Berkshire Safeguarding Children Board Procedures
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1.3.7 Transfer Protocols Between CYPFS Social Work Teams

AMENDMENT

This chapter was revised in October 2013 and should be re-read in full.

Teams Affected

The ‘Assessment and Children in Need Teams’; the ‘Hospital Social Work Team’; the ‘Protection and Care Teams’ and the ‘Looked After Children and Care Leavers Team’

AMENDMENT

This chapter was revised in November 2013 in regard to new Team Names.


Contents

  1. Policy Aim
  2. Legislation, Central Government and other External Documents References
  3. Roles, Responsibilities and Transfers


1. Policy Aim

To ensure children are transferred to the most appropriate team within Children, Young People and Families to meet the child's long term needs thus enhancing consistency in care planning, intervention and ensuring smooth and timely transfers. An over-arching principle is that staff at all levels will work collaboratively to implement this protocol in the best interests of children using skill and judgement.


2. Legislation, Central Government and other External Documents References

Slough Borough Council

Tri-X CYPFS procedures online (all other relevant sections)


3. Roles, Responsibilities and Transfers

Work Undertaken by the Assessment and Children in Need Teams and the Hospital Social Work Team

  • Assessments of children’s needs under section 17 Children Act 1989;
  • Child Protection Enquiries under Section 47 Children Act 1989;
  • Pre-birth assessments of babies at risk of significant harm or who may be children in need;
  • To initiate Care Proceedings or seek Court Orders when a child has suffered or is at risk of harm;
  • To work with children, young people and their families in the community while on a children in need plan;
  • To work with children subject to Supervision Orders;
  • Initial viability assessments of ‘Connected Persons’ carers under reg 24 including all necessary checks;
  • Welfare assessments and court reporting under Section 7 and 37 Children Act 1989;
  • To assess all children and young people presenting as unaccompanied asylum seeking children;
  • To assess all 16 and 17 year olds presenting as homeless and vulnerable;
  • To assess children placed on Remand and under section 20 Children Act 1989;
  • All emergency or unplanned S20 for children if not covered already above or below;
  • All new private fostering referrals  and  to carry these cases if the placement proves viable;
  • Children missing from school or in alternative education where welfare concerns are raised;
  • Children missing from home cases where ongoing welfare issues;
  • All ‘transfer in’ CIN cases from other authorities;
  • All re-referrals on cases closed by that team within 3 months of the closure.

Work undertaken by the Protection and Care Teams

  • To work with children, young people and their families while subject to a child protection plan;
  • To implement the PLO and/or Care Proceedings when a child continues to suffer significant harm and a child protection plan is not able to adequately protect;
  • To meet all statutory duties to children looked after and those who have left care;
  • To implement and progress children's plans to permanent alternative families when they cannot remain in their birth family;
  • Initial Viability Assessments of potential long term carers in the connected persons network;
  • To provide immediate social work services for Relinquished Babies;
  • To support children placed in short and long term foster placements;
  • All re-referrals on cases closed by that team within 3 months of the closure;
  • Any children ‘transferred in’ from another Local Authority who are subject to a child protection plan.

Work undertaken by the Looked After Children and Care Leavers Team

  • To support children placed in long term placements and meet the all statutory duties in relation to these children;
  • To provide support  and services to young people leaving care and meet the all statutory duties in relation to these young people;
  • All re-referrals on cases closed by that team within 3 months of the closure;
  • To provide post-assessment support for unaccompanied asylum seeking children who are accommodated or who have left care;
  • To advise, assist and befriend young people leaving care;
  • To complete and implement Pathway Plans with young people aged 16 or over who are in care or who have left care;
  • To ensure young people are equipped with the life skills to reach their full potential.

Points of Transfer: Hospital Social Work Team to Protection and Care Teams

  • When a Pre-Birth Assessment identifies a significant level of risk that warrants alternative care arrangements being sought following birth of the baby, the case will transfer at first Looked After Child review. If the case goes straight into proceedings following birth, the transfer point will be at first hearing;
  • Relinquished Babies - At the point of referral the Hospital Social Worker will undertake a joint visit with a Child Protection and Care Team Social Worker. If at the end of the visit, it is clearly established that the parent wishes to relinquish the baby then the case will immediately transfer to the Protection and Care Team for completion of the Child and Family Assessment/any ongoing work. (Please refer to the Protocols and Guidance for Relinquished Baby Cases.);
  • When an EPO is taken, the case will transfer at the subsequent hearing when seeking an ICO.

Points of Transfer: Assessment and Children in Need Teams to Protection and Care Teams and Looked After Children and Care Leaver Team

  • When a child is assessed as needing a Child Protection Plan, the Assessment and Children in Need Social Worker will take the case to Initial Child Protection Conference. The child will transfer at first Core Group. The child’s case will be raised at the earliest transfer meeting and a worker allocated from the Protection and Care Team. There will be a joint visit to meet the child and family prior to the first Core Group;
  • In cases where planned Care Proceedings are instigated for a Child in Need the case will transfer at first hearing for an Interim Care Order. All court statements, care plans, and other case documentation to be completed before transfer;
  • When an EPO is taken, the case will transfer at the subsequent hearing when seeking an ICO;
  • When a child becomes Accommodated under Section 20 Children Act 1989, the case will be transferred at first Looked After Child review. The child’s case will be raised at the earliest transfer meeting and a worker allocated from the Protection and Care Team or the Looked After Children and Care Leavers Team (depending on circumstances and care plan). There will be a joint visit to meet the child and family prior to the first review and both workers will attend the review.

Children seeking Asylum in the UK

  • Children who present as Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children who have no relatives or carers in the UK will be age assessed by two relevantly-trained Social Workers- one from either the Duty Team or Assessment and Children in Need Team and one from the Looked After Children and Care Leavers Team. The Children in Need assessment will be completed by the Assessment and Children in Need Team and the child will transfer at first review;
  • Unaccompanied asylum seeking children who are claiming connection to a person in the Borough with whom they wish to live will be allocated within the Assessment and Children in Need  for assessment and support.

Please refer to Unaccompanied Children Policy for further details regarding procedure.

Sibling Groups

  • All sibling groups should have the same Social Worker regardless of the child’s status unless there is good reason that is in the interests of the children not   and only then with agreement of the Head of Service.

Process for Transfer

  • Fortnightly allocations meeting will be held between the Practice Managers from the teams to identify cases for transfer, agree actions and timescales for achieving this. These should be in line with this protocol;
  • All relevant and statutory ICS records in relation to children must be completed prior to transfer including case records; Assessments; Chronologies; Care Plans; court Statements and court reports;
  • Practice Managers from the teams should consult with each other on cases entering care proceedings and agree the care plans presented prior to transfer;
  • The ‘transfer checklist’ will be completed by the Assessment and Child in Need SW, signed off by their Practice Manager and sent to the Practice Manager in receiving team. On agreement, this will be signed off and the case will be allocated to the new worker on ICS;
  • The Business Support Officer in the receiving team will write to all interested parties informing of the change of SW.

Monitoring and Review

This policy will be reviewed on an annual basis.

End