Amendments

December 2018

Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Children's Services Policies, Values and Principles A new Section 2, Corporate Parenting has been added in response to the DfE publication 'Applying Corporate Parenting Principles to Looked-after Children and Care Leavers – Statutory Guidance (Feb 2018)'. It includes the seven corporate parenting principles set out in the guidance.
Confidentiality Policy This guidance has been reviewed and updated following the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018. Section 1.5, Press Interest, Police and Legal Enquiries has been updated to reflect the processes locally for responding to media requests for information.
Assessment Section 4, Contribution of the Child and Family has been updated to include reference to parents with learning disabilities
Care and Supervision Proceedings and the Public Law Outline This guidance has been updated to include a link to the President of the Family Division, Family Proceedings: Parents with a Learning Disability note (see Section 2.1, Principles). A link has also been added to Practice Direction 3AA - Vulnerable Persons: Participation in Proceedings and Giving Evidence (see Case management in Section 4, Documentation).
Recording Policy and Guidelines This guidance has been reviewed and updated following the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018.
Case Records and Retention Section 1, The Case Record has been updated in line with the Adoption and Care Planning (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2018, which permits the transfer of a copy of the child's case record (or part of that record) to another adoption agency when the local authority considers this to be in the interests of the child.
Access to Records / Subject Access Requests This guidance has been reviewed throughout to reflect the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).
Electronic Recordings of Meetings and Conversations This guidance has been reviewed and updated following the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018.
Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children This guidance has been reviewed locally and extensively revised.
Decision to Look After and Care Planning

Additional information has been added into Section 1.3, Section 20 Accommodation), in line with recent case-law which considered the use of Section 20 Accommodation by local authorities These cases were clear that:

  • A local authority failing to permit a parent to remove a child in circumstances within section 20(8) acts unlawfully; and
  • The relevant information that a parent would need to be able to understand, retain and weigh up in order to have competency to consent to the accommodation of a child is as follows:
    • That the child will be staying with someone chosen by the local authority, probably a foster carer;
    • That the parent can change their mind about the arrangements, and request the child back from accommodation at any time;
    • That the parent will be able to see the child.
Social Worker Visits to Children in Care Section 2, Exceptions has been updated to set out more clearly the circumstances where visiting requirements differ from those set out in Section 1, Normal Frequency.
Looked After Reviews Section 2, Frequency of Looked after Reviews has been updated with respect to the circumstances as to when a Looked After Review should be brought forward. Section 9, The Role of the Looked After Review in Achieving Permanence for the Child has also been amended to reflect the outcome of a High Court Judgement in respect of children who were subject to Section 20 and where there were concerns of significant delays in their planning for permanence. The court noted the IROs recognition and action over a number of reviews but acknowledged that a more robust response had been needed.
Family Time / Contact with Parents and Siblings Section 2, Different Types of Contact has been updated to take account of the ways in which children and young people use mobile phones and social media to keep in touch with family and friends.
Adoption Case Records Section 3, Security Retention and Sharing of Records has been updated in line with Adoption and Care Planning (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2018, which provides that an adoption agency may disclose an adoption case record to another adoption agency for purposes related to either agency's functions as an adoption agency. Further information has been added in relation to adoption records where an Adoption Order is not made.
Applications for Special Guardianship Orders and the Special Guardianship Support Scheme This guidance has been updated to reflect recommended good practice to follow when working with Special Guardians published by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman. A link to the full report 'Firm Foundations: Complaints about Council Support and Advice for Special Guardians (Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman) (May 2018)' has been added into the Relevant National Guidance section.
Life Story Books This guidance has been reviewed and updated as required to reflect best practice locally
Later Life Letters This guidance has been reviewed fully and updated as required to reflect best practice locally.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Title Details
Deprivation of Liberty This online resource provides information on Mental Capacity and Deprivation of Liberty in relation to children and young people. Case-law makes it clear that social workers and local authorities need to consider whether children in care or cared for away from home in other settings may be subject to a Deprivation of Liberty and, if so, what authorisation is required.
Mental Capacity This online resource will support practitioners to understand the Mental Capacity Act and practice confidently. Everyone working with (or caring for) any young person from the age of 16 who may lack capacity must comply with the Mental Capacity Act 2005.
Children in Care - Pocket Money and Savings This new guidance contains the policy for the provision of pocket money to Children in Care in Derbyshire and provides guidance for foster carers, Children's Homes staff, social workers and Independent Reviewing Officers.
Next Update: June 2019

