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5.1.16 Locality Care Planning Panel

AMENDMENT

In July 2018, this guidance was reviewed throughout to describe the operation of the Locality Care Planning Panel and the Care Planning Scrutiny Panel Process.


Contents

  1. Purpose
  2. The Care Planning Scrutiny Panel Process


1. Purpose

The purpose of the Care Planning Panel is to ensure scrutiny and agreement of key decisions for children entering care, at the edge of care and at other specified ‘crunch’ points in care planning.

The Head of Service is required to provide agreement for children to become looked after or to commence Public Law Outline (PLO) and legal proceedings, the legal advisor present at each Panel will provide the required legal advice to inform decision making.  Key issues identified for the Panel are:

  • Oversight of the PLO Tracker for the locality. This includes agreement for children to become subject to the PLO and ongoing tracking of children subject to PLO processes. The Panel will have scrutiny of the timeline for children to ensure timely decisions are being made in order to minimise the likelihood of drift;
  • Scrutiny of decisions in relation to children subject to Child Protection Plans for over 12 months. Specifically to consider whether further legal steps are required to protect a child and to minimise the likelihood of drift in care planning;
  • Oversight and scrutiny of children on the edge of care, providing agreement for children to become looked after;
  • Track children who have been subject to Section 20 accommodation for over 9 months. The Panel will consider whether further legal steps are required to provide permanency for a child and ensuring compliance with current legal guidance for children who are accommodated subject to Section 20;
  • Children placed in B&B or unregulated placements. The Panel will ensure sufficiently robust plans are in place.

It is essential that Derbyshire has an approach to decision making which ensures rigour and accountability. The decision to bring a child into care or to commence care proceedings should only be taken where the assessment clearly evidences that such action is required.

The Panel will not replace the usual care planning processes for a child, namely Child Protection Conferences or Child in Care statutory reviews. It is not the intention for families to attend Panel meetings.

The Panel will be chaired by the Head of Service Locality and accountable to the Service Director and Assistant Director.


2. The Care Planning Scrutiny Panel Process

A Care Planning Scrutiny Panel must be established in each district.

Panel membership will be:

  • Head of Service (Locality) Chair;
  • Legal Advisor;
  • IRO Service;
  • Child Protection Manager (for relevant issues in relation to any CP plans 12 mths +);
  • Children in Care Team Manager;
  • Fostering / resources representative;
  • Social Workers and Team Managers will attend to present cases as per the criteria below;
  • Business Services (minute taker).

Others may be attend Panel to support discussions as appropriate such as:

  • The Special Educational Needs lead or local inclusion officer (where school issues are a primary issue);
  • CAMHS / Learning Disabilities;
  • Specialist health representative;
  • Any other professional viewed to be critical to the family’s / child’s position.

As the disabled children’s service covers the whole county attendees may vary slightly depending on the agenda. The Head of Service Disabled children will chair the panel.

The Panel must be held on at least a monthly basis and dates established for the year so as to facilitate attendance from key Panel members.

The Panel agenda will follow the following agreed format:

  1. Minutes and matters arising;
  2. The locality PLO Tracker;
  3. Children in the locality subject to Child Protection Plans for over 12 months;
  4. Children on the edge of care, who require Head of Service agreement to become looked after;
  5. Children in the locality who have been subject to Section 20 accommodation for over 9 months;
  6. Children placed in B&B or unregulated placements.

For those children that enter care in an emergency, they should be on the agenda for the next available Panel.

Social workers and Team Managers will attend the Panel to present their case where the following decisions are required:

  • A decision for a child to become looked after;
  • To commence PLO and enter care proceedings;
  • To discuss children subject to plans for 12 mths+;
  • Children placed in B&B or unregulated placements AND children already subject to PLO AS REQUIRED.

Prior to a case reaching the Panel the allocated worker will have completed an up to date assessment and a multi-agency planning meeting held; this would normally take the form of a Child Protection Conference, Child in Need planning meeting or Team around the Child meeting. This will have considered all best practice options to support the child safely remaining with their family.

The allocated worker will provide the most recent assessment, genogram, chronology and plan to the Panel administrator at least 2 working days in advance of the panel date. This will facilitate a quality discussion at the Panel and will also support the quality assurance of assessment and planning processes by the Head of Service.

The Panel will have the remit to review cases if plans have not progressed as expected.

The final decision to ‘accommodate’ a child continues to rest with the Head of Service (Locality) responsible for the service. This decision should only be taken following presentation to this Panel.

Business Services will minute each Panel and update relevant trackers to reflect progress in a case.

A copy of the minutes in relation to specific children should be uploaded to the child’s records and a case note added.

End