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3.6 Transfer Protocol - A Countywide Protocol for the Transfer of Cases between Teams within the Children's Social Care Service

AMENDMENT

In January 2016, footnote 1 was added into Section 4, General Principles.


Contents

1. Guidance Outline and Exceptions
2. Overview of Teams
3. Defining Disability for CSCS
4. General Principles
5. Transfer Process: Unborn Babies
6. Transfer Process: MASH to the Assessment Teams
7. Transfer Process: Assessment Teams to District Teams, Through Care Teams and Children's Disability Service
  7.1 Transfer Process: Child Protection
  7.2 Transfer Process: Children in Need
  7.3 Transfer Process: Private Fostering
  7.4 Transfers to and from the Looked After Children (LAC) Team
  7.5 Transfers to the Looked After Children (LAC) Team
  7.6 Transfer Process: Cases in Proceedings
  7.7 Transfers from the Looked After Children (LAC) Team
  7.8 Transfer Process: Cases in Proceedings (Court Team)
  7.9 Transfers to the Court Team and Permanence Team and co working arrangements for CDS
  Appendix 1: Pre-Birth Assessment
  Appendix 2: Transfer Checklist
  Appendix 3: Transfer Summary


1. Guidance Outline and Exceptions

  1. This guidance outlines the transfer process for all cases from the point of referral, this includes:
    1. Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH). With the exception of the instances named below, all cases will transfer from the MASH to the Assessment Teams or Children's Disability Service, as relevant;
    2. Assessment Teams to District Teams (Child in Need (CiN) cases);
    3. Assessment Teams to District Teams (Child Protection (CP) cases);
    4. Assessment Teams to Through Care Teams;
    5. Assessment Teams to the Children's Disability Service (CDS) Some MASH enquiries will go straight into CDS without going into assessment teams. CDS will continue to do IAs);
    6. District Teams (DCPT) to Through Care Teams;
    7. District Teams (DCPT) to the Children's Disability Service (CDS).

Exceptions: the following will go directly to the relevant Through Care Team.

  1. A care leaver from another Local Authority will transfer direct to the Leaving Care Team;
  2. Requests for Section 37 or Section 7 Court Reports will transfer from the MASH to the Court Team unless it is an open case;
  3. Proceedings initiated by another Local Authority will transfer to the Court Team; if at an early point in proceedings or to DCPT if an Order is near to being made e.g. Supervision Order;
  4. Cases that have been closed in the Through Care (Looked After Child) Team and the child has been re-accommodated will transfer to the LAC team;
  5. Where a case is referred within three months of closure, the case will return to the relevant DCPT, without going through the Assessment Team;
  6. CIN cases transferred in from another Local Authority will transfer from the MASH to the relevant DCPT.
The guidance includes Public and Private Law Proceedings.


2. Overview of Teams

2.1 MASH: will be the point of initial referral and will undertake the primary exchange of information about the case in co-ordination with police and other partners.
2.2 Assessment Teams: there are two Assessment Teams operating in the North and South of the County and the countywide Children's Disability Service, completing Child and Family Assessments and Section 47 inquiries.
2.3 District Child Protection Teams: complete all Child in Need (CIN), Child and Family Assessment and Child Protection (CP) work, as well as the initial care planning for Looked After Children not subject to a court process.
2.4 Through Care Service: a countywide service for looked after children, those children subject to legal proceedings and care leavers.
2.5 CDS: a countywide service undertaking assessments of children and young people with a permanent and substantial disability. The service also works with children subject to Child Protection and Child in Need planning and those subject to legal proceedings. CDS will complete all their own Child and Family Assessments and S47 enquiries assessments. The CDS also provides all through care services to children with disabilities.


3. Defining Disability for CSCS

3.1 The Children's Disability Service works with young people in need of social care intervention and who have:
  3.1.a Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD);
  3.1.b Severe learning difficulties;
  3.1.c Severe/profound physical disabilities;
  3.1.d Complex health needs requiring continuing care.
3.2 The team will also provide a service to those children who are deaf and have British Sign Language (BSL) as their main means of communication.
3.3 The team will process registrations for visually impaired children on receipt of referrals from Health Teams.
3.4 Children and young people who have a degree of disability not covered by the above categories and in need of a social care intervention will be referred to mainstream social care teams.
3.5 The team do not provide a service to children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or emotional or behavioural difficulties.


