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5.1.4 Placement Planning and Disruption Meetings


See also Fostering Services (England) Regulations 2011 Schedule 5, and Fostering National Minimum Standards 2011 28, 31


Placement Disruption Meetings (Foster Care and Residential Care)

Disruption of Adoptive Placements Procedure


This chapter was updated throughout in July 2015 following a review to reflect current practices. 


  1. Placement Planning Meetings
  2. Disruption Meetings

1. Placement Planning Meetings

All new placements must have a Placement Planning meeting, which should be convened by the child's social worker as part of the process of identifying and placing a child - as set out in the Placements in Foster Care Procedure. The first Placement Planning Meeting in relation to a placement should be held before the placement. Where this is not possible because of the urgency of the situation, it should be held in order that the Placement Plan is prepared within 5 working days of the start of the placement.

The purpose of the Placement Planning Meeting is to discuss the Care Plan and finalise the Placement Plan. This will involve a discussion of the child's needs, including their health and education needs and how these are to be met.

The child's/young person's Personal Education Plan will be initiated at the Placement Planning Meeting. The meeting also provides an opportunity to ensure that the carers have a copy of any relevant court order.

Except in emergency placements, the Placement Planning Meeting should be used to plan any introductions to the placement.

Further Placement Planning Meetings should be held at intervals agreed with the manager of the residential home or the foster carers and their supervising social worker - or as required for example where there are issues to be resolved in relation to the day to day arrangements for the placement. Any arrangements for the management of missing from home episodes should also be recorded on the Placement Plan.

The social worker and home manager/foster carers supervising social worker will agree the best format and venue for the meeting.

The Placement Planning Meeting will be chaired by the social worker.

The people listed below should contribute to the meeting:

  1. The child’s social worker and/or other professional associated with the child e.g. Personal Adviser or advocate;
  2. The child;
  3. The child’s parents;
  4. For children in residential care, the child’s link worker/keyworker and, where appropriate the home manager;
  5. For children in foster care, the foster carers and their supervising social worker;
  6. Designated teacher for looked after children and young people;
  7. Anyone else considered appropriate or to have a role in the placement plan, e.g. relative, nursery, health care professional, YOS worker.

The social worker should update those at the meeting on the following, if available:

Where the proposed placement has the effect of disrupting the arrangements made for the child's education and training - see Education of Looked After Children Procedure.

The chairperson should also ensure that the child, parent(s) and others who have been asked to contribute understand the purpose of the meeting, how it will be conducted and are given the opportunity to put their views and suggestions.

If there are concerns about the suitability of the placement, consideration should be given to the following:

  • Whether it is possible to sustain the placement until the next Looked After Review by, for example, providing additional support to the placement;
  • Bringing forward the date of the next Looked After Review;
  • Ending the placement.

2. Disruption Meetings

2.1 Placements at risk of Disruption

If a child's/young person's placement is threatening to break down the social worker should immediately convene a care planning meeting/ pre disruption meeting.

The purpose of this meeting will be to:

  • Reconsider the child's needs;
  • Identify what issues are leading to the risk of breakdown;
  • Plan what services if any, will be put in place to meet the child's needs and support the continued placement; or, when this is not possible;
  • Plan a change of placement in such a way that it minimises the level of distress to both child and carers. The child's welfare must be of paramount consideration when making any plans.

A Team Manager should chair the meeting.

The social worker should present a revised assessment of the child's/young person's needs using the summary sheets of the Assessment and Action Record/Assessment and Progress Record.

When the child/young person has been living in either residential care or a foster placement a representative of that service should attend the meeting and provide a revised assessment of the support needs of the carers and their capacity to care for that particular child.

If child has been living with a family member the social worker shall provide a revised and updated assessment of their support needs as carers and capacity to meet the child's needs.

The meeting will consider and revise the day to day arrangements for the child as recorded in the Placement Plan, and where necessary, the overall Care Plan to meet the child's/young person's needs should be amended.

The following persons will be invited to attend:

  • The child/young person;
  • His or her parents;
  • The current carer;
  • The social worker;
  • Representatives of any other agency who may be able to support the child/young person and/or carers. In the case of a foster placement, this will include the fostering service link worker;
  • The chairperson;
  • The child's Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO)

2.2 Placements which have disrupted

Consideration should always be given to convening a Disruption Meeting in relation to children whose placement has ended abruptly or on an unplanned basis.

For children whose adoptive placement disrupts, a Disruption Meeting must take place - see Disruption of Adoptive Placement Procedure.

For children whose foster placement or residential placement disrupts, see Placement Disruption Meetings (Foster Care and Residential Care).

When a placement ends and a new placement begins, a placement planning meeting should be held within 5 working days of the commencement of the new placement.