July 2018

Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Single Assessment Process: Overview This guidance has been reviewed to ensure it continues to reflect current processes for carrying out Assessments in Derbyshire.
Section 47 Enquiries This procedure has been reviewed and extensively updated. Links to relevant Practice Matters guidance documents have also been added.
Care and Supervision Proceedings and the Public Law Outline Section 4.2, Case Analysis has been updated to reflect the 'permanence provisions' of the Care Plan (added by Section 8 Children and Social Work Act 2017 amending Section 31(3B) Children Act 1989) which a court is required to consider when deciding whether to make a Care Order.
Child in Need Plans and Reviews This chapter has been updated, a new Section 4, Children in Need Moving to Another Authority - Principles has been added to emphasise the importance of information sharing and communication between the respective local authorities when a Child in Need Moves. This should help to ensure appropriate services continue for the child and family and, where relevant, any risk of harm is recognised and identified with the receiving local authority.
Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children Section 5, Age Assessments and Disputeshas been updated to note that, in advance of undertaking an age assessment for an unaccompanied asylum seeking child, local authorities must seek Home Office assistance with verifying the authenticity of identity documents e.g. travel documents or a birth certificate. A link to the relevant contact details for local authorities has been added.
Decision to Look After and Care Planning Section 2.1, The Care Plan – Contents has been amended to reflect the additional 'permanence provisions' of the Care Plan (Section 8 Children and Social Work Act 2017 amends Section 31(3B) Children Act 1989) which a court is required to consider when deciding whether to make a Care Order.
Permanence Planning Guidance Section 5, Assessing and Planning for Permanence, has been updated to reflect the additional the 'permanence provisions' of the Care Plan (under Section 8 Children and Social Work Act 2017, amending Section 31(3B) Children Act 1989) which a court is required to consider when deciding whether to make a Care Order.
Locality Care Planning Panel This guidance has been reviewed throughout to describe the operation of the Locality Care Planning Panel and the Care Planning Scrutiny Panel Process.
Assessments and Approvals of Foster Carers Section 8, After the Panel Recommendation has been updated to clarify the decision as to the suitability of the applicant must be made within 7 working days of receipt of the panel's recommendation and final set of panel minutes – The Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations - Volume 4 (5.39) and Standard 14 (14.9) Fostering panels and the fostering service's decision-maker.
Placement for Adoption

Section 1, Planning for Permanence has been revised to reflect the updated list of considerations (as amended by Section 9 Children and Social Work Act 2017) which must be referenced whenever a court or adoption agency is coming to a decision relating to the adoption of a child. Following the introduction of the Children and Social Work Act, this list now includes consideration of the relationship which the child has with relatives, with any person who is a prospective adopter with whom the child is placed and with any other person in relation to whom the court or agency considers the relationship to be relevant.

The procedure also been amended to emphasise 'procedural fairness' as a key aspect of the adoption planning process in respect of ensuring parents are provided with information throughout, including the dates of placement/proposed changes of a child's Status, etc. This follows the outcome of a judicial review ([2017] EWHC 1041 (Admin)). (See new Section 4.2, Procedural Fairness).
Fostering for Adoption / Early Permanence Placements Section 4.1, Duty to Consider Fostering for Adoption Placement has been revised to reflect the updated list of considerations (as amended by Section 9 Children and Social Work Act 2017) which must be referenced whenever a court or adoption agency is coming to a decision relating to the adoption of a child. Following the introduction of the Children and Social Work Act, this list now includes consideration of the relationship which the child has with relatives, with any person who is a prospective adopter with whom the child is placed and with any other person in relation to whom the court or agency considers the relationship to be relevant.

