Amendments

August 2022

CAPTION: August 2022 Amendments
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Care and Supervision Proceedings and the Public Law Outline This chapter has been updated and replaces the previous chapter - to reflect the Recommendations to Achieve Best Practice in the Child Protection and Family Justice Systems (Public Law Working Group).
Legal Planning Meetings This chapter has been reviewed and updated to reflect Recommendations to Achieve Best Practice in the Child Protection and Family Justice Systems (Public Law Working Group).
Use of Social Media Sites by Social Care and Safeguarding Staff This chapter has been given a general refresh.
Electronic Recording of Meetings Part 1 of this chapter has been updated in line with case-law.
Children and Young People Aged 0-25 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Section 15, Resolving Disagreements has been updated in line with the First Tier Tribunal’s extended powers to hear appeals and make non-binding recommendations about health and social care aspects of Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans, provided those appeals also include education elements.
Unaccompanied Migrant Children and Child Victims of Trafficking and Modern Slavery This chapter has been updated.
Decision to Look After and Care Planning Section 1.3, Section 20 Accommodation has been revised in line with the Public Law Working Group (PLWG) Recommendations to Achieve Best Practice in the Child Protection and Family Justice Systems.
Ceasing to Look After a Child This chapter has been updated to add a note regarding transferring a child’s belongings in appropriate luggage and includes a link to a link to NYAS, My Things Matter Report. (See Section 5, Administration / Process Issues).
Placements in Foster Care This chapter has been amended to add a link to the NYAS ‘My Things Matter’ Report – support and respect care-experienced children and their belongings when they move. (See Section 5, Placement Planning).
Placements in Residential Care This chapter has been amended to add a link to the NYAS ‘My Things Matter’ Report – support and respect care-experienced children and their belongings when they move. (See Section 2.3, Placement Planning).
Placements in Secure Accommodation on Welfare Grounds Section 10, Use of Inherent Jurisdiction to Authorise a Placement Involving a Deprivation of Liberty has been updated in line with case-law.
Education of Children with a Social Worker, Looked After and Previously Looked After Children This chapter has been updated to reflect Keeping Children Safe in Education (2021). Schools should have policies and processes in place to ensure all concerns about all adults working in or on behalf of the school or college (including supply teachers, volunteers and contractors) are dealt with promptly and appropriately. See Section 8.3, Protecting Children with a Social Worker, Looked After Children and Previously Looked After Children from Adults Who May Pose a Risk to Them and/or Other Children in the School.
Restrictive Physical Intervention A link has been added into Further Information to Guidance: Positive Environments Where Children Can Flourish (Ofsted).
Leaving Care and Transition This chapter has been amended to add a link to the NYAS ‘My Things Matter’ Report – support and respect care-experienced children and their belongings when they move. (See Scope Box.)
Kent Fostering Service Statement of Purpose and Policy This policy has been updated.

CAPTION: next update
 
Next update: January 2023

January 2022

CAPTION: January 2022 Amendments
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Family and Friends Care Policy This chapter has been revised. A new Section 7, Education has been added and information has been added on the School Admission Code.
Capacity and Consent Section 4.3, Consent to the Use of Medication to Suppress Puberty has been updated and a new Section 5.4, Consent to Life-ending Withdrawal of Medical Support has been added to reflect High Court judgments. Section 2.1, Consent to Information Sharing has been updated to reflect revisions contained in the statutory guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children.
Initial Contacts and Referrals Guidance contained in this chapter has been reviewed and updated as required to reflect guidance from the refreshed Working Together to Safeguard Children.
Assessments This chapter has been reviewed and updated where required.
Care and Supervision Proceedings and the Public Law Outline The link has been updated to the SWET (updated April 2021). Section 2, Pre-Proceedings has been updated to include information in relation to pre-birth assessments and planning where the mother has learning disabilities. It has also been updated to reflect Practice Guidance on Special Guardianship (Family Justice Council). See Section 9, Expectations of the Local Authority by the Court in particular.
Complaints and Representations This chapter has been amended to reflect the Children's Statutory Complaint Process: Guide for Practitioners (Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman) (see Relevant Guidance).
Recording Policy and Guidelines Section 5.5, Case Summaries has been amended where required.
Electronic Recording of Meetings Information has been added on recording by employees in a professional capacity, and links have been added into Further Information.
Policy and Guidance for Using Family Group Conferences in Children's Social Services This chapter has been updated.
Children and Young People Aged 0-25 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities This chapter has been refreshed and updated and includes links to related reports from the House of Commons Library.
Short Breaks Information in relation to the prohibition on looked after children under the age of 16 being placed in 'other arrangements' placements for the purposes of a short break has been added into Section 6, Short Break Settings.
Unaccompanied Migrant Children and Child Victims of Trafficking and Modern Slavery

A link has been added to the Independent Child Trafficking Guardians Referral Form. In areas where the ICTG service has been implemented, if the social worker considers a child to be a potential victim of modern slavery, they should refer them to the ICTG service by completing the online referral form.

Section 6.1, Placement Options has been updated in relation to placements in 'other arrangements'.
Section 4, Assessment has been updated in relation to Age Assessments.

