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1.3.7 Transfer of Child Protection Plans From/To Other Local Authority Area

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

This guidance aims to:-

  • Promote the safe and efficient transfer of child protection cases in and out of the Bolton area;
  • Promote consistent action and responses to the transfer of child protection cases to and from other Local Authority Areas.

RELEVANT GUIDANCE

North West Notification and Transfer of Children Subject of Child Protection Plans across Local Authority Boundaries Procedure 

AMENDMENT

This chapter was amended in March 2018 to update the North West Notification and Transfer of Children Subject of Child Protection Plans across Local Authority Boundaries Procedure. (See Relevant Guidance above).


Contents

  1. Principles
  2. Process - Transfer Of Child Protection Plans To Bolton From Other Local Authority Areas
  3. Process - Transfer Of Child Protection Plans To Other Local Authority Areas
  4. Resolving Cross Boundary Differences


1. Principles

This guidance should be applied with regard to the following:-

  • The child's welfare and safety is paramount;
  • Promoting and creating positive communication and information sharing within Bolton, and between Bolton and other Local Authority Areas in respect of children subject to Child Protection Plan;
  • Promoting effective child protection case transfers to avoid drift and delay for the child and their parents/carers and to ensure children are safeguarded;
  • Ensuring services in the local area are identified and offered in a timely manner to children suffering or at risk of suffering Significant Harm who move into the Bolton area;
  • Child Protection Planning is robust and timely and takes account of all available information.


2. Process - Transfer Of Child Protection Plans To Bolton From Other Local Authority Areas

All requests for a transfer-in conference should be received and responded to by the duty Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO) on the day of receipt. Where they are not available the request should be passed to the Child Protection - Conference and Reviewing Team Manager for their attention and action. Where a request is made by telephone by another Local Authority Area, the IRO should request that this is put in writing and either securely faxed, emailed or posted to the IRO.

It is the responsibility of the Local Authority requesting the transfer-in to ensure the written follow-up is made in a timely manner. The 15 day timescale for convening the conference will commence upon receipt of the written information.

Following a request for a transfer-in conference, the IRO will collate relevant information. As a minimum this will include:-

  • Full details of the child - name, DOB, current address and planned Bolton address, gender, ethnicity;
  • Details of any siblings - names, DOB, current address and planned Bolton address, gender, ethnicity;
  • Details of Parents and/or carers - names, DOB, current address and planned Bolton address, gender, ethnicity;
  • Background information relating to the case:-
    • Reason for the Child Protection Plan;
    • Category of abuse;
    • Length of time the child has been the subject of a plan;
    • Overview of the historical involvement with the child and their family, including any history of previous sibling adoptions or Looked After;
    • Assessment and intervention work undertaken;
    • The organisations contributing to the plan;
    • The planned outcomes for the child.
  • Request the responsible Local Authority to forward copies of the Core Assessment, Child Protection Plan, minutes of the Initial Child Protection Conference, the most recent Child Protection Review Conference and any other relevant assessments or information, including the Section 47 Enquiry.

The IRO will then:-

  • Establish if Bolton holds any historical information in relation to the child, their siblings, their parents or carers and record the information on the relevant format in the child's electronic record;
  • Liaise with the Safeguarding Board administrator to request that information is shared to enable all relevant systems in Children's Services and in partner agencies are updated to include details of the child and their status;
  • Notify the Safeguarding Team Manager in the district where the child is to be resident of the intention to convene a transfer-in conference and provide the background information to the case; sharing with the Safeguarding Team Manager contact details for the responsible authority;
  • Request CPU administrators to convene the transfer-in conference within 15 working days of written notification of the permanent address;
  • Consider including in the recommendations following the Initial Case Conference the need to undertake a Core Assessment in Bolton.

N.B. the Safeguarding Team Manager should always give consideration to the need to read the case records held in the Responsible Local Authority area.

Any historical records relating to the child or their family in Bolton should always be accessed and read by the allocated worker in Bolton.

Where the child and their family are moving to Bolton and the planned address is temporary, i.e. a refuge, supported housing provision such as Sarah Lodge or other temporary accommodation, the IRO will collate the information. The information should then be passed to the Child Protection - Conference and Reviewing Team Manager.

The Child Protection - Conference and Reviewing Team Manager will be responsible for liaising with the Responsible Authority on at least a monthly basis to monitor the progress of the case and continue to confirm plans to secure permanent accommodation in the Bolton area; where a permanent address has been secured the transfer-in conference should be convened within 15 working days of written notification of the permanent address by the Child Protection - Conference and Reviewing Team Manager, in line with the requirements above.

If after a period of three months the child and their family continue to live in temporary accommodation in Bolton, a transfer-in conference should be arranged. This will be the responsibility of the Child Protection - Conference and Reviewing Team Manager, in line with the requirements of 2.3.

Responsibility for the Child Protection Plan during the period in temporary accommodation will remain with the responsible authority, i.e. the Local Authority requesting the transfer-in Child Protection Case Conference until the transfer-in Initial Conference has been held in Bolton and a decision made.