December 2017

Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Death of or Serious Injury to a Child (Looked After and Child in Need) This chapter has been reviewed and updated to reflect current processes to be followed in Derbyshire when Children's Social Care are notified of a serious childcare incident, including notification to Ofsted.
Children and Young People Aged 0-25 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities This chapter has been updated to reflect the outcome of a court judgment on Ordinary Residence which was included in the revised DoH, Care and Support Statutory Guidance (December 2016). (See Section 12, Funding Issues - Ordinary Residence).
Young Carers This guidance has been updated to include information on the support services available for young carers via Derbyshire Carers Association. Please see Local Information for full details.
Decision to Look After and Care Planning This chapter has been amended to reflect the outcome of a decision of the Court of Appeal (2017) with respect to the consent requirement under s.20 of the Children Act 1989. The Court recognised that the word 'consent' does not appear in Section 20. However, it described the guidance given in previous case law as 'good practice guidance', emphasising its judgment should not alter the content and effect of these. (See Section 1.3.1, Obtaining Parental Consent).
Secure Accommodation Policy This guidance has been reviewed throughout and updated as required to reflect current arrangements in Derbyshire for obtaining a Secure Accommodation Placement, In particular, Section 5, The Decision Making Process – Secure Panel has been substantially revised to reflect current practice in relation to making decisions about the need for a placement in secure accommodation.
Advocacy and Independent Visitors This chapter has been updated to include a link to the Children's Society publication 'Advocacy Services for Children and Young People – A Guide for Commissioners'. This guide outlines the legislative requirements placed on local authorities in relation to the provision of advocacy support to Children in Need and Looked After Children.
Looked After Reviews A link has been added to the Law Society guidance on 'Attendance of Solicitors at Local Authority Children Act Meetings' and associated Code of Conduct for situations where the child or family who attend reviews are supported by a legal representative. (See Section 7, Supporters and Interpreters).
Appointment and Role of Independent Reviewing Officers This guidance has been updated in relation to the role of the Independent Reviewing Officer in line with the Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations - Volume 2: Care Planning, Placement and Case Review, June 2015. In particular, the need for the IRO to be sensitive to the close and active involvement of parents of a child who is Looked After in a series of Short Breaks and problem-solving where any difficulties or issues arise.
Overnight Stays and Social Visits This guidance has been reviewed and updated throughout.
Holidays and School Trips in the UK Section 1, Holidays has been updated to include a reminder that Children in Care must not be taken on holiday during term time unless there are very exceptional circumstances. The reason for this is to try and minimise any disruption to the education of Children in Care and to help ensure they meet their full potential at school. Social workers and team managers will be expected to reinforce the importance of avoiding holidays during term time and any requests for exceptional leave need to be approved prior to any holiday planning by the school's Head Teacher; the Service Director, Early Help and Safeguarding, and the Head of the Virtual School.
List of Agency Decision Makers, Designated Managers and Nominated Officers This chapter has been reviewed locally and updated as required.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Relinquished Children This new chapter deals with the first stages of the adoption process for relinquished children, whilst signposting other key processes that should be progressed and which are expected for any child who is Accommodated or where the plan is for adoption. It also summarises the counselling and support that will be made available to the birth family in these circumstances. Once a decision is made and consent is formally given, although not irreversible, the adoption process is as for any other child.
Tattoo and Body Piercing Policy This policy sets out the legal framework and processes to be followed if a Looked After Child wishes to have a tattoo or piercing.

August 2017

Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Supervision Order Procedure

Section 2, The Supervision Order Plan has been updated to include the following:

  • The Supervision Order plan should be specific and purposeful in its aim to reduce risk and build on strengths to support the child in their care arrangement;
  • For each Supervision Order, consideration must be given as to whether the best type of plan for the child is a Child Protection Plan, or a Child in Need Plan;
    • A Child Protection Plan should be considered appropriate for a minimum of 6 months where a child is returning to carers in whose care the significant harm originally occurred;
    • A Child in Need plan may be considered appropriate where a child is going to be living with carers who were not responsible for the significant harm e.g. a Special Guardianship Order with grandparents.

A note has also been added into Section 3, Child in Need Meetings and Reviews to remind workers that at any time it may be necessary to "step up" a Child in Need case to Child Protection and this should always be considered an option if the level of concern or risk begins to escalate.


June 2017

Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Placements with Connected Persons A note has been added into Section 3, Approval of Immediate Placements of Looked After Children with Connected Persons in relation to carrying out a risk assessment of any pets in the household, and their living conditions, as part of the initial viability assessment.
Placements with Parents Section 1.2, Assessment and Checks before has been updated to include a note that, when assessing whether the home environment is safe for the child, consideration should be given to the need for a risk assessment of any pets and the environment in which they are kept.
Contact with Parents and Siblings This guidance has been reviewed throughout and updated as required.
Supervision and Support of Foster Carers

The following information has been added into Section 5, Support Provided by the Supervising Social Worker (During Placement):

  • The Safer Caring Plan should be updated as required to reflect any changes in household circumstances and any health and safety issues including the addition of any new pets to the household including the environment in which the pets are kept.
Allegations, Incidents and Concerns Against Foster Carers This guidance has been rewritten and should be read in full.
Assessment and Approval of Prospective Adopters Section 5.3, Assessments has been updated to include that, where the applicants have pets, a risk assessment should be conducted and any associated risks should be taken into account both in relation to the pet itself and where the pet is kept. Where necessary, an independent assessment should be undertaken by a vet to establish whether the dog falls within the scope of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.
Applications for Special Guardianship Orders and the Special Guardianship Support Scheme This procedure has been updated to include details of the Adoption Support Fund which now also covers therapeutic support for children, living in England, who were in care immediately before the making of a Special Guardianship Order. See Section 12, Special Guardianship Support for details.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Electronic Recording of Meetings and Conversations This new chapter deals with recording of meetings/conversations by individual service-users, in their capacity as private individuals.