Minor amendments have been made to this chapter in line with the UK's exit from the EEA.
Families with No Recourse to Public Fund Policy and Procedure This chapter has been updated to note that the High Court in ST (a child, by his Litigation Friend VW) & VW v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWHC 1085 (Admin) held that immigration caseworkers, when deciding whether to accept that the applicant is 'destitute or at risk of imminent destitution' are required to 'have regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare' of any children involved in the application, in accordance with section 55 Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009.
Relinquished Babies and Children This chapter has been updated to reflect case-law setting out lessons for the future in non-notification cases.
Remands to Local Authority Accommodation or to Youth Detention Accommodation Information in relation to children under the age of 16 being placed in 'other arrangements' placements has been added into Section 3, Local Authority Accommodation.
Placements in Residential Care This chapter has been updated to note that, from September 2021, looked after children under 16 years of age cannot be accommodated in unregulated independent or semi-independent placements.
Delegation of Authority to Foster Carers and Residential Workers A new Section 7.4, Consent to Life-ending Withdrawal of Medical Support has been added to reflect a High Court judgment.
Out of Area Placements Section 6, Placements in Wales has been updated in line with updated Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations - Volume 2: Care Planning, Placement and Case Review.
Placements with Parents Section 1, Planned Placements has been updated to add information on placements in 'other arrangements'.
Placements Outside England and Wales Section 3, Placements in Scotland, Northern Ireland, Isle of Man and Guernsey has been updated in line with updated Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations - Volume 2: Care Planning, Placement and Case Review. Additional information has been added in relation to placements in Scotland, in line with a High Court case.
Unregulated & Crisis Placement Compliance Guidance This guidance has been updated.
Advocacy and Independent Visitors This chapter has been amended.
Education of Children in Care and Previously Looked After Children This chapter has been significantly amended to reflect the 'Review of Sexual Abuse in Schools and Colleges (Ofsted)'; updated 'Keeping Children Safe in Education' (see Scope of this Chapter) and Sexual Harassment in Education – Briefing (House of Parliament Library) - see Section 8.2, Protecting looked after children from sexual harassment and peer on peer abuse. The chapter has also been amended to reflect Promoting the Education of Children with a Social Worker: Virtual School Head Role Extension. Information has been added on the School Admission Code in Section 6, When a Child Needs or Joins a New School.
Leaving Care and Transition Section 6, Pathway Planning has been updated to note that in relevant cases, immigration status should be included as a separate section on the Pathway Plan. This will help to ensure that young people who have been granted Pre-Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme apply to convert this to Settled Status at the appropriate. Pathway Plans should contain clear information about what action needs to be taken by whom and when to ensure that the young person's right to remain legally in the UK is not jeopardised.
Responsibilities of the Local Authority to Former Children and Young People in Care in Custody This chapter has been refreshed where required.
Special Guardianship Orders Guidance Information has been added on the School Admission Code in Section 12, The Special Guardianship Support Plan. This chapter has also been updated to reflect Practice Guidance on Special Guardianship published by the Family Justice Council. See Section 6.2, Special Guardianship applications in care proceedings and new Section 16, Special Guardianship Orders in International Cases.
List of Agency Decision Makers, Designated Managers and Nominated Officers These details have been updated.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Placements in Other Arrangements This chapter has been added to the manual.
Kent Unregulated and Unregistered Placement Guidance This guidance has been added to the manual.
Guidance for Pre-Birth Assessment This guidance has been added to the manual.
Removed Chapters
  • Kent's Children and Young People Every Day Matters;
  • Peer Review Online Case File Audit Guidance;
  • Adoption Service Statement of Purpose;
  • Recruitment, Assessment and Approval of Prospective Adopters;
  • Adoption Panel;
  • Planning for Adoption, the Child's Journey through Adoption;
  • Adoption Support;
  • Education Policy for Children Adopted from Care;
  • Monitoring and Supervision of Adoptive Placements;
  • Adoption Reviews;
  • Allegations and Complaints Against Prospective Adopters and in Relation to Children Placed for Adoption or Already Adopted;
  • Inter Country Adoption;
  • Non Agency Adoption;
  • Adoption Case Records;
  • Access to Birth Records and Adoption Case Records;
  • Intermediary Services;
  • Authorisation and Criteria: Adoption Allowances, Adoption Settling in Grant, Mileage and Accommodations Costs for Introductions, Legal Costs for Adoption Order Applications;
  • Fostering for Adoption, Concurrent Planning and Temporary Approval as Foster Carers of Approved Prospective Adopters;
  • Life Story Books Guidance;
  • My Guide to Adoption - Guidance for Social Workers;
  • Later Life Letter.
For Adoption guidance, refer to the Adoption Partnership South East Regional Adoption Agency Procedures.

August 2021

CAPTION: August 2021
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Capacity and Consent This chapter has been updated to add information on a High Court case in relation to consent in the context of the use of medication to suppress puberty.
Child and Family Assessment This chapter has been updated in line with the new digital referral system for reporting potential victims of Modern Slavery.
Private Fostering This chapter has been updated to add a new section on Children subject to a Child in Need Plan or Child Protection Plan.
Prevention of Homelessness and Provision of Accommodation for 16 and 17 year olds who may be Homeless and/or require Accommodation; and Duty to Refer This chapter has been updated to add a link to Joint Housing Protocols for Care Leavers: good practice advice (DfE and MHCLG) to support the development of joint protocols that can help local authorities to meet the accommodation needs of care leavers. (See Section 4, Housing Protocols for Care Leavers).
Children and Young People Aged 0-25 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Section 15, Resolving Disagreements has been updated to reference recent case-law holding that, as part of the mediation process, a parent/child/young person is entitled to bring along any supporter they wish, including a lawyer.
Unaccompanied Migrant Children and Child Victims of Trafficking and Modern Slavery This chapter has been further updated to include Guidance on Using the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) for Children and Young People who are Victims of Trafficking and Modern Slavery.
Responding to Children who are Missing This chapter has been updated to include Guidance on Using the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) for Children and Young People who are Victims of Trafficking and Modern Slavery.
Children and Young People in Care in Contact with Youth Justice Services This chapter has been updated to include a link to Guidance on Using the NRM.
Appointment and Role of Independent Reviewing Officers An updated Practice Alert Flowchart has been added to this chapter.
Holidays and School Trips In and Outside the UK This chapter has been revised throughout and combines to replace the previous two chapters.
Education of Children in Care and Previously Looked After Children This chapter has been updated to reflect changes from the revised Working Together to Safeguard Children.
Responsibilities of the Local Authority to Former Children and Young People in Care in Custody This chapter has been updated to reflect the Section 2.6 Care leavers leaving custody in Joint Housing Protocols for Care Leavers: good practice advice (DfE and MHCLG) 2020. (See Section 3.9, Planning for Release).
Recruitment, Assessment and Approvals of Foster Carers A revised link has been added to Prepare for a review panel: adopters and foster carers.
Guidance on the Assessment of New Partners and New Adults joining the Fostering Household (changes in the fostering household/circumstances) This chapter has been updated and should be re-read.
Fostering Panel Appendix 1: Flowchart of Procedure for Fostering Panel Minutes has been updated.
Review and Termination of Approval of Foster Carers A revised link has been added to Prepare for a review panel: adopters and foster carers.
Recruitment, Assessment and Approval of Prospective Adopters A revised link has been added to Prepare for a review panel: adopters and foster carers.
Access to Birth Records and Adoption Case Records This chapter has been given a general refresh throughout and information added on applying for a copy of a birth certificate online.
Local Contacts These details have been updated.
List of Agency Decision Makers, Designated Managers and Nominated Officers These details have been updated.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Aftercare under Section 117 of the Mental Health Act 1983 This chapter has been reviewed locally and added as a new chapter.

April 2021

CAPTION: April 2021
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Disabled Children's Services Appendix A: Kent County Council Disabled Children & Young People's Service - Eligibility Criteria 0-18 years has been updated.