4. General Principles

4.1 The safe and smooth transition between all teams is essential in protecting the child and promoting the child's welfare.
4.2 The Transfer Checklist (Appendix 2: Transfer Checklist) will be referred to in all cases and all cases transferred must have a transfer summary and chronology completed in framework.
4.3 Enquiries from the MASH will usually transfer in the first instance to the relevant north or south Assessment Team or to CDS and thereafter to the appropriate District Team, or to the Through Care Service.
4.4 Upon transfer, cases will be assigned to the incoming work folder of the identified Team Manager. Any immediate actions required or dates agreed must be made explicit at the time of transfer in the transfer summary. Management responsibility and oversight of the work must be clear at all times.
4.5 All work in the MASH will be held as a MASH enquiry and will be transferred out of MASH as an enquiry with a management decision to be made by the receiving Team Manager about progressing to referral within 24hrs [footnote 1].
4.6 Case transfer of those children/young people for whom there is a permanent Looked After Child (LAC) plan will be to the Through Care (LAC).
4.7 The MASH Team Manager is responsible for quality assurance of the information received and shared in the MASH and prior to progressing to the receiving team must confirm that they have reviewed the information to ensure the threshold for Children's Social Care involvement is met.
4.8 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children (UASC) will be transferred to the Assessment team for completion of the initial and age assessments, prior to transfer to the Through Care service at the placement planning meeting under 16 year olds will be transferred to the LAC team and 16 plus to the leaving care team.
4.9 All episodes, case notes, minutes and plans must be completed as appropriate to the case. Specifically, information regarding financial arrangements or contact must be made explicit.
4.10 Re-referrals: Any closed case re-referred within three months will be returned to the DCPT that closed the case. Re-referral of cases that have been previously open to CDS will be re-referred directly to CDS unless the criterion for CDS is no longer met. This includes those children who have previously been subject of a Child Protection Plan.

[footnote 1] A MASH Enquiry is the current vehicle for recording within Mosaic, however for the purposes of professionals and members of the public they are making a referral to the Local Authority regarding concerns they have in relation to the safety and wellbeing of a child, young person.


5. Transfer Process: Unborn Babies

  There is no minimum gestational age at which a referral will be accepted, but there is an expectation that the pregnancy will have been confirmed and deemed viable. The aim of the transfer process in these cases is to ensure that good quality care planning is undertaken at an early stage, avoiding crisis intervention.
5.1 All enquiries that come into the MASH of a relinquished baby will be progressed, after appropriate information sharing, to the Assessment Team for a Child and Family Assessment, this can be done jointly with the Permanence Team. If it is clarified that the baby is clearly going to be relinquished the case transfers to the Permanence Team. If the baby has been deemed to have disabilities, the case should be referred straight into the CDS.
5.2 In cases where assessment of an unborn child is required and there is an older sibling case open to a DCPT, the initial and pre-birth assessment will be completed by the DCPT in which the older sibling is open.
  5.2a In cases where assessment of an unborn child is required and there is an older sibling case open to the through care team the unborn will go to the assessment service to complete an IA and follow the pre-birth transfer process. Expectation is that there will be close working relationship between the assessment service and through care team ensuring sharing of information and expectation that through care will provide a chronology.
5.3

Where there has been a significant family history, but no CSC involvement for three months the referral of an unborn child should be dealt with initially by the Assessment Team. A Child and Family Assessment will be completed and the case transferred to the appropriate DCPT for pre-birth assessment. However, this should be considered on a case-by-case basis and due consideration should be given to the current circumstances of the older siblings.

In these circumstances, discussion is needed between the Assessment Team Manager and the relevant District or CDS Team Manager to ensure that knowledge of the case history is utilised to provide a coherent approach to the siblings within the family. If possible and practical, case allocation should be to the worker with the most knowledge of the family.
5.4

If the unborn baby is deemed to be at risk of Significant Harm, an Initial Child Protection Conference (ICPC) should be held at the earliest opportunity prior to Estimated Due Date (EDD), but should be held no later than 4 weeks before the EDD.