December 2016

Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Plan, Do, Review This chapter has been reviewed and minor amendments made throughout.
Case Records and Retention Section 2, Retention and Confidentiality of Records has been amended to reflect the on-going national Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. While the inquiry is on-going local authorities are required to retain children's records indefinitely.
Remands to Local Authority Accommodation or to Youth Detention Accommodation This chapter has been reviewed and substantially updated; it should be read in full.
Looked After Children and Young People in Contact with Youth Justice Services This chapter has been reviewed and substantially updated, it should be read in full.
Secure Accommodation (Criteria) Reviews

Section 3, Chairing of Secure Accommodation Reviews has been amended as follows:

  • The Secure Accommodation Panel should be chaired by a person independent of the care planning for the child, including line managers and the Independent Conference and Reviewing Officer. Given the need to focus on the Section 25, Children Act 1989 criteria issues, the chair should also be independent of any resource allocation, etc. but should have sufficient experience and knowledge to carry out the task;
  • An Independent Conference and Reviewing Officer may sit as one of the other two Panel members (not as part of the ICRO function);
  • Section 8, After the Secure Accommodation Review has also been updated.
Leaving Care and Transition Section 4, Referral to the Aftercare Service has been updated to include information on the Professionals' Transition Planning Meeting.
Responsibilities of the Local Authority to Former Looked After Children and Young People in Custody This guidance has been reviewed and updated throughout. It should be read in full.
Fostering for Adoption, Concurrent Planning and Temporary Approval as Foster Carers of Approved Prospective Adopters A note has been added into Section 4.2, Considering Adoption for a Child to reiterate that if, at any point during the planning of a Fostering for Adoption placement or if the child is already in such a placement, there is any change to the circumstances of prospective carers (including relatives), a planning meeting with the Fostering for Adoption carers and all professionals involved should take place as soon as possible. This will allow the carers the opportunity to make an informed choice about their position, and also allows the local authority to consider their position in light of the change in circumstances.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Written Agreements in Child Protection and Children in Need Cases This chapter is new and has been added to the procedures manual.

June 2016

Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Children's Services Policies, Values and Principles This document, which sets out the overarching policy for the delivery of services to children in Derbyshire has been reviewed and updated. Section 3, Our Operating Model - Stronger Families Safer Children® has been revised throughout.
Thresholds for Children's Services This guidance has been reviewed and updated throughout to reflect the Stronger Families Safer Children Model® and the Safety and Wellbeing Scale which is a tool to help assess need and to assist practitioners in ensuring that families, children and young people access the correct services (and assessments as required) in a timely and appropriate way.
Requests for Support This procedure has been updated throughout and should be read in full.
Single Assessment Process: Overview This guidance has been reviewed locally and updated as required to reflect current practice.
Assessment This guidance has been reviewed and updated throughout to reflect practice in Derbyshire.
Recording Policy and Guidelines This guidance has been reviewed and updated throughout to reflect the latest guidance and regulations.
Access to Records This procedure has been reviewed and updated. Section 10.1, Reasons for Redacting / Removing Information for Records is new and sets out clearly the situations in which information contained in case records can be removed or redacted.
Direct Payments This guidance has been reviewed and updated throughout as required. Section 7, Hospital Stays is new and should be read.
Advocacy and Independent Visitors This chapter has been reviewed and updated. Section 1.1, Duties of an Advocate is new. Section 2, Independent Visitors has also been updated.
Special Guardianship Orders and Support Scheme Section 6, Planning Meeting, has been updated to reflect the enhanced assessment and reporting requirements (for all applications made from 29 February 2016) as set out in the Special Guardianship (Amendment) Regulations 2016.
Court Reports in Adoption/Special Guardianship Guidance Section 3, Special Guardianship – Matters to be Dealt with in Report to Court has been updated to reflect the enhanced assessment and reporting requirements (for all applications made from 29 February 2016) as set out in the Special Guardianship (Amendment) Regulations 2016.
Local Contacts These details have been updated.
List of Agency Decision Makers, Designated Managers and Nominated Officers These details have been updated.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Plan, Do, Review This new procedure explains the Single Plan for children which has been introduced in Derbyshire to support, and provide a focus for, work across the four levels of need.
Removed Chapters
  • Services to Children in Derbyshire - Tiers of Help and Support;
  • Derbyshire County Council Children's Services and Partner Agencies;
  • Contacts and Referrals;
  • E-Safety and Facebook Guidance.

