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8.1 Protocol for Step Down / Step Up of Cases Between CDS Social Work Team and the Short Break Assessment and Review Team

NOTE: The policy of providing transport of children to their short breaks provision is under review.

AMENDMENT

In January 2019, this chapter was updated throughout and should be re-read.


Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Reviews (Short Break Assessment and Review Team)
  3. Transport Arrangements for Short Breaks Overnight Provision

    Appendix 1: Overnight Short Breaks Panel for Disabled Children, Young People to Include: Residential Units, Contract Care, Direct Payments


1. Introduction

As of July 1st 2014, all cases with a legal status of Section 17 (6) which do not require social work intervention will step down to the Short Break Assessment and Review Team. The rationale for this is that all these cases are stable, families are able to monitor the placements themselves and they do not require social work intervention. These children will move from a CIN (Short Breaks Plan) to a Short Break Review Plan.

Similarly, all those cases currently held by social workers that have a legal status of Section 17 and who have support services in place (e.g. Direct Payments / Home Care / sitting and befriending services), are stable and which do not require social work intervention, will be stepped down to the Short Break Assessment and Review Team in line with the current ‘step down’ process


2. Reviews (Short Break Assessment and Review Team)

  • Children with a legal status of Section 17 who have stepped down to the Short Break Assessment and Review Team will have their short break package reviewed a minimum of annually by a Reviewing Officer. This may be as part of an annual education or multi-agency review, or may be undertaken at a home visit or by phone. For Section 17(6) cases, a Reviewing Officer will review these cases on a 6 monthly basis.

For new cases where a Child and Family Assessment / updated Child and Family Assessment identifies that an overnight short break is an assessed need, these will be presented to the overnight short breaks panel for a decision. The legal status for the overnight short break (if agreed) will be determined by the panel. The following will then apply:

  • In the case of an overnight short break being provided by a contract carer / residential unit under Section 17(6); the social worker will convene a child in need planning meeting within 7 working days of panel. This meeting will be chaired by the CDS Social Work Team Manager. The CIN (Short Breaks) Plan will be drawn up at this meeting and a CIN review date set for three months ahead;
  • If it is felt that the case is stable a step down request will be made to the Manager of the Short Break Assessment and Review Team. If the placement is stable and working well, the Manager will accept the step down request and the case will be held by the Short Break Assessment and Review Team for review purposes.

Where it is clear that social work intervention is still required, then consideration must be given at this review to the case being stepped up to a legal status of Section 20 (reg 48) and an IRO allocated to the case.

In the case of an overnight short break being agreed by Panel and where it is clear that the case meets the threshold for tier 4 intervention, the legal status for this short break will be Section 20(48). A CIN planning meeting will be held within 7 working days of panel and the CIN (short breaks) Plan drawn up. Following this meeting, the social worker will alert IRO admin that an IRO led CIN review is required within three months of the first overnight stay.

  • Where the Panel agrees an overnight short break can be provided by a direct payment, and it is clear that social work intervention is not required, the case can be stepped down to the Short Break Assessment and Review Team. This is either following either a CIN review, a multi-agency meeting or a joint home visit with the social worker & Short Break Reviewing Officer. If following discussions between the Short Break Assessment and Review Manager and the CDS fieldwork Manager it is identified that cases held by the Short Break Assessment and Review Team require a re-assessment of need or there are safeguarding concerns, a referral will be made via MASH.
Where a reassessment identifies an increase in allocation of overnight short breaks, this will need to be agreed by the Panel. Where an increase is agreed, the case can step back down to the Short Breaks and Personalisation Team following Panel provided that the legal status remains Section 17(6), the case is stable and does not require continued social work intervention.


3. Transport Arrangements for Short Breaks Overnight Provision

Residential and Contract Care providers will book the transport arrangements for term time transport. The current policy that families transport the children themselves during weekends and holiday periods where they have their own transport remains in situ.

Some families will have arrangements made outside of social care for provision of overnight stays at Rainbows /Bluebell Wood hospices. Families are expected to make their own arrangements for transport in these cases. The only exception to this is where such provision is funded via agreement with SIRP and where it is agreed in that forum that transport will be provided.

Transport costs for an overnight short break funded by Direct Payments are not provided.


Appendix 1: Overnight Short Breaks Panel for Disabled Children, Young People to Include: Residential Units, Contract Care, Direct Payments

Click here to view Appendix 1: Overnight Short Breaks Panel for Disabled Children, Young People to Include: Residential Units, Contract Care, Direct Payments.

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