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5.1.9 Out of Area Placements

RELATED CHAPTER

Securing Sufficiency for Looked After Children Procedure

AMENDMENT

In July 2015, this chapter was amended throughout and new Section 4, Notifications, was added.


Contents

  1. Placements to which this Procedure Applies
  2. Approval of Placement by Nominated Officer (Director of Children's Services) or Head of Service, Permanence (in their absence)
  3. Emergency Placements

    Appendix 1: Nominated Officer Agreement to the Placement of a Child out of the Local Authority Area


1. Placements to which this Procedure Applies

This procedure applies to any placement of a Looked After child outside the area of the local authority (excluding Bolton and Lancashire), EXCEPT WHERE the placement is with a Connected Person, or a local authority foster carer is approved by the placing authority.


2. Approval of Placement by Nominated Officer (Director of Children's Service) or Head of Service, Permanence (in their absence)

The decision to place the child out of area or change of placement out of area must be approved by the Nominated Officer, who must be satisfied of the following:

  • That the child's wishes and feelings have been ascertained and given due consideration;
  • That the placement is the most appropriate placement available for the child and consistent with the Care Plan;
  • That relatives have been consulted where appropriate;
  • That the area authority has been notified and any issues arising from the placement of the child discussed with the relevant person in the receiving authority (for example concerns about CSE, missing from home);
  • That the Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO) has been consulted (usually the IRO will discuss with the child after the child has visited the proposed placement).

See Appendix 1: Nominated Officer Agreement to the Placement of a Child out of the Local Authority Area.


3. Emergency Placements

In the case of a placement made in an emergency, the approval of the Nominated Officer (Director of Children’s Services), is still required and s/he must be satisfied that the child's wishes and feelings have been ascertained and given due consideration, and must take steps to ensure that within 5 working days: the IRO has been informed; relatives have been consulted (where appropriate) and the area authority notified.


4. Notifications

When a child moves placement, an alert will be generated on the Protocol system for the Safeguarding Unit admin team. For placements where the child or young person has been placed out of borough, the Safeguarding Unit will notify the host authority that one of our children has been placed within their local authority area, using the form provided by the receiving local authority.

Prior to placing the child  the key worker must discuss the intention of placing the child with the receiving authority giving due consideration to risks such as missing from home, child sexual exploitation, offending behaviours, involvement in gangs

A copy of the Placement Plan and Care Plan should be sent with the notification form and a case note created on Protocol to confirm that these have been sent. This is the responsibility of the Safeguarding Unit admin team.

This will also apply to adoptive placements, when a child is placed in an adoptive placement out of borough although a different letter template is used.


Appendix 1: Nominated Officer Agreement to the Placement of a Child out of the Local Authority Area

Click here to view Appendix 1: Nominated Officer Agreement to the Placement of a Child out of the Local Authority Area

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