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1.3.4 Transfer of Cases Protocol

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

This chapter identifies the key processes and procedures across all teams when transferring their work to other Teams identified as more appropriate to have the case. Adherence to these protocols are key to avoid delays in progressing a child' plan.

RELATED GUIDANCE

North West Pre-Care and Care Proceedings Notification and Transfer across Local Authority Boundaries Procedure

RELATED CHAPTERS

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

Children in Need moving across Local Authority boundaries.

AMENDMENT

This chapter was updated in September 2015 by the addition of the guidance North West Pre-Care and Care Proceedings Notification and Transfer across Local Authority Boundaries Procedure (listed under Guidance above).


Contents

  1. Referral and Assessment Team to Safeguarding Team
  2. Safeguarding Team to the Looked after Team
  3. Transfer of cases from Looked after Children to Leaving Care Team


1. Referral and Assessment Team to Safeguarding Team

Safeguarding cases

  • A case management discussion will be held between the Safeguarding team manager and Referral and Assessment Team Manager, when there is a decision to convene a Child Protection Conference, so that allocation can take place within an appropriate timescale. This discussion should be recorded within the child's case notes;
  • The social worker from the Safeguarding Team will attend the Initial Child Protection Conference and the Initial Core Group. A manager from the district will attend the conference. Which manager attends will be agreed at the time;
  • Cases are to be transferred to the Safeguarding Team at the Initial Core Group;
  • A handover/transfer meeting with the Referral and Assessment Team, Safeguarding Team and the family should take place either on a joint visit or a meeting prior to the start of the Initial Core Group;
  • The Referral and Assessment worker needs to record this prior to transfer;
  • The C and F assessment should be completed within 45 working days and passed through to the Safeguarding Team when completed. This should not delay the transfer of the case;
  • Safeguarding cases may have already been transferred prior to the completion of the Assessment;
  • The Referral and Assessment social worker will ensure that recording is up to date, there is an up to date case summary, Chronology, plan and risk assessment. All personal details, addresses and key family members' contacts should also be up to date.

Care Proceedings/PLO

  • The Safeguarding manager and Referral and Assessment Team Managers will discuss the case prior to issuing proceedings/PLO stage with the District Manager. The District Manager and Safeguarding manager will be available for the legal planning meeting to inform decision making. At this stage allocation of the case to a safeguarding worker will be considered to ensure a timely handover;
  • The Referral and Assessment social worker and their manager will attend the first PLO meeting. The allocated safeguarding worker should also be available for this meeting. If a decision has not been made to issue proceedings at this stage, the case will transfer to the Safeguarding Team following the first PLO meeting and a planned review is in place, both the Safeguarding and Referral and Assessment worker should attend the first review. In cases where, following a PLO meeting, a decision is made to issue Care Proceedings, the Referral and Assessment social worker and manager should be present at the PLO meeting; where possible the safeguarding social worker should attend. The Referral and Assessment Team should complete necessary legal documentation and attend the First Case Management Hearing (FCMH); this will involve initial statement, Care Plan, chronology and assessment. The Referral and Assessment worker should also ensure where necessary all LAC documentation is completed. The transfer to the Safeguarding Team should occur at the first Looked After Child Review;
  • Where possible the Safeguarding worker will be available for the FCMH to ensure correct timetabling of intervention is planned;
  • The Referral and Assessment Team should ensure that a Personal Education Plan meeting is arranged and attended within 20 school days of the child/young person being accommodated;
  • A handover/transfer meeting with the Referral and Assessment Team, Safeguarding Team and the family should take place even on a joint visit or a meeting just prior to the start of the first Statutory Review;
  • The C and F assessment should be completed by the Referral and Assessment social worker but not withhold the delay of transfer to safeguarding;
  • If a child is to be placed with an extended family member and care proceedings is to be issued, then the Referral and Assessment worker will ensure a referral has been made to the Kinship Care team for a viability assessment.

Pre-birth Risk assessment

Where Referral and Assessment undertake a pre-birth risk assessment and it is identified longer term intervention is required, then a transfer of the plan to the safeguarding team should take place no later than 30 weeks into the pregnancy.

If the pregnancy is beyond 30 weeks and the assessment and plan is not complete, Referral and Assessment will coordinate the necessary plan whether that will be following the PLO process or arranging Child Protection Conference.

