.

Finally where difficulties continue to persist in the transfer, the matter should be referred to the Head of Service Safeguarding Unit. It will be their responsibility to liaise with their equivalent in the Local Authority area and reach ultimate agreement and a clear plan. It is anticipated that few cases should reach this stage.

End