January 2021

CAPTION: January 2021
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Child and Family Assessment This chapter has been updated in line with the new digital referral system for reporting potential victims of Modern Slavery.
Complaints and Representations Information contained in this procedure has been reviewed and refreshed as required.
Child in Need Plans and Reviews Section 7, The Review Child In Need Meetings has been updated to reflect local guidance.
Joint Working Protocol for Young People This chapter has been reviewed and updated.
Disabled Children's Services This procedure has been updated to reflect local guidance.
Unaccompanied Migrant Children and Child Victims of Trafficking and Modern Slavery Section 11, Further Information has been updated to include a link to Statutory Guidance Modern Slavery: How to Identify and Support Victims.
Families with No Recourse to Public Fund Policy and Procedure This chapter has been refreshed throughout and replaces the previous chapter.
Supporting Transgender Users of Our Services This document has been updated.
Placements in Secure Accommodation on Welfare Grounds Section 6, Placements of Children under the age of 13 Years has been updated following publication of revised DfE guidance.
Notifications of Significant Events This procedure has been updated to reflect the latest Ofsted guidance for social care providers on the types of incident which they consider to be serious and which will therefore require notification to the regulatory authority.
Local Contacts These details have been updated.
List of Agency Decision Makers, Designated Managers and Nominated Officers These details have been updated.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Capacity and Consent This chapter has been added to the manual.
Use of Social Media Sites by Social Care and Safeguarding Staff This chapter has been added to the manual.
Storage of Data on Mobile Devices This chapter has been added to the manual.

July 2020

CAPTION: July 2020
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
ICS Supervision Policy This policy has been updated.
Supervision Practice Guidance This guidance has been updated.
Child and Family Assessment This chapter has been updated in line with the new digital referral system for reporting potential victims of Modern Slavery.
Policy and Guidance on the use of Social Media and Online Safety for Integrated Children's Services This chapter has been updated.
Recording Policy and Guidelines This chapter has been amended to reflect the Ofsted Twitter Blog of 24/7/19 by Yvette Stanley, Ofsted's National Director for Social Care. The Blog highlights feedback from a number of inspections and explores what good recording should look like. (Ofsted: developments in children's social care – What makes an effective case record?)
Children and Young People Aged 0-25 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities An update has been made in Section 1, Principles to draw attention to OFSTED's advice that Local Authorities should exercise due diligence in ensuring schools for pupils with SEN are registered with the DFE. The same diligence should be exercised on behalf of pupils with SEN.
Unaccompanied Migrant Children and Child Victims of Trafficking and Modern Slavery This chapter has been updated to take account of the new NRM digital referral form to report Modern Slavery.
Responding to Children who are Missing This chapter has been updated to take account of the new NRM digital referral form to report Modern Slavery.
Placements with Parents This chapter has been updated in to note that this procedure does not apply to children subject to Interim Care Orders where the placement is required by the court under Section 38(6) Children Act 1989 for the purposes of assessment, (see Scope of this Chapter).
Education of Children in Care and Previously Looked After Children

This chapter has been updated in to reflect Keeping Children Safe in Education 2019 which replaces the 2018 version. Section 8, Safeguarding the Looked After Child at School has been amended to include reference to Upskirting (which is now a criminal offence) and serious violence.

In Section 1.3, Role of the Local Authority, Virtual School Head (VSH), and School OFSTED's advice that Local Authorities should exercise due diligence in ensuring schools for LAC pupils are registered with the DFE has been added.
Exemptions and Changes to Foster Carers Terms of Approval This chapter has been revised locally.
Adoption Service Statement of Purpose This chapter has been updated.
Special Guardianship Orders Guidance This chapter has been updated to reference and reflect the Family Justice Council: Interim Guidance on Special Guardianship, (Family Justice Council, May 2019) (see new Section 6.2, Special Guardianship applications in care proceedings).
Accountability and Delegation This chapter has been reviewed and amended where required.
List of Agency Decision Makers, Designated Managers and Nominated Officers This chapter has been updated.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Unregulated & Crisis Placement Compliance Guidance This chapter has been added to the manual.

March 2020

CAPTION: March 2020
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Kent Fostering Service Statement of Purpose and Policy This PDF has been updated.

January 2020

CAPTION: January 2020
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Care and Supervision Proceedings and the Public Law Outline This chapter has been updated to reference and note the Family Justice Council: Interim Guidance on Special Guardianship, (Family Justice Council, May 2019). (See Section 1, Introduction).
Alerts This chapter has been updated. Section 6, Serious Harm by Children and Young People to Others has been added, with some minor amendments made to other sections, so that the guidance is now applicable across Integrated Children's Services in Kent.
Guidance for Making Applications for Criminal Injuries Compensation on Behalf of Children in Care This chapter has been updated to reflect local practice in Kent.
Placements in Foster Care This chapter has been updated to reflect local guidance.
Placements in Residential Care This chapter has been reviewed and updated and should be re-read.
Out of Area Placements This chapter has been updated in line with the above guidance, and should be re-read.
Secure Accommodation (Criteria) Reviews This chapter has been reviewed and updated. The requirement for clear separation of reviews (for clarifying whether the criteria for keeping a child in secure accommodation are met, and the child's Child in Care review) has been emphasised. Clarifying whether the criteria for keeping a child in secure accommodation are met must come before a Child In Care review so the decision can inform the Child in Care review and they must be chaired by different individuals.
Recruitment, Assessment and Approvals of Foster Carers A link has been added to Attending an IRM Panel: information sheets. See Section 11, Representations / Independent Review Procedure.
Supervision, Support and Training of Foster Carers This chapter has been updated to reflect in more detail the foster carer's role and responsibilities with respect to Fostering National Minimum Standards – Notification of Significant Events (see Section 1, Introduction) and relevant aspects of Schedule 6 The Fostering Services (England) Regulations 2011, (see Section 2, Planned Supervision Visits).
Review and Termination of Approval of Foster Carers A link has been added to Attending an IRM Panel: information sheets. See See Section 5.1, Proposal to Terminate Foster Carer's Approval.
Notifications of Significant Events This chapter has been updated.
Recruitment, Assessment and Approval of Prospective Adopters This chapter has been amended to reflect the national changes in adoption registration and matching (see Section 11, After the Panel Recommendation). A link has also been added to Attending an IRM Panel: information sheets. See Section 13, Representations / Independent Review Procedure.
Access to Birth Records and Adoption Case Records A link has been added to Attending an IRM Panel: information sheets. See Section 7, Access by Adopted Persons, Adopters and Birth Relatives - Adoption Orders Made on or After 30 December 2005.
Local Contacts

This chapter has been updated.