When a referral is received in an early stage of pregnancy (by week 16) the case may be suitable for a consideration under the CAFCASS Plus scheme in the following cases:

  • Where the parents of the unborn child are known to Children’s social care due to previous children being removed from their care;
  • Where either parent has a conviction for offences against a child.
These cases will be referred direct from MASH to the Court Team who will conduct an early pre birth assessment.
5.5

Legal Planning Meetings: where consideration needs to be given to legal proceedings a Legal Planning Meeting (LPM) will be convened and chaired by the Court Team Service Manager. This meeting should take place at least 12 weeks prior to birth. If the birth is imminent, the necessary paper work for the first hearing will be prepared by the assessment team or DCPT (dependant on the timing of the referral) who will attend the first hearing. The Court Team will co work with CDS.

If the outcome of the LPM is a Public Law Outline (PLO) meeting, the case will remain in the DCPT. If a subsequent decision is made to issue proceedings, the Court Team will be involved at the point the decision is made, but the case is not transferred until the first hearing.

In all cases, the DCPT or Court Team must provide the social worker Evidence Template (SWET) pre-birth Child and Family Assessment and Care Plan.
5.6

Nottinghamshire and Nottingham City Safeguarding Children Boards' (NSCB) Procedures (Chapter 6) state that no child should be discharged from hospital where there are safeguarding concerns unless there is an agreed plan between the responsible consultant and Children's Social Care as to how those concerns will be addressed and the child adequately safeguarded on discharge. This does not mean that delays in discharge through inadequate planning are acceptable.

The social worker and relevant health professionals should meet for a pre-birth planning meeting in good time before the EDD. Plans for discharge and any safeguarding measures need to be recorded. Where assessments indicate that the baby will be deemed a Child in Need the case will remain in the District Team upon completion of the pre-birth Child and Family Assessment and Child in Need Plan.
5.7

The process for assessing unborn babies is detailed in the NSCB Procedures (Chapter 5). The Nottingham City Safeguarding Children Board has produced a flowchart entitled: Safeguarding babies at birth where the risks are too great to leave them in the care of their parents. This provides a framework for Children's Social Care intervention.

Social workers should utilise the Pre-Birth Assessment Tool when undertaking assessments of unborn babies (see Appendix 1: Pre-Birth Assessment).


6. Transfer Process: MASH to the Assessment Teams

6.1 The MASH Team Manager will determine the point at which a MASH enquiry will be progressed, once the relevant and necessary data collection and investigation has been undertaken. See footnote 1.
6.2

Except for the exceptions listed above, all enquiries will progress from the MASH to the relevant north or south Assessment Team or CDS in order that the Child and Family Assessment or initial Section 47 may be undertaken. Cases will be colour-coded (RAG rated) in the MASH; below are the maximum time cases will be held in the MASH for information sharing to take place.

Red: Will be processed by MASH within 1 working day (8.5 hours) Assessment Team will be immediately alerted about the nature of the case.

Amber: Will be processed by MASH within 2 days (17 working hours).

Green: Will be processed by MASH within 3 working days (25.5 working hours).

See Initial Referrals.
6.3 Adults of concern:
  6.3.a Allegations against professionals will transfer to the Assessment team, who will organise the first strategy meeting and conduct initial enquiries. The case will transfer to DCPT if further follow-up work is required. If no follow up work is required for CSC, but a further meeting is arranged, the case will remain within the assessment service.
  6.3.b Allegations against members of the public will transfer to the Assessment Team for Child and Family Assessment.
  6.3.c Allegations against foster carers or other carers of Looked After Children where the threshold is met for AAP this I will be convened by the through care service. The relevant DCPT will be invited and will take responsibility for any actions arising from the AAP thereafter that relate to the adult of concern.
6.4

Child death rapid response: where a child has died in suspicious circumstances, information gathering will take place in the MASH, leading to a Strategy Discussion in the Assessment Team. Transfer to DCPT will take place following the Initial Child Protection Conference (ICPC). If a follow up Strategy Meeting is agreed, but no role is identified for the CSCS, the case will close. CSC may be requested to attend the follow up meeting. Assessment Service manager/social worker will attend.