At the transfer-in child protection conference the IRO will ensure any gaps in information or the assessment are identified and action taken to address this, this includes the allocated worker completing a Core Assessment. Action and recommendations should be monitored at future Child Protection Review Conferences until fully completed.

Where a Core Assessment is not completed in time for the first Child Protection Review Conference in Bolton, then the IRO should ensure this is recorded in the minutes along with a recommendation for completion in 10 working days. The IRO should also ensure the relevant Team Manager and the District Manager is notified.


3. Process - Transfer Of Child Protection Plans To Other Local Authority Areas

It is the responsibility of the Social Worker, or in their absence their manager, to notify the Child Protection - Conference and Reviewing Team Manager when a child who is the subject of a Child Protection Plan is intending to move or has already moved out of the Bolton area, whether this is to a permanent or temporary address.

The notification should be made as soon as possible and no later than one working day of the information coming to the attention of the Social Worker or their manager.

The Child Protection - Conference and Reviewing Team Manager should establish the following:-

  • The address to which the child has moved and confirm whether or not this is temporary accommodation;
  • The names of all adults who have moved with the child and any adults with whom the child will be living in the receiving Local Authority area;
  • The reason for the move;
  • The arrangements made by the social worker/Team Manager to safeguard the child in the receiving Local Authority area.

The Child Protection - Conference and Reviewing Team Manager will liaise by telephone with their equivalent in the area where the child has moved, providing the information above and requesting a transfer-in conference.

This will be followed up in writing by the Safeguarding Board administrator. As a minimum the following information will be sent recorded delivery by the administrator to the receiving authority:-

  • Full details of the child - name, DOB, current address and planned address in the receiving Local Authority area, gender, ethnicity;
  • Details of any siblings - names, DOB, current address and planned address in the receiving Local Authority area, gender, ethnicity;
  • Details of Parents and/or carers - names, DOB, current address and planned address in the receiving Local Authority area, gender, ethnicity;
  • Full details of the allocated Social Worker - their name, work address, telephone number and email address;
  • Background information relating to the case - reason for the Child Protection Plan, category of abuse, length of time the child has been the subject of a plan, assessment and intervention work undertaken, the organisations involved and the planned outcomes for the child;
  • Copies of the Core Assessment, Child Protection Plan, minutes of the Initial Child Protection Conference, the most recent Child Protection Review Conference and any other relevant assessments or information.

N.B. all documents that are sent to other local authority areas should be sent recorded delivery, with a request that the receiving local authority acknowledge safe receipt; where confirmation is not received within 5 working days, the sender should follow this up.

The Safeguarding Board administrator will notify relevant organisations in Bolton that the child has moved out of the area and the forwarding address. It is the responsibility of the Child Protection - Conference and Reviewing Team Manager to ensure all information is sent and notifications are made in a timely manner.

When a date for the transfer-in conference in the receiving Local Authority has been set the allocated social worker in Bolton should make every effort to attend the 'transfer- in' conference, where this is possible and practical.

The child's plan should not be discontinued in Bolton until written confirmation has been given by the receiving Local Authority that the transfer-in conference has been held and a decision made. On receipt of this notification the Safeguarding Board administrator should:-

  • Confirm this in writing to all relevant organisations and individuals in the area;
  • Update ICS and discontinue the plan, recording the end date as the date the receiving Local Authority held the transfer-in conference and the decision was made.

Where the receiving authority fails to make a recommendation at the transfer-in conference or defers that decision, the matter should immediately be brought to the attention of the Child Protection - Conference and Reviewing Team Manager for swift resolution. The Child Protection Plan in Bolton should not be discontinued, and case responsibility will remain with Bolton, including statutory visits to the child.


4. Resolving Cross Boundary Differences

There may be occasions where difficulties arise in the transfer of cases between Local Authority areas. It is essential that any difficulties are addressed and resolved as swiftly as possible by the Team Manager Child Protection - Conference and Reviewing.

In the first instance the matter should be addressed by telephone discussion between the Team Manager Child Protection - Conference and Reviewing in Bolton and their equivalent in the other Local Authority area. It is anticipated that most matters will be resolved at this stage. This should be done within 2 working days of an issue with the transfer being raised.

Where the matter remains unresolved following this telephone contact, the Team Manager Child Protection - Conference and Reviewing should discuss the case with the Head of Service, Child Protection and Leaving Care. It may then be appropriate for them to contact their equivalent in the Local Authority area, either in writing or by telephone (or both) in order to ensure the matter remains live and is resolved at the earliest opportunity. Progress should be reviewed on a weekly basis to minimise the risk of drift or further delay.

Finally where difficulties continue to persist in the transfer, the matter should be referred to the Assistant Director Staying Safe. It will be their responsibility to liaise with their equivalent in the Local Authority area and reach ultimate agreement and a clear plan. It is anticipated that relatively few cases should reach this stage.

End