List of Agency Decision Makers, Designated Managers and Nominated Officers This chapter has been updated.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Placing and Visiting Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities or Health Conditions in Long-Term Residential Settings This chapter has been added to the manual.
Removed Chapters
  • Quality Assurance Framework.

November 2019

CAPTION: November 2019
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Guidance on Health Assessments and Health Plans This procedure has been updated throughout to reflect local practice.

August 2019

CAPTION: August 2019
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Care and Supervision Proceedings and the Public Law Outline

This chapter has been amended to reflect changes from 'Practice Direction 27a - Family Proceedings: Court Bundles (Universal Practice to be Applied in the High Court and Family Court)', in relation to the required maximum length of certain court documents, (unless otherwise specifically directed by the court). In addition, a new subsection of Section 4.1, Local Authority Documentation - 'Final Care Plan' provides further detail on the importance of recording information on the Care Plan which will help the child, parent or the child's carer understand why decisions have been or are being made.

It has also been amended to reflect HHJ Greensmith's comments regarding M and N (Children: Local authority gathering, preserving and disclosing evidence) [2018] EWFC 40 (1 June 2018)). (See Section 9, Good Local Authority Practice During Proceedings). 
Death or Serious Injury to a Child (In Care and a Child in Need) This chapter has been updated throughout to reflect Working Together to Safeguard Children and the process for reporting a serious incident to the Panel via the Child Safeguarding Incident Notification System.
Recording Policy and Guidelines This chapter has been amended to reflect HHJ Greensmith's comments regarding M and N (Children: Local authority gathering, preserving and disclosing evidence) [2018] EWFC 40 (1 June 2018). 
Private Fostering This chapter has been amended. It confirms that any request for support by the young person should be made to the local authority in which they are resident or where the education and training is being provided.
Children and Young People Aged 0-25 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

This chapter has been updated in line with the Children and Social Work Act 2017 and revised statutory guidance which require schools, through the designated teacher to provide support to previously Looked After Children.

A previously Looked After Child is one who is no longer looked after in England and Wales because they are the subject of an Adoption, Special Guardianship or Child Arrangements Order which includes arrangements relating to with whom the child is to live, or when the child is to live with any person, or has been adopted from 'state care' outside England and Wales.
Unaccompanied Migrant Children and Child Victims of Trafficking and Modern Slavery

This chapter has been updated when a new Section 6, Suitable Placements has been added. Details of the National Transfer Scheme Protocol for Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children Version 2.0 March 2018 has been added into Section 1, Introduction and Definitions.

Decision to Look After and Care Planning This chapter has been amended to reflect Section 3 of the Care Planning and Care Leavers (Amendment) Regulations 2014. The Care Plan must identify whether there is reason to believe the child has been trafficked or is an unaccompanied asylum seeker (see Section 2.1, The Care Plan Contents).
Remands to Local Authority Accommodation or to Youth Detention Accommodation This chapter has been updated in relation to placing young people in custody, see Section 2.3, How to Request a Transfer or Placement Review.
Social Worker Visits to Children in Care This chapter has been amended to include a link to the Leaving Care and Transition Procedure in relation to Personal Adviser visits to 'Relevant' or 'Former Relevant' young people.
Children and Young People in Care in Contact with Youth Justice Services This chapter has been updated in relation to placing young people in custody, see Section 7.7, How to Request a Transfer or Placement Review.
Education of Children in Care and Previously Looked After Children This chapter incorporates changes introduced by the Children and Social Work Act 2017 and updated Keeping Children Safe in Education (2018). A new section has been added with regard to Unaccompanied Migrant Children, and the role of the Virtual School Head in relation to Previously Looked After children is emphasised.
Guidance for Social Workers Regarding Review Health Assessments Requests for Children and Young People This chapter has been reviewed and revised where required to reflect local arrangements.
Leaving Care and Transition

This chapter has been updated. Amendments have been made in:

  • Section 5, Leaving Care Assessment of Need - in relation to children who are victims of trafficking or unaccompanied asylum seeking children;
  • Section 7, Reviews of Pathway Plans - in relation to Relevant/Former Relevant young people moving to 'unregulated' accommodation; and
  • Section 8, Personal Advisers - in relation to frequency of visits by Personal Advisers.
Responsibilities of the Local Authority to Former Children and Young People in Care in Custody This chapter has been updated in relation to placing young people in custody, see Section 3.8, How to Request a Transfer or Placement Review.
The Independent Fostering Placement Services Framework Agreement 2018 This chapter has been updated with a new link.
Pocket Money & Savings This policy has been updated.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Policy and Guidance on the use of Social Media for Social Workers and Early Help Workers This policy has been added to the manual.
Prevention of Homelessness and Provision of Accommodation for 16 and 17 year olds who may be Homeless and/or require Accommodation; and Duty to Refer This new chapter has been added. It links to the statutory guidance and to the Guide to duty to refer including the referral process. The duty to refer was brought in by the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017.

July 2019

CAPTION: July 2019
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Local Contacts This chapter has been updated.

March 2019

CAPTION: March 2019
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Confidentiality Policy This guidance has been reviewed and updated following the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018.
Care and Supervision Proceedings and the Public Law Outline This chapter has been updated to provide some emphasis on parents who lack capacity and added links to the President of the Family Division, Family Proceedings: Parents with a Learning Disability note, and a relevant link to working with parents who have a learning disability (see Section 2.1, Principles) and Practice Direction 3AA - Vulnerable Persons: Participation in Proceedings and Giving Evidence (see Case management in Section 4, Documentation). In Related Guidance, a link has been added to Research in Practice supporting information and guidance on the Social Work Evidence template (SWET).
Death or Serious Injury to a Child (In Care and a Child in Need)

This chapter has been amended. From 29 June 2018, local authorities in England must notify the national Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel within 5 working days of becoming aware of a serious incident.

It should be read in conjunction with the Brief guidance for the management of unexpected child death by social workers document.
Recording Policy and Guidelines This guidance has been reviewed and updated following the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018.
Access to Records This chapter has been substantially updated and should be re-read throughout.
Electronic Recording of Meetings This guidance has been reviewed and updated following the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018.
Relinquished Babies and Children Section 5, Consent and Competency has been updated to include additional information on parental capacity to consent, in line with High Court case-law.
Decision to Look After and Care Planning Additional information has been added in to Section 1.3, Section 20 Accommodation, in line with recent case-law.
Permanence Planning Guidance

This chapter has been updated in line with the Children and Social Work Act 2017 and revised statutory guidance.