See Child Protection Conference.


7. Transfer Process: Assessment Teams to District Teams, Through Care Teams and Children's Disability Service

7.1

Transfer Process: Child Protection

  7.1.a The Assessment Team Manager notifies the relevant District Team or CDS Manager via email of the case identified for transfer as soon as the date for ICPC is arranged.
  7.1.b

In addition to the email notification, a nominated manager can meet with the respective District Team or CDS to have a case discussion.

The receiving team will allocate the case, and advise the Assessment Team Manager accordingly, via email. This contact will provide an acknowledgement of receipt of the notification and identify the responsible Team Manager and social worker receiving the case and will identify which Team Manager or social worker will attend the ICPC.
  7.1.c The date for the Core Group Meeting is set at the ICPC involving the District Team or CDS. In the exceptional circumstance that there is no District Team or CDS representation at the ICPC, a provisional Core Group Meeting date will be set at the meeting. The District Team or CDS Manager must be alerted to this and ensure that the venue is booked.
  7.1.d Upon completion of all tasks, the responsible Assessment Team Manager will email the receiving District Team or CDS Manager to confirm that all tasks are completed and that the case is ready to transfer. The Assessment Team Manager will ensure the transfer checklist (see Appendix 2: Transfer Checklist) is completed.
  7.1.e The case will transfer immediately following the ICPC on the basis that the tasks/actions have been completed. In the event that there are outstanding tasks preventing the immediate transfer of the case, the Assessment Team will retain case responsibility until all tasks are completed.
  7.1.f The Assessment Team social worker or the Assessment Team Manager will be responsible for recording the ICPC decision and any immediate actions needed on case notes.
  7.1.g Agencies will be notified of the transfer at the ICPC or if not represented at the ICPC, via letter by the Assessment Team. Families will be notified within 5 days of the case transfer by the Assessment Team social worker.
  7.1.h Core Groups will always be chaired by District Team or CDS, and booking the room and other practical arrangements are the responsibility of the District Team or CDS.
  7.1.i Consideration should be given to undertaking a joint visit if this is necessary to facilitate the smooth handover of cases.


7.2

Transfer Process: Child in Need (CiN)

  Child in Need (CiN) cases should transfer to the DCPT after Child and Family Assessment, if CIN plan is the assessed outcome.
  7.2.a The reason for transfer to District Team or CDS must be made explicit in the transfer summary and the Assessment Team Manager needs to ensure that the case remains at Level 4, according to the Pathway to Provision.
  7.2.b All CiN cases must have a completed and up to date Child and Family Assessment and a CiN Plan that outlines the work needed.
  7.2.c The receiving Team Manager will be invited to a CIN planning meeting, which will be held within 10 working days, providing the receiving team with at least 5 day notice of the meeting.
  7.2.d The Assessment Team Manager will email the relevant DCPT or CDS to confirm that all tasks are completed and that the case is ready to transfer. The Assessment Team Manager will ensure that the transfer checklist (see Appendix 2: Transfer Checklist) is completed.
  7.2.e Agencies will be notified of the transfer in writing. Families will be notified of the case transfer within 5 days by the Assessment Team social worker.


7.3

Transfer Process: Private Fostering

  7.3.a In cases of private fostering, the case will transfer from the MASH to Assessment Team to complete the Child and Family Assessment and from the Assessment Team to the DCPT to assess the feasibility of the placement. If the placement is deemed viable, the case will remain within the DCPT.
  7.3.b See Private Fostering Procedure.


7.4

Transfers to and from the Looked After Children (LAC) Team

  This guidance outlines the transfer points between teams for children who are Looked After and reflects recent changes to the Leaving Care Service.