Child in Need Cases

  • Cases to be transferred to the Safeguarding Team on the completion of the single Assessment;
  • A handover/transfer meeting with the Referral and Assessment Team, Safeguarding Team and the family should take place either on a joint visit or just prior to the start of a Child Action meeting;
  • The Referral and Assessment worker should record the handover meeting before transfer;
  • The Referral and Assessment social worker will ensure that recording is up to date, there is an up to date case summary, chronology, plan and risk assessment. All personal details, addresses and key family members' contacts should also be up to date.

(See Children in Need moving across Local Authority boundaries Procedure, Appendix A: North West Children in Need Moving across Local Authority Boundaries Procedure: Guidance and Form)


2. Safeguarding Team to the Looked after Team

Final Care Plans

  • Long term Fostering Cases - Should be transferred to the Looked After Team;
  • Rehabilitation Plans - Should be transferred to the Looked After Team. (not including "testing out" cases during proceedings);
  • Adoption Plans- Cases should remain with Safeguarding Team until completion of the Adoption process.

Referral & Assessment Team to Looked After Team (LAC Team)

  • Cases to be transferred to LAC Team at the first Statutory Review (Section 20);
  • C and F Assessment should be completed within 45 working days and passed through to the LAC Team;
  • The Referral and Assessment Team should ensure that a Personal Education Plan meeting is arranged and attended within 20 school days of the child/young person being accommodated;
  • A handover/transfer meeting with the Referral and Assessment Team, LAC Team and the family should take place either on a joint visit or a meeting just prior to the start of the first Statutory Review;
  • The Referral and Assessment worker should record the handover before the transfer, and ensure an up to date case summary;
  • The Referral and Assessment social worker will ensure that recording is up to date, there is an up to date case summary, chronology, plan and risk assessment. All personal details, addresses and key family members' contact should also be up to date.

Private Fostering Arrangement Cases

  • The Referral and Assessment Team Manager will highlight to the LAC Manager prior to completion of C and F assessment any Private Fostering cases. The LAC Manager will identify allocation of a LAC worker in a timely fashion;
  • Case to be transferred to the LAC Team on the completion of a C and F Assessment;
  • A handover/transfer meeting should be arranged and recorded by the referral and Assessment Team social worker and LAC worker prior to completion of C and F assessment.

All Files

  • All electronic recording of cases that are transferred from the Referral and Assessment Team must be up to date and have relevant documentation completed. Key documents are chronologies, case summaries and risk assessments and plans. Referral and Assessment Team Managers should check files prior to the transfer and record all cases that are transferred;
  • Safeguarding and LAC Team Managers should check the contents of cases being transferred to ensure relevant documentation and record all cases transferred;
  • All transfer of cases will be discussed between team managers at the weekly transfer meetings held;
  • Referral and Assessment Managers and staff should not transfer cases to the Safeguarding and LAC Teams 'clipboard' until a key worker has been identified;
  • Safeguarding and LAC Mangers should allocate a key worker within the above agreed transfer timescale.


3. Transfer of cases from Looked after Children to Leaving Care Team

Leaving Care Team Protocol

  • The Leaving Care Team Manager to be notified about the LAC reviews for all young people aged 15 yrs and above;
  • A representative from Leaving Care comes to the Review six months prior to the young person becoming 16 yrs;
  • The Pathway Plan commences: the Key Social Worker and Leaving Care Team worker joint work the case to aim for a smoother transaction;
  • A joint visit to the young person between the Social Worker and Leaving Care worker will be undertaken;
  • Cases should be transferred to Leaving Care Team when a young person is 16 yrs;
  • The Key Social Worker should update, provide as much information (written and verbal) to the Leaving Care Team worker so they are able to get to know the young person well;
  • The Leaving Care and Looked After Children's team have clear guidance and protocol agreed between them; this is to be followed.

Good practice points

  • To identify in supervision children/young people that are 15 yrs and when they are due to be16 yrs, and for the Social Worker to start working on the file to prepare important documents;
  • The Looked After Children Team Manager to check the file before transfer against children for Leaving Care Team, in terms of documents etc that need to be completed;
  • All cases are a working progress and we should aim to avoid completing files just at the point of transfer.

End