These changes relate to the status of 'previously looked after children'. A previously Looked After Child is one who is no longer looked after in England and Wales because they are the subject of an Adoption, Special Guardianship or Child Arrangements Order which includes arrangements relating to with whom the child is to live, or when the child is to live with any person, or has been adopted from 'state care' outside England and Wales.

Children subject to an Adoption, Special Guardianship or Child Arrangements Order are entitled to support from their school, through the designated teacher.
Child in Care Reviews Section 10, The Role of the Looked After Review in Achieving Permanence for the Child has been updated in line with the Children and Social Work Act 2017 and revised statutory guidance.

These changes relate to the status of 'previously looked after children'. A previously Looked After Child is one who is no longer looked after in England and Wales because they are the subject of an Adoption, Special Guardianship or Child Arrangements Order which includes arrangements relating to with whom the child is to live, or when the child is to live with any person, or has been adopted from 'state care' outside England and Wales.

Children subject to an Adoption, Special Guardianship or Child Arrangements Order are entitled to support from their school, through the designated teacher.

amended to reflect the outcome of a High Court Judgement in respect of children who were subject to Section 20 and where there were concerns of significant delays in their planning for permanence and a failure to respond to a parent's request to have a child return home to their care. The court noted the IROs' recognition and action over a number of reviews but acknowledged that a more robust response had been needed (see Herefordshire Council v AB [2018] EWFC 10 rtf).
Education of Children in Care and Previously Looked After Children

This chapter has been updated to reflect amendments made by the Children and Social Work Act 2017.

These changes relate to the status of 'previously looked after children' i.e. a previously looked-after child is one who is no longer looked after in England and Wales because s/he is the subject of an adoption, special guardianship or child arrangements order which includes arrangements relating to with whom the child is to live, or when the child is to live with any person, or has been adopted from 'state care' outside England and Wales. The chapter includes a new Section 15, Mental Health and a new Section 8, Safeguarding the Looked After Child at School.

In addition, the chapter reflects the statutory guidance Keeping children safe in education (KCSIE), as it relates to Looked After Children and guidance regarding Data protection and safeguarding as set out in Data protection: a toolkit for schools (Open Beta: Version1.0) (August 2018).
Adoption Panel This guidance has been reviewed and updated following the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018.
Adoption Support

This chapter has been updated in line with the Children and Social Work Act 2017 and revised statutory guidance which require schools, through the Designated Teacher for Looked After Children, to offer support to previously looked after children.

A previously looked-after child is one who is no longer looked after in England and Wales because subject of an Adoption, Special Guardianship or Child Arrangements Order which includes arrangements relating to with whom the child is to live, or when the child is to live with any person, or has been adopted from 'state care' outside England and Wales).
Adoption Reviews Section 5, (bullet point 1.f) has been amended to reflect the status of adopted children as being 'previously looked after' when considering their educational needs. A link to DfE guidance on Promoting the Education of Looked After and Previously Looked After children has also been added.
Adoption Case Records Section 2, Security, Retention and Sharing of Records has been updated in line with Adoption and Care Planning (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2018, which provides that an adoption agency may disclose an adoption case record to another adoption agency for purposes related to either agency's functions as an adoption agency. Further information has been added in relation to adoption records where an Adoption Order is not made.
Life Story Books Guidance This chapter has been substantially updated throughout and should be re-read.
Later Life Letter This chapter has been substantially updated throughout and should be re-read.

August 2018

CAPTION: August 2018
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Family and Friends Care Policy This chapter has been extensively updated and should be read throughout.
Child Trust Funds and Individual Savings Accounts for Children in Care (including Children with Their Own Funds) In Section 2, Junior Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) for Children in Care, a link has been added to GOV.UK as to how much the savings limit for Junior ISAs is.
Child in Need Plans and Reviews Section 8, Children in Need who move to other Local Authority Areas has been updated with principles in relation to how this is dealt with.
Disabled Children and Young People Direct Payments An updated Appendix 2: Direct Payments Agreement has been added.
Unaccompanied Migrant Children and Child Victims of Trafficking and Modern Slavery This chapter has been extensively updated and should be read throughout.
Permanence Planning Guidance This chapter has been updated, in particularly Section 3.5, Fostering for Adoption, Concurrent Planning and Temporary Approval as Foster Carers of Approved Prospective Adopters
Placements with Parents This chapter has been updated to reflect that the DBS has no eligibility for a standard or enhanced check for birth parents or other adults living in the household. However, the Local Authority has a requirement under the Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England Regulations) 2010 to obtain information about unspent convictions and cautions before placing a child back with parents (see Section 1.2, Assessment and Checks before Placement).
Social Worker Visits to Children in Care This chapter has been extensively updated and should be read in its entirety
Contact with Parents / Adults and Siblings Section 2, Different Types of Contact has been updated to take account of the use of mobile communication with regards to contact.
Leaving Care and Transition This chapter has been extensively updated. Clarification in relation to Qualifying Young People has also been updated. See Section on Definitions and in response to the changes to legislation through the Children and Social Work Act 2017.
Kent Fostering Service Statement of Purpose and Policy This chapter has been updated.
Adoption Service Statement of Purpose This chapter has been updated.
Planning for Adoption, the Child's Journey through Adoption This chapter has been extensively amended and should be read throughout.
Inter Country Adoption Section 8, Home Study has been updated to include a link to GOV.UK Benefits.
Life Story Books Guidance This chapter has been updated including Section 6, What Goes Into the Life Story Book? Where further information has been added with regards to Kent's preferred model of Life Story Book which is the Joy Rees model.
List of Agency Decision Makers, Designated Managers and Nominated Officers This chapter has been updated.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Deprivation of Liberty This chapter has been added to the manual.
Mental Capacity This chapter has been added to the manual.

May 2018

CAPTION: May 2018
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Disabled Children and Young People Direct Payments An updated Appendix 3: Direct Payments Agreement has been added.