7.5

Transfers to the Looked After Children (LAC) Team

 

Transfer Process: Looked After Children (LAC)

  7.5.a In cases where children are accommodated under s.20, the case transfers from the DCPT to the LAC Team following the child’s 2nd Looked After Review, when the plan for medium to long term accommodation has been agreed. Cases transfer when parenting and/or viability assessments have been completed.
  7.5.b

Cases where children are accommodated by the Emergency Duty Team (EDT) will be transferred to the Assessment Team at the start of the next working day.

In cases where children are accommodated under s20, the case transfers from the Assessment team to the DCPT at the 72 hour placement planning meeting.
  7.5.c Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children (UASC) will be transferred to the Assessment team for completion of the initial and age assessments, prior to transfer the LAC team at the placement planning meeting. Unless there are connected person to be explored as alternative carer to CSC accommodation transfer will be at the first LAC review if the young person is still in LA care.
  7.5.d Children remanded to the care of the Local Authority will transfer to the LAC Team at the 1st Looked After Review.
  7.5.e

Where a court remands a young person to Local Authority accommodation under Section 23(1) of the Children and Young Persons Act 1969 to:

  • A Local Authority Secure Children's Home; or
  • A Secure Training Centre.
The child becomes looked after by the Local Authority as they do when placed in the community. Children's Social Care has a responsibility for supervising the young person's placement, assessing and meeting their needs and their care planning, which will include holding looked after reviews at statutory intervals, both in secure and community settings. Transfer to the DCPT at the point of the detention placement-planning meeting which will take place within 20 days. Assessment service will alert the DCPT of the date of the detention planning meeting.


7.6

Transfer Process: Cases in Care Proceedings

  7.6.a On conclusion of court proceedings, cases will transfer to the DCPT if a Supervision Order, Child Arrangements Order or Special Guardianship Order is the outcome and the child still needs a social work service. If a child is subject to a Care Order and the plan is “long term looked after”, the case will transfer to the LAC Team.
  7.6.b Cases with adoption plans will transfer to the Permanence Team when the Placement Order is granted.
  7.6.c

Cases where a plan for adoption is not achieved and the Care Plan changes to “looked after”, the case will transfer to the LAC Team. The Permanence Team is responsible for the revocation of the Placement Order.

Situations where the need for an urgent LPM is identified at the ICPC: The protocol for LPM outside the normal process is to be followed. The decision rest with the relevant GM with the CSM chairing the LPM. Normal documentation is required, however conversation is to take place with legal about the minimum required paperwork if LPM is needed immediately, and responsibility should lie with the Assessment Team. If the chair of the ICPC suggests that a LPM is considered, the receiving District or CDS Team will action this. If a decision is to be made for Immediate Issue in these circumstances it is done by the CSM DCPT/Assessment Team and the responsible Group Manager.


7.7

Transfers from the Looked After Children (LAC) Team

 

Children accommodated under s.20 who are subsequently rehabilitated to their parents’ care will be referred to the relevant DCPT should continue social work services be required.

Care Proceedings initiated within the LAC Team will remain in the LAC Team, and not transfer to the Court Team unless the likely care plan for the child is adoption.

Children leaving care post 16 years old who were accommodated under s.20 for a minimum of 13 weeks are entitled to services under the Children Leaving Care Act 2000. Children who return home to parents will remain open to the LAC Team as a “Relevant” child. After 6 months, if the child remains at home their legal status converts from “Relevant” to “Qualifying” in accordance with the Children Leaving Care Act 2000. At this point the case will close to the LAC Team. Qualifying young people (pre and post 18) are eligible for advice, assistance and befriending if they request this. Post 18 this can be accessed via the 18+ Leaving Care Service.

In the event that a Qualifying young person under 18 years old needs to become looked after again, the case will re-open to the LAC Team.

The LAC Team will refer all looked after young people eligible for After Care Services to the 18+ Leaving Care Service at 17 ½ years old. At this point a Personal Adviser will be allocated in readiness for the young person leaving care at 18.


7.8

Transfer Process: Cases in Care Proceedings (Court Team)

  Due to the requirements of the revised PLO process and the implementation of this process within Nottinghamshire Courts from the 5th August, 2013, it has been necessary to review current working arrangements of the Court Team and transfers of care proceedings cases.
  A Case for transfer to the Court Team does so at the first hearing. Co-working arrangements may be put in place during the pre-proceeding process. It should however be noted that the originating social worker will still be required to attend the case management hearing (day 12) in the new PLO and may be needed at any subsequent contested hearing in the case if the evidence they provided is challenged.
 

The process for booking a Legal Planning Meeting will remain unaltered - this is done through Legal Administration. The requirements for the meeting also remain unaltered - it is the expectation that each case booked into a Legal Planning Meeting, in order to enable a full discussion to take place, the following must be available:

  • Court compliant Child and Family Assessment;
  • An up to date SWET/LPM;
  • Any other evidence the Local Authority seeks to rely on e.g. CP Medical.
These need to be sent to Legal Administration five working days before the meeting.
  The CSM for the Court Team will chair all Legal Planning Meetings. Any case booked in for a meeting that does not have the paperwork as listed above, will not be discussed.
  Within the Legal Planning Meeting the Local Authority Solicitor will give advice regarding the legal threshold - if this is met, the Court Team CSM will make a decision regarding future action.
  The process of transfer and referral will usually be between the DCPT and the Court Team. This protocol will also relate to other teams e.g. LAC, Assessment Service, MASH where they have work which comes under the following categories.


 

Pre-Proceedings Action

 

If it is agreed that the pre-proceedings PLO process will be followed, the CSM will agree the following dates in the LPM:

  • Date for the PLO letter to be sent to Legal for approval;
  • Timescale for the PLO Meeting;
  • The timeframe within the process for required changes to be made by the family;
  • A review meeting date will be agreed, to review the PLO process in line with the agreed timeframe - following this review an end date or continuation period may be agreed, this will need to be clearly recorded within the review meeting;
  • If in the interim period concerns are not being addressed as agreed/required, the originating teams CSM should inform the Court CSM re. the need to issue proceedings;
  • If the CSM Court agrees to Issue Care Proceedings following the PLO pre proceeding process the case will be allocated to the Court Team and transfer will take place after the first court hearing. In some circumstances the Court Team will already be involved having co worked a case in some circumstances.


 

Unborn Babies

  The Court Team manager should be notified as early as possible of any unborn child where care proceedings on another sibling/s finished within the previous 6 months and family circumstances have not changed. These cases will transfer to the Court team. Where proceedings concluded outside of the 6 month period the DCPT should undertake a Child and Family Assessment at an early stage and bring the case to a LPM if the assessment indicates proceedings should be issued. If this outcome is agreed the case will transfer to the Court Team following the LPM. If a case is identified by 16 weeks into the pregnancy a referral can be made direct to the court team. They will undertake an early pre birth assessment and consider referral to CAFCASS Plus.


 

Care Proceeding

 

When the LPM makes a decision to issue care proceedings. On the date of the application the court requires:

Child and Family Assessment Social worker evidence
Genogram Social worker evidence in SWET
Chronology Social worker evidence in SWET
Care Plan Social worker evidence
Viability Assessments of extended family Social worker evidence
SWET: Social work evidence template Social worker evidence

 

It is a requirement that all evidence is clear and concise. The expectation would be that the case holding social worker would complete the Child and Family Assessment, SWET Care Plan and outstanding viability assessments of extended family/connected others.

A timescale for completion will be agreed regarding timing of the Care Application. At the first hearing the case will fully transfer to the Court Team social worker who will progress the court work and plan. Co-working will continue in some CDS cases that enter care proceedings if the CDS team will have on-going involvement post proceedings. Co working will also continue with District teams where care proceedings are issued but the child/children remain at home under an interim supervision order.


 

Children Subject to Child Protection Plans 15 months plus.

  Further changes to the process around children who have been subject to child protection plans for a significant period include notification to the DCPT and Court CSMs by the Child Protection Coordinator at the third review conference at the 15 month plus stage of a plan, in order that decision making around the plan and delays are made and recorded within the child’s file. The DCPT and Court Team CSM will consider the need to have a Legal Planning Meeting. These cases will be tracked and reviewed by the Court Team in order that cases are brought to Legal Planning Meetings in a timely manner.


 

Co working arrangements

  The Court Teams involvement in all co worked cases will be in relation to the ensuing care proceedings, they will not undertake work relating to the child/children’s child protection plan or LAC status. Case management for these matters will remain with the originating team’s manager. The Court team worker will undertake work on some pre proceeding cases in the PLO process where there is a high likelihood that care proceedings will be issued.


 

Children’s Disability Service

  Any cases in legal proceedings, at the pre proceeding stage and in care proceedings will be co worked with the Court Team see Section 7.9, Transfers to the Court Team and Permanence Team and co working arrangements for CDS.


 

Family Assessment Team

  The role of this team is not affected by this document.


7.9

Transfers to the Court Team and Permanence Team and co working arrangements for CDS

 

Transfer/co working process

In cases where the CDS Team considers that a Legal Planning Meeting (LPM) is required the case should be booked for a meeting. The LPM will be chaired by the CSM Court.

If the outcome of the LPM is a pre proceedings PLO process the case will be co worked between the CDS and Court teams. CDS will maintain case responsibility undertaking statutory visits, arranging and chairing meetings under the PLO process and any work under LAC/CP procedures that is on-going. The Court Team will be responsible for writing the Care Plan if a decision is made to issue care proceedings. The Court SW will attend PLO meetings and any decision to issue made by the CDS should be made in consultation with the Court TM and SW. The court team worker can be requested to undertake further assessments to prepare a case for court.

The co working arrangement will end if the pre proceeding PLO process ceases with a decision being made that court proceedings are not required. In this case the Court SW role will end.

If a decision is made to Issue care proceedings the case management responsibility will transfer to the Court TM and SW. If the intended plan for the child/children would not require on-going involvement from the CDS they would cease their involvement following the first court hearing. The SW CDS would only need to have any further involvement if at any point in the proceedings they are required to give evidence to court. This may be where a Kinship placement is to be made. In this case the Court Team would have case responsibility until an order. The case would then be closed or transferred to DCPT/CDS if a SO has been made.

If the intended plan is to seek a Care Order, which would mean that the CDS would continue to work the case following proceedings concluding, a co working arrangement would continue. At this stage a Joint Working Agreement would be drawn up between the SW’s clarifying their individual roles. This process should enable the child and family have some continuity of worker. The CDS worker would in these circumstances remain responsible for work to ascertain the child/children’s wishes and feelings and Life Story Work. Their skills would be required when a child has complex needs to assist in communication with the child and liaising with agencies in relation to the child’s disabilities where services are required. The CDS SW may be asked to contribute to reports in relation to the needs of the child/children for LAR’s or Court reports. They would be asked to share statutory visiting with the Court SW. The Court SW would be responsible for all on-going assessments, any court reports, court attendance and care planning.

If the LA care plan was for adoption it would be expected that the CDS remains involved as outlined in 5 above. In addition they would be asked to contribute to the Child Permanence Report/Annex B, particularly in relation to the child’s needs.

Where the plan is for adoption the Permanence Team would take over case responsibility at the point the Placement Order is made and the CDS and Court SW roles will cease. 

There are a small number of CDS cases where the children have adoption plans. These children often have complex support packages and are often placed outside of Nottinghamshire. In these cases the Permanence Team will need to be able to refer to the CDS for their assistance in drawing up the Adoption support plan and liaising with agencies regarding support packages.

Where a parent requests that a baby with disabilities is placed for adoption a Child and Family Assessment will need to be completed by the CDS. There should be liaison with the permanence team who may do a joint visit to a parent with the CDS worker. The Child and Family Assessment will need to consider the likelihood of being able to place the baby with adopters and whether this is the right plan for the baby to achieve permanence bearing in mind the complexity of the baby’s needs. It is likely that in these cases a decision would be made at the 2nd Looked After Review about transfer to the permanence team.


Appendix 1: Pre-Birth Assessment

Click here to view Appendix 1: Pre-Birth Assessment.


Appendix 2: Transfer Checklist

Click here to view Appendix 2: Transfer Checklist.


Appendix 3: Transfer Summary

Click here to view Appendix 3: Transfer Summary.

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