January 2016

Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Referral Processes Section 7.7, Significant Event Protocol – Out of Hours Service has been completely rewritten. The protocol must be followed by the Out of Hours Service if a significant event has occurred. Examples of significant events include a serious assault brought about by bullying or a suicide attempt / self harm which results in hospitalisation. All staff working in the Out of Hours Service should familiarise themselves with the content of the updated protocol.
Section 47 Enquiries This chapter has been reviewed and minor updates made as required.
Case Records and Retention A table in this chapter which summarises specific time periods for the retention of children's' services records as set out in legislation has been updated (see Section 2, Retention and Confidentiality of Records). Where there is no specific legislative provision, local arrangements should be made.
Children and Young People Aged 0-25 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities The guidance contained in this chapter has been reviewed to reflect the provisions of the Care Act 2014. Section 10.1, Adult Services Statutory Care and Support Plans has been rewritten and covers the assessment of disabled children likely to need support when they turn 18. Section 13, Young Carers and Parent Carers of Disabled Children is new and should be read.
Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children Section 5, Age Assessments and Disputes has been updated to include a link to revised Joint Working Guidance on conducting lawful age assessments which has been issued by the Association of Directors of Children's Services (ADCS). ADCS have also developed a model proforma for sharing information about individual cases between the Local authorities and the Home Office, with explanation and guidance document.
Families with No Recourse to Public Funds This guidance has been updated to reflect provisions of the Care Act 2014. Information on the Independent Family Returns Panel has been added into Section 4, Independent Family Returns Panel.
Permanence Planning Guidance This chapter has been updated to reflect the updated Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations - Volume 2: Care Planning, Placement and Case Review which has been published in June 2015. Section 3.7, Long Term Fostering has been re-written to reflect the updated guidance and regulations, and should be read in full.
Placements in Foster Care This chapter has been updated to reflect the revised Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations - Volume 2: Care Planning, Placement and Case Review. A new Section 9, Long-Term Foster Placement has been added.
Social Worker Visits to Looked After Children This chapter has been updated to reflect the revised visiting requirements in respect of long term foster placements as set out in the revised Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations - Volume 2: Care Planning, Placement and Case Review. See Section 1, Normal Frequency for more information.
Looked After Reviews This chapter has been updated to include the requirements of the revised Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations - Volume 2: Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (2015). A new Section 10, Looked After Reviews Concerning Children in Long Term Foster Placements has been added, and explains that where a child is placed in a designated long-term foster placement, and has been in this placement for more than a year, consideration should be given to whether it is necessary to hold a meeting as part of each review. Any decision to reduce the frequency of meetings will be taken by the IRO and the child's social worker, in consultation with the child / young person (subject to their age and understanding). Even where the Review will not include a meeting, the IRO must ensure that full consultation with all relevant individuals, including the child, has taken place to inform the review of the child's case.
Notification of Significant Events The contents of this chapter have been updated following publication of the Children's Homes Quality Standards and Regulations (March 2015) and Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015.
Health Care Assessments and Plans This chapter has been updated to reflect revised statutory guidance for local authorities, clinical commissioning groups and NHS England on Promoting the health and well-being of looked-after children. Section 1, The Responsibilities of Local Authorities and Clinical Commissioning Groups is new. The role of the Social Worker in promoting child health is explained in Section 3, Health Care Assessments and information on Strengths and Difficulties questionnaires has been added into Section 4, Health Plans.
Restrictive Physical Intervention This chapter has been reviewed and updated following publication of the new Children's Homes Regulations (2015) including the Quality Standards.
Assessment and Approval of Prospective Adopters

The following information has been added to this procedure:

  • Where a prospective adopter enquires about inter-country adoption, information should also be given about the policy on fees and an estimation of the costs the prospective adopter will have to pay to the agency and the Department for Education;
  • In relation to references, applicants will be asked to provide the names of three personal referees, who are adults (not more than one of whom should be related to them), have known the applicant for at least two years and who are happy to provide personal references on the prospective adopter. A written report must be prepared of the interviews held with each of the referees.
Adoption Panel A note has been added into Section 2, Adoption Panel Membership requiring that the list of persons considered to be suitable to be members of an Adoption Panel must be maintained by an appointed senior social worker with at least 5 years' relevant post-qualification experience and relevant management experience.
Placement for Adoption

The following updates have been made in relation to the Child's Permanence Report:

  • The Child's Permanence Report must be written by the worker who knows the child best and is also a qualified social worker;
  • The Report should include a summary, written by the agency's medical adviser, of the state of the child's health, health history and any need for health care which might arise in the future, and a Chronology of the decisions and actions taken by the agency with respect to the child; and
  • Those parts of the Report that contain factual information about the birth family should be shared with the relevant family members to enable them to confirm their accuracy and agree to it being passed on to a child in due course. Any such agreement should be clearly recorded on the child's case record. Each of the child's parents should be shown those parts of the Report which set out their views and wishes, and given the opportunity, if they so wish, to express these in their own words.

See Section 2, Obtaining Agency Approval to Adoption Plan for further details.

Information on the process for discussing cases with the Professional Adviser and Family Finder has also been added into Section 2.15, Referral Directly to Agency Decision Maker.
Adoption Support A new section has been added to this procedure, concerning remuneration for former foster carers.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Young Carers This new chapter provides guidance on identifying and responding to young carers. Local Authorities are expected to take 'reasonable steps' to identify which children in their area are young carers, and if they need support. The Local Authority must carry out an assessment if it appears that the young carer has the need for support. This assessment is called a Young Carer's Needs Assessment.
Ceasing to Look After a Child

This new chapter reflects the statutory guidance 'Ceasing to look after a child' in 'Care Planning, Placement and Case Review Regulations (2015)' as amended by the 'Care Planning and Fostering (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2015' and Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015.