February 2018

CAPTION: February 2018
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Kent Specialist Children's Services Participation Strategy This chapter has been extensively updated.
Supervision Policy This chapter has been extensively updated and should be read throughout.
Initial Contacts and Referrals This chapter has been revised to set out in more detail the timetable and partnership requirements associated with effectively managing contacts and referrals.
Care and Supervision Proceedings and the Public Law Outline Section 4.2, Case Analysis has been updated to reflect the 'permanence provisions' of the Care Plan added by Section 8 Children and Social Work Act 2017 (amending Section 31(3B) Children Act 1989) which a court is required to consider when deciding whether to make a Care Order.
Child in Need Plans and Reviews This chapter has been extensively updated and should be read throughout.
Policy and Guidance for Using Family Group Conferences in Children's Social Services This chapter has been updated in particular Section 1, Introduction with regards to the Lifelong Links trial.
Disabled Children's Services Appendix A: Kent County Council Disabled Children & Young People's Service – Eligibility Criteria 0-18 Years has been updated.
Unaccompanied Minors and Asylum Seeking Children A link to Securing British Citizenship for Looked After Children(NRPF Network) has been added. The NRPF have highlighted important information from the Project for the Registration of Children as British Citizens, with regard to the responsibilities that local authorities have to ensure that children in their care have effective access to specialist legal advice so their citizenship or any entitlement to citizenship is secured.
Families with No Recourse to Public Fund Policy and Procedure A link to Securing British Citizenship for Looked After Children(NRPF Network) has been added. The NRPF have highlighted important information from the Project for the Registration of Children as British Citizens, with regard to the responsibilities that local authorities have to ensure that children in their care have effective access to specialist legal advice so their citizenship or any entitlement to citizenship is secured.
Safeguarding Children and Young People from Sexual Exploitation This chapter has been updated including Section 1, Introduction which has been updated to take account of the change of definition in: Child Sexual Exploitation: Definition and Guide for Practitioners (DfE February 2017).
Decision to Look After and Care Planning Section 2.1, The Care Plan – Contents has been amended to reflect the additional 'permanence provisions' of the Care Plan (Section 8 Children and Social Work Act 2017 amends Section 31(3B) Children Act 1989) which a court is required to consider when deciding whether to make a Care Order.
Permanence Planning Guidance Section 2, Key Objectives in Permanence Planning has been updated to include a Permanency Planning Meeting should be convened at the earliest appropriate opportunity, according to the circumstances of the case, and will require action by a children's social worker team or Children in Care team social worker. Permanency Planning Meetings must be informed by thorough sibling assessments, from the outset. The purpose of a Permanency Planning Meeting is to consider the most effective route to securing permanency for a child or young person. Section 5, Assessing and Planning for Permanence has also been updated to reflect the additional 'permanence provisions' of the Care Plan (under Section 8 Children and Social Work Act 2017 amends Section 31(3B) Children Act 1989) which a court is required to consider when deciding whether to make a Care Order.
Permanency Planning Meetings This chapter has been updated, and should be read in its entirety.
Placements in Residential Care Section 4, Allegations and Complaints against Residential Staff has been added.
Placements with Parents Appendix 1: Flowchart - Actions to be taken by Social Worker for Planned or Unplanned Placement for LAC Placed with Parents has been updated.
Child in Care Reviews This chapter has been amended to fully reflect Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations - Volume 2: Care Planning, Placement and Case Review with respect to the circumstances as to when a Looked After Review should be brought forward. The list is not exhaustive. (See Section 2, Frequency of Child in Care Reviews).
Guidance on Health Assessments and Health Plans Appendix 1: Process for Requesting Health Assessment for Children in Care - Flowchart has been updated and a link has been added to Children's Attachment: Attachment in Children and Young People who are Adopted from Care, in Care or at High Risk of Going into Care - NICE Guidelines (NG26). This guideline covers the identification, assessment and treatment of attachment difficulties in children and young people up to age 18 who are adopted from care, in special guardianship, looked after by local authorities in foster homes (including kinship foster care), residential settings and other accommodation, or on the edge of care. It aims to address the many emotional and psychological needs of children and young people in these situations, including those resulting from maltreatment.
Change of Name of a Child in Care This chapter has been extensively updated and should be read throughout.
Permanent Fostering This chapter has been extensively updated.
Allegations and Complaints Against Foster Carers This chapter has been updated in particular the addition of Appendix 1: Managing Allegations and Complaints About a KCC Foster Carer.
Guidelines for Social Workers Following an Allegation / Complaint Against a Foster Carer or Member of the Household Section 6, For the Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO) has been added.
Placement for Adoption This chapter has been amended in particular to emphasise 'procedural fairness' as a key aspect of the adoption planning process in respect of ensuring parents are provided with information throughout, including the dates of placement/proposed changes of a child's Status, etc. This follows the outcome of a judicial review ([2017] EWHC 1041 (Admin)). (See new Section 4.2, Procedural Fairness). Section 1, Planning for Permanence has also been updated to reflect the additional consideration (added by Section 9 Children and Social Work Act 2017 amends section 1(4)(f) of the Adoption and Children Act 2002) into the list of considerations that whenever a court or adoption agency is coming to a decision relating to the adoption of a child, of the relationship which the child has with relatives, with any person who is a prospective adopter with whom the child is placed and with any other person in relation to whom the court or agency considers the relationship to be relevant.
Allegations and Complaints Against Prospective Adopters and in Relation to Children Placed for Adoption or Already Adopted This chapter has been extensively updated and should be read throughout.
Fostering for Adoption, Concurrent Planning and Temporary Approval as Foster Carers of Approved Prospective Adopters Section 4.1, Duty to Consider Fostering for Adoption Placement has been updated to reflect the additional consideration (added by Section 9 Children and Social Work Act 2017 into the list of considerations whenever a court or adoption agency is coming to a decision relating to the adoption of a child), of the relationship which the child has with relatives, with any person who is a prospective adopter with whom the child is placed and with any other person in relation to whom the court or agency considers the relationship to be relevant.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Supervision Practice Guidance This Practice Guidance should be read in conjunction with the Supervision Policy.
Personal Education Plan

This chapter details:

  • Personal Education Plan Policy: Virtual School Kent (June 2017);
  • Personal Education Plan Responsibilities Chart;
  • Personal Education Plan Meeting Guidance for Social Workers – June 2017 and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).
Care Leavers Charter This Charter is Kent County Council's promise to young people to help support them when they leave care.
Policy for Foster Carers Annual Leave This chapter details the entitlement to paid and unpaid annual leave for foster carers

