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4.5 Children Accommodated by Health and Education Authorities, Residential Care Homes, Nursing Homes

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

This chapter deals with the duty by which Health Authorities or Local Education Authorities need to notify the Local Authority when a child is accommodated for three months consecutively, or when they intend to do this.

RELEVANT LEGISLATION

Children Act 1989, Section 85 and 86.


Contents

  1. Legal Requirement
  2. Policy
  3. Procedure 


1. Legal Requirement

1.1 Section 85 of the Children Act, 1989 requires Health Authorities or Local Education Authorities to notify the Local Authority when they have accommodated a child for three months consecutively, or intend to do this. They must also notify the Local Authority when they cease to accommodate such a child.
1.2 Section 86 of the Children Act, 1989 requires notification in the same circumstances from "a person carrying on" a residential care home, a nursing home or mental nursing home. Failure by these establishments to give this notice can be an offence. The Local Authority has the power to enter the premises listed in Section 86 to ensure that the requirements are being complied with. Identification must be provided for this purpose.
1.3 In the situations in 1.1 and 1.2 above, the notification is to be given to the Local Authority in whose area the child is ordinarily resident, and if there is none, that in which the accommodation is situated.
1.4 The duty of the Local Authority is to take reasonably practical steps to determine whether the child's welfare is being adequately safeguarded and promoted. They must also consider whether they need to exercise any of their functions under the Children Act, in relation to the child.


2. Policy

Caption: Policy table
   
2.1 It is the policy of the Children's Social Care Service that all notices in relation to Sections 85 and 86 of the Children Act will be directed to the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) and consideration given as to whether to refer to the relevant Assessment Team.
2.2 On receipt of the notification the Assessment Team Manager will liaise with the placing agency and, if necessary, arrange for the child to be visited and a social work assessment to be undertaken.


3. Procedure

Caption: Procedure table
   
3.1 The notice is received by the MASH, who will take appropriate action within their registration or inspection functions.
3.2 The Assessment Team Manager will arrange for any action required in relation to an assessment of the child's needs or to safeguard their welfare.
3.3 Where, in the course of an assessment, concerns arise in relation to the establishment in which the child is placed, the Assessment Team Manager will notify the placing authority.

End