The Local Authority has a duty to ensure that when children have been Accommodated under Section 20 (Children Act 1989) and are discharged from, or leave care that the discharge is in their best interests and that they will be safeguarded and their welfare will be promoted. Where a child has been Accommodated for 20 days or more, the decision should be made by a Nominated Officer or Director of Children's Services if the child/young person is 16/17 years and has been Accommodated under Section 20, before discharge.
Removed Chapters
  • Protocol and Good Practice Model - Disclosure of Information in Cases of Alleged Child Abuse and Linked Criminal and Care Directions Hearing;
  • Agency Decision Maker Advisory Group.

September 2015

Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Children and Younger Adults Services Policies, Values and Principles A note has been added explaining the availability of e learning for CAYA Staff on Stronger Families Safer Children (SFSC). The course provides an in-depth explanation of the underpinning approaches behind SFSC, systemic practice, social pedagogy and person centred. The course is mandatory for CAYA staff.
Referral Processes This chapter has been updated throughout to reflect the introduction of the new contact and referral system called Starting Point. It should be read in full.
Initial Contacts and Referrals This chapter has been updated throughout to reflect the introduction of the new contact and referral system called Starting Point. It should be read in full.
Placements in Residential Care This chapter has been reviewed locally and updated as required.
Derbyshire Joint Agency Protocol Regarding Offending by Children in Care This protocol, which is intended to assist social care staff (primarily in residential children's homes), the police, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the Youth Offending Service (YOS), in determining a proportionate and appropriate response to offending behaviour by children in care has been updated. It should be re-read by relevant staff.
Long Term Fostering Section 2.2, Approved Foster Carers Wishing to Offer Long Term Fostering to Unidentified Children, Section 2.3, Existing Derbyshire Foster Carers with Children in Placement and Section 2.5, Carers from Other Agencies (IFA) have been rewritten and should be read in full.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Preventing Family Breakdown This new chapter provides summary information on a project which Derbyshire Council are piloting with the aim of reducing family breakdown with adolescents who are on the edge of care.

July 2015

Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Children and Younger Adults Services Policies, Values and Principles Section 5, Stronger Families Safer Children – Guiding Principles is new and provides an overview of the Stronger Families Safer Children (SFSC) framework which has been introduced for use by all practitioners working across early help and safeguarding and specialist services to improve our services to children, young people and families.
Confidentiality Policy A link to recently published Department for Education Information Sharing Advice for Practitioners has been added to Section 2, Confidentiality Values and Principles.
Children's Services Threshold Criteria This chapter has been reviewed and updated locally. It aims to aid practitioners in identifying the most appropriate level of response when they have concerns about the welfare of children and young people.
Services to Children in Derbyshire - Tiers of Help and Support This chapter has been reviewed and updated locally.
Referral Processes Section 6, which contains information on the Derbyshire Out of Hours Service has been completely rewritten and should be read in full.
Single Assessment Process: Social Care (Part A and Part C) A new section on the completion of episodes for sibling assessments has been added into Section 11, Recording the Single Assessment.
Care and Supervision Proceedings and the Public Law Outline A link has been added to Practice Direction 25b – The Duties of an Expert, the Expert's Report and Arrangements for and Expert to Attend Court (see Section 8, Use of Experts). A link to the social work evidence template produced by ADCS and Cafcass has also been added. The template documentation can be used by local authorities to submit an application for a care or supervision order.
Decision to Look After and Care Planning

This chapter has been updated in line with Looked-after Children: Contact with Siblings - Update to Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations - Volume 2: Care Planning, Placement and Case Review. Additional information has been added in relation to sibling placement as follows:

  • In the case of siblings, wherever it is in the best interests of each individual child, they should be placed together. Where they cannot be placed together, they must be supported to understand why they cannot live together, and there should be robust plans for contact between them, so far as this is consistent with their welfare.
Out of Area Placements Section 3, Placement Consideration is new and provides information on the steps which should be taken by the local authority when assessing the appropriateness of an out of area placement, including consultation and information sharing with the area authority.
Secure Accommodation Policy A link to revised guidance issued by the Department for Education which sets out the steps local authorities need to take before placing a child under 13 in a secure children's home has been added.
Placements with Parents

Section 1.7, Ending of Placement, has been updated to take account of recent case-law in which the High Court stated that not less than fourteen days notice of a removal of the child should be given to the parents, save in an emergency. 

The Court further stated that any removal of a child in circumstances where the child's welfare does not require immediate removal, or without proper consideration and consultation, is likely to be an unlawful interference with the rights of the parent and child under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Social Worker Visits to Looked After Children A new section setting out the visiting requirements for children placed in a non Derbyshire County Council regulated placements has been added to this chapter.
Contact with Parents and Siblings

This chapter has been updated following the publication of Looked-after Children: Contact with Siblings - Update to Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations - Volume 2: Care Planning, Placement and Case Review.