September 2017

CAPTION: September 2017
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Family and Friends Care Policy Section 4, Different Types of Family and Friends Living Arrangements has been updated with links to a Decision Flowchart for Fostering Regulation 24 Approval and a Connected Person Flowchart for Children Already in Care. Information has been also added with regards to Connected Person foster carers will receive the maintenance payment for the child or young person at the point placement. They are entitled to the full professional fee on completion of the skills foster training and this payment will continue if on-going foster carer training is undertaken.
Young Carers This chapter has been extensively updated and should be read throughout.
Child and Family Assessment Section 2, Planning has been updated to reflect when undertaking assessments, social workers should make every effort to identify the whole range of professionals in contact with that family and that they take time to understand exactly what that professional knows of the child / family, minimising any potential for misinterpretation, misunderstanding or miscommunication. Any information gathered should be clarified and confirmed with the professional providing the information in writing. This is to ensure that both parties are in agreement with its content and meaning before including it as part of the assessment.
Team Remits and Transfer Protocol (Step Up Step Down) Section 3.10, Disabled Children's Service (DCS) has been amended to reflect that referrals concerning disabled children are routed via the CRU to the DCS, either the Disabled Children Teams for 0-15 years old or the Young People's Teams for 16-17 year olds where they meet the criteria for that service. The service will retain responsibility for these children whether through Child in Need, Child Protection or Child in Care Planning and provision until such time as the service is no longer required or appropriate. Those who reach 18 years of age will continue to receive services as an adult.
Death or Serious Injury to a Child (In Care and a Child in Need) This chapter has been updated in line with the requirement to notify Ofsted of any serious childcare incident using the Ofsted online notification of serious childcare incident form.
Child Trust Funds and Individual Savings Accounts for Children in Care (including Children with Their Own Funds) Section 2, Junior Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) for Children in Care has been updated to reflect that the total limit for payments into Junior ISAs is £4,128 in the 2017-2018 tax year.
Case Records for Children in Care (Including Retention) This chapter has been updated and should be read throughout.
Private Fostering This chapter has been amended to add clarity to the definition of private fostering with regards to the legislation and children under 16 who spend more than 2 weeks in residence during holiday time in a school.
Children and Young People Aged 0-25 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities This chapter has been updated to reflect the outcome of a court judgement on Ordinary Residence that has been included in DoH, Care and support statutory guidance (December 2016). (See Section 12, Funding Issues - Ordinary Residence). A link has been added into Further Information to guidance on SEND: 19- to 25-year-olds' entitlement to EHC plans (DfE 2017).
Disabled Children and Young People Direct Payments Section 5, Needs that Can be Met Via the Use of Direct Payments has been updated and should be read throughout.
Short Breaks A link has been added to Friendship For All (The Children's Society) in the Related National Guidance and Information section.
Relinquished Babies and Children This chapter has been updated and should be read throughout.
Decision to Look After and Care Planning This chapter has been amended to reflect the outcome of an Appeal Court hearing (2017) with respect to 'consent'. The court recognised that the term 'consent' itself has been not used in Section 20. However, it described previous court observations as 'good practice guidance', emphasising its judgment should not alter the content or effect of these. (See Section 1.3.1, Obtaining Parental Consent).
Definitions of Children in Care This updated document contains definitions to assist managers when deciding which children and young people should be viewed as a looked after child.
Placements in Foster Care This chapter has been extensively updated and should be read throughout.
Placements in Residential Care This chapter has been extensively updated and should be read throughout.
Placements in Secure Accommodation on Welfare Grounds This chapter has been extensively updated and should be read throughout.
Placements with Parents Section 1.2, Assessment and Checks before Placement has been updated to include consideration should be given as to whether the home environment is safe for the child including where relevant, the need for a risk assessment of any pets and the environment in which they are kept.
Advocacy and Independent Visitors This chapter has been updated to add a link to the Children's Society 'Advocacy services for children and young people – a guide for commissioners'. This guide outlines the legislative requirements of local authorities in the provision of advocacy support to children in need and looked after children.
Child in Care Reviews Section 8, The Role of the Child's Carer(s) has been updated and should be re-read.
Appointment and Role of Independent Reviewing Officers This chapter has been updated in relation to the role of the Independent Reviewing Officer in line with the Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations - Volume 2: Care Planning, Placement and Case Review. In particular, the IRO being sensitive to the close and active involvement of parents of a child looked after in a series of Short Breaks and problem-solving where there might be difficulties or issues.
Social Visits (Including Overnight Stays) This chapter has been extensively updated and should be read throughout.
Guidance on Health Assessments and Health Plans A link has been added to Children's Attachment: Attachment in Children and Young People who are Adopted from Care, in Care or at High Risk of Going into Care - NICE Guidelines (NG26) in the Relevant Legislation and Guidance section.
Kent Fostering Service Statement of Purpose and Policy An updated Fostering Service Statement of Purpose and Policy has been added.
Supervision, Support and Training of Foster Carers Section 5, Support Provided by the Fostering Social Worker has been updated to reflect that the Safer Caring Plan, any changes in household circumstances along with any health and safety issues including the addition of any new pets and the environment in which they are kept should be reviewed as required.
Allegations and Complaints Against Foster Carers This chapter has been updated in particular Section 17, Moving On following Allegation or Complaint against Foster Carer of Member of the Household.
Recruitment, Assessment and Approval of Prospective Adopters Section 6.3, Assessment has been updated to reflect where the applicants have pets, a risk assessment should be conducted and any associated risks should be taken into account with regard to the pet itself and where the pet is kept. Where necessary, an independent assessment should be undertaken by a vet to establish whether the dog falls within the scope of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.
Inter Country Adoption This chapter has been extensively updated and should be read throughout.
Special Guardianship Orders Guidance This chapter has been extensively updated and should be read throughout.
List of Agency Decision Makers, Designated Managers and Nominated Officers This chapter has been updated.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Protocol for Joint Working between Specialist Children's Services (SCS) and Early Help Preventative Services (EHPS) - Joint Working Around and Responsibilities Towards Young People in the Criminal Justice System This replaces all previous protocols and policies relating to Youth Justice and Specialist Children Services collaborative working.
The Transfer of Children to Local Authority Accommodation from Police Custody - An agreement between Kent County Council and Kent Police This document details the Police, Youth Justice and Children's Social Care's commitment to working together to keep young people out of custody. As far as is practical this aims to minimise the incidences of young people being detained in custody overnight. If there is a possibility of an overnight detention the Police will undertake a joint risk assessment with Children's Social Care to ensure the young person's welfare.
Guidelines for Social Workers Following an Allegation / Complaint Against a Foster Carer or Member of the Household This chapter details the process to be taken by both Fostering Social Workers and Children's Social Workers following an allegation / complaint against a foster carer or member of the household.