Additional Information has been added into Section 1, Approving and Planning Contact as follows:

  • There is a presumption of continued contact between the child and their family while the child is Looked After, unless it is not reasonably practicable or consistent with the child's welfare;
  • Contact arrangements should be focused on, and shaped around, the child's needs. Each child's wishes and needs for contact should be individually considered and regularly assessed;
  • Where contact arrangements are contrary to the child's wishes, the child must be given a full explanation by the Social Worker and this must be recorded on the child's electronic record.
Holidays and School Trips in the UK

The following note has been added into Section 1, Holidays in the UK:

  • For children who are in a long term placement and the carers have Delegated Authority, depending upon the nature of the delegation agreed, it may be the case that the carers are able to makes decisions about holidays themselves. However, good practice should ensure that decisions by the carers are shared in a timely way with the Supporting Foster Care Social Worker and / or child's allocated practitioner.
Health Care Assessments and Plans A link has been added to recently published statutory guidance on Promoting the Health and Well-being of Looked-after Children (Department for Education and Department of Health, 2015).
Disability Living Allowance – Fostered Children and Children in Residential Care This chapter has reviewed locally and updated. In Section 2, Definition of Additional Needs and Rates of Allowance details of the current rates payable have been updated for 2015/16.
Leaving Care and Transition

This chapter has been reviewed and updated following publication of revised statutory guidance on planning transition to adulthood for care leavers. The following has been added:

  • The Personal Adviser is seen as a 'function' rather than a specific person and the local authority should consider delegating it wholly or partially to the best person able to carry out the role;
  • The local authority should have a flexible approach to supporting young people, and has a duty to accept young people aged 16 and 17 years back into care if a young person's decision to move into semi-independent accommodation, leave care or decline leaving care services is then identified as premature;
  • Bed and Breakfast Accommodation is not considered as suitable accommodation other than in 'exceptional circumstances';
  • The local authority should make every effort not to disrupt a young person's education during their key stage 4 years, both in terms of their school and care placement unless the circumstances clearly require this.
Staying Put A note has been added into Section 1, Introduction, explaining that where a Staying Put Arrangement is in place the local authority may consider delegating part of the Personal Adviser function to the Foster Carer.
Fostering for Adoption, Concurrent Planning and Temporary Approval as Foster Carers of Approved Prospective Adopters Section 6, Process for Fostering for Adoption is new and should be read.
Local Contacts Local Contacts have been reviewed and updated as required.
List of Agency Decision Makers, Designated Managers and Nominated Officers Details of Agency Decision Makers, Designated Managers and Nominated Officers have been reviewed locally and updated as required.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Viability Assessments - Guidance Notes and Screening Tools This new chapter provides guidance for workers completing viability assessments with potential friends and family carers for looked after children.
Derbyshire Safeguarding Children Board Guidance on Safeguarding Children and Young People in Specific CIrcumstances (Derby and Derbyshire SCB Procedures Manual) A link has been added to the Children in Specific Circumstances section in the Derby and Derbyshire SCB Procedures Manual.
Removed Chapters
  • Children and Families who go Missing (Derbyshire SCB);
  • Children Abused Through Sexual Exploitation (Derbyshire SCB).

January 2015

Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Family and Friends Care This chapter has been updated to include a link to a template for the Report to District Manager for Regular Section 17, Financial Assistance (Family and Friends).
Call Derbyshire Referral Processes This chapter has been updated to include a link to contact details for the Derbyshire Out of Hours Service (see Section 6, Out of Hours).
Application for Emergency Protection Orders This chapter has been updated throughout in line with revised guidance for local authorities on court orders and pre proceedings work and, the revised family justice and courts system; a new Section 6, Powers to Assist in Discovery of Children Who may be in Need of Emergency Protection has been added.
Legal Planning Meetings This chapter has been updated throughout in line with revised guidance Statutory Guidance for Local Authorities on Court Orders and Pre-Proceedings (2014).
Access to Records This chapter has been updated in line with Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations Volume 3: Planning Transition to Adulthood for Care Leavers (revised October 2014). A new Section 7, Applications by Care Leavers has been added.
Direct Payments This chapter has been updated throughout in line with the Children and Families Act 2014 Part 3 (Children and Young People with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) and the Special Educational Needs (Personal Budgets) Regulations 2014. The chapter should be re-read.
Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children This chapter has been amended throughout to reflect new Statutory Guidance for Local Authorities on the Care of Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking and Trafficked Children (2014).
Families with No Recourse to Public Funds A link to Practice Guidance for Local Authorities on Assessing and Supporting Children, Families and Care Leavers with No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) has been added to this chapter.
Permanence Planning Guidance This chapter has been updated throughout in line with the Children and Families Act 2014, and the overall aim of speeding up the adoption process. The main changes are in relation to adoption, specifically Fostering for Adoption, Concurrent Planning and Temporary Approval as Foster Carers of Approved Prospective Adopters. It should be read in full.
Remands to Local Authority Accommodation or to Youth Detention Accommodation This chapter has been substantially revised to reflect updated guidance and regulations on Looked After Children and Youth Justice. It should be re-read in full.
Looked After Children and Young People in Contact with Youth Justice Services This chapter has been substantially revised and updated, it should be read in full.
Education of Looked After Children Section 1, Duty to Promote the Educational Achievement of Looked After Children has been updated to reflect Revised Statutory Guidance for schools and colleges on safeguarding children, including safer recruitment. Section 13, Children and Young People with Medical Conditions, Section 14, Training for those Involved in the Care and Education of Looked After Children and Section 15, Information Sharing are all new. Any references to Statements of Special Educational Need have been replaced with Education, Health and Care Plans throughout. The chapter should be read in full.
Leaving Care and Transition This chapter has been updated in line with Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations - Volume 3: Planning Transition to Adulthood for Care Leavers (revised October 2014). New information has been added in relation to Education, Training and Employment; Access to Records is new, and Appendix 1: Needs Assessment and Content of Pathway Plans for Relevant and Former Relevant Children is also new.
Staying Put This chapter has been updated throughout in line with Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations - Volume 3: Planning Transition to Adulthood for Care Leavers (revised October 2014) and should be re-read.
Assessment and Approval of Prospective Adopters

This chapter has been updated in line with the Children and Families Act 2014 and the overall aim of speeding up the adoption process. The chapter has been updated throughout and should be re-read. Information has been added in relation to:

  • Fostering for Adoption (Sections 1 and 5.4);
  • Adoption Register (Section 9);
  • Duty to provide information on adoption support services (Sections 1 and 2);
  • Ethnicity (Section 15.3).
Local information on financial claims in respect of prospective adopters has also been added, along with guidance for social workers on out of county adopters who are matched with Derbyshire Children.
Placement for Adoption Links have been added to local guidance documents for social workers on out of county adopters who are matched with Derbyshire Children.
Adoption Support This chapter has been updated in line with the Children and Families Act 2014. A new Section 2, Duty to Provide Information Concerning Adoption Support has been added, outlining who local authorities have a duty provide information on adoption support to and what types of information this should include.
Intermediary Services With effect from 31 October 2014, the Adoption Information and Intermediary Services (Pre-Commencement Adoptions) (Amendment) Regulations 2014 extend rights to intermediary services to all 'persons with a prescribed relationship' with an adopted person, i.e. anyone related to an adopted person by blood (including half-blood), marriage or civil partnership or by virtue of the adoption. As a result, this chapter has been revised throughout and should be read in full.
Local Contacts Local Contacts have been reviewed and updated as required.
Designated Managers Contact details for Designated Managers have been reviewed and updated as required.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Principles for Working with Foreign Authorities in Child Protection Cases

This chapter provides a summary of Departmental Advice issued by the Department for Education in 2014 on Working with Foreign Authorities in Child Protection Cases. It provides the following:

  • A set of principles for social workers when working on child protection cases where the child has links to a foreign country;
  • A summary of the main international legislation;
  • Information about where social workers should go for help when seeking to obtain information or contacts abroad about a child and/or their family; and
  • Sign-posts to other relevant guidance.
Care and Supervision Proceedings and the Public Law Outline This chapter contains information on the Public Law Outline including pre proceedings work, starting care and supervision proceedings, the Case Management Hearing, the flexible powers of the court, the use of expert witnesses and the timetable for the child.
Supervision Order Procedure This chapter summarises the main differences between Supervision Orders and Care Orders, and outlines the process developing and reviewing a Supervision Order Plan.
Disposal of Diaries and Notebooks This new chapter contains the procedure for transferring notes written in diaries and notebooks onto the council's recording system and for disposing safely of information which was written in notebooks and diaries.
Children and Young People Aged 0-25 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities This procedure sets out the specific provision under the Children and Families Act 2014 in relation to children and young people aged 0-25 with Special Educational Needs or disabilities. For the purposes of the Act, 'young person' is someone aged 16-25.
Secure Accommodation Policy This procedure has been rewritten locally. It describes the process to be followed before a young person is placed in secure accommodation.
Doing a Personal Education Plan This chapter summarises, in a flow diagram, the steps to be taken when doing a Personal Education Plan (PEP) for a Looked After Child.
Education and Learning Post 16 This chapter summarises the financial support available for young people in care and care leavers who wish to continue in education or training post 16.
Fostering for Adoption, Concurrent Planning and Temporary Approval as Foster Carers of Approved Prospective Adopters

This chapter deals with the placement of a child with carers who are dually approved, i.e. approved both as prospective adopters and as local authority foster carers.

The advantage of this type of placement is that the child will be placed with foster carers who, subject to a Placement Order being made, or parental consent, are expected to go on to become the child's adoptive family. The child therefore benefits from an early placement with their eventual permanent carers.