July 2017

CAPTION: July 2017
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Pocket Money & Savings This document has been added to the manual.

June 2017

CAPTION: June 2017
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Responding to Children who are Missing Section 4.4, When a Child and Young Person Previously Open or Not Known to Specialist Children's Services Goes Missing has been added.
Placements with Connected Persons This chapter has been extensively updated and should be read throughout.
Kent Fostering Service Statement of Purpose and Policy This document has been replaced with an updated version.
Permanent Fostering This chapter has been extensively updated.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Staying Put This policy has been added to the manual.

April 2017

CAPTION: April 2017
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Child and Family Assessment This chapter has been updated by including information to reflect the outcome of a judgment following an application to remove a child at birth. The judge highlighted 'good practice steps' to undertaking assessments and issuing care proceedings in respect of the removal of a child at birth, including the assessment process (see Section 11.1, Pre-birth 'Good Practice Steps').
Care and Supervision Proceedings and the Public Law Outline This chapter has been updated by including the addition of Appendix 3: Annex C - List of potential agenda items for a Pre-Proceedings Meeting (Preparation for Care and Supervision Proceedings: a best practice guide), and Appendix 4: LPM / Pre-Proceedings Meetings and Permanency Planning Meetings Table.
Legal Planning Meetings This chapter has been updated to reflect the outcome of a judgment following an application to remove a child at birth. The judge set out what were thought to be 'basic and good practice steps' (see Section 2, Considerations).
The International Child Abduction Unit Information has been added to the International Child Abduction and Contact Unit (ICACU) with regards to the ICACU request for co-operation form and guidance (GOV.UK). This form is to be used by local authority staff to ask the authorities in another country for information or assistance in a child protection case. The guidance should be read prior to completing the form.
Policy and Guidance for Using Family Group Conferences in Children's Social Services This chapter has been extensively updated and should be read throughout.
Families with No Recourse to Public Fund Policy and Procedure This chapter has been extensively updated and should be read throughout.
Ceasing to Look After a Child Section 2, Children Accommodated under Section 20 has been updated to reflect that it is expected that a Permanency Planning Meeting is organised at the earliest opportunity. For planned entrance into care this should be held within 7 days. For emergency placements, a Permanency Planning Meeting should be held within 20 working days, (by the first review).
Permanence Planning Guidance Section 3.9, Residential Care has been added and Section 5, Assessing and Planning for Permanence has been extensively updated.
Permanency Planning Meetings This chapter has been updated and should be read in its entirety.
Placements in Secure Accommodation on Welfare Grounds This chapter has been amended to acknowledge the President of the High Court's judgement regarding applications in English courts for Secure Accommodation placements in Scotland (see Section 4.1, Placement Request, Identification and Approval).
Child in Care Reviews This chapter has been amended to note The Law Society guidance 'Attendance of solicitors at local authority Children Act Meetings' and their Code of Conduct where the child or family who attend reviews are supported by a legal representative (see Section 7, Independent Reviewing Officer's Responsibilities).
Supervision, Support and Training of Foster Carers

This chapter has been extensively updated including the addition of Appendices 2-6.

Recruitment, Assessment and Approval of Prospective Adopters This chapter has been extensively updated and should be read in its entirety.
Placement for Adoption This chapter has been updated and should be read in its entirety.
Non Agency Adoption This chapter has been extensively updated and should be read in its entirety.
Access to Birth Records and Adoption Case Records This chapter has been updated and should be read in its entirety.
Intermediary Services This chapter has been updated and should be read throughout.
Court Reports in Adoption A note has been added in Section 1, Placement Order Applications with regards to all applications should be made via the court administration team at Medway County Court.
Life Story Books Guidance This chapter has been updated including reflecting feedback from adoptive parents.
Later Life Letter This chapter has been extensively updated and should be read in its entirety.
Special Guardianship Orders Guidance This chapter has been updated to clarify the level of parental responsibility extended to the Special Guardian. Further detail has been added with regard to who may apply for Special Guardianship in Section 1.1, Who Can Apply?
Local Contacts This chapter has been updated.
List of Agency Decision Makers, Designated Managers and Nominated Officers This chapter has been updated.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Relinquished Babies and Children This chapter deals with the first stages of the adoption process for relinquished children, whilst signposting other key processes that should be progressed and which are expected for any child who is Accommodated or where the plan is for adoption. It also summarises the counselling and support that will be made available to the birth family in these circumstances. Once a decision is made and consent is formally given, although not irreversible, the adoption process is as for any other child.
Responding to Children who are Missing This chapter has been added to the manual.
Supporting Transgender Users of Our Services This guide is designed to help staff in Adult and Children Social Care to offer the best service they can to trans users of Social Care services.
Allocation of Fostering Social Workers This chapter has been added to the manual.

February 2017

CAPTION: February 2017
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Kent Fostering Service Statement of Purpose and Policy This document has been updated.

November 2016

CAPTION: November 2016
   
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Corporate Parenting, Education, Training and Employment Policy This new document has been added.

October 2016

CAPTION: October 2016
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Child in Need Plans and Reviews This chapter has been extensively updated in relation to the Kent Inter-Agency Threshold Criteria for Children and Young People and should be read throughout.

September 2016

CAPTION: September 2016
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Peer Review On-line Case File Audit Guidance This chapter has been updated and should be read in its entirety.
Child and Family Assessment This chapter has been updated including the addition of Section 10, The Use Of The Child And Family Assessment Tool In Care Proceedings.
Care and Supervision Proceedings and the Public Law Outline Links have been added to the Social Work Evidence Templates (SWET).
Legal Planning Meetings A note has been added to reflect that where children are already Section 20 Accommodated there should be no delay in issuing proceedings where this is required.
Whistleblowing A link has been added to Whistleblowing to Ofsted about Children's Social Care Services - Policy and Guidance for Whistleblowers. This document outlines what Ofsted will do when it receives certain concerns about Children's Social Care services from a whistleblower.
Recording Policy and Guidelines This chapter has been extensively updated and should be read throughout.
Access to Records This chapter has been extensively updated and should be read throughout.
Disabled Children and Young People Direct Payments Section 6, Services that May Not be Purchased Via the Use of Direct Payments has been updated to include that Direct Payments are not usually used to provide care for a disabled child to enable carers to go to work. However they can be considered in exceptional circumstances. Passing the threshold for exceptional circumstances is judged on the individual case, taking into account the complexity of the child's needs, the environmental circumstances and the wider support network available. They will only be authorised following approval by an Assistant Director.
Short Breaks This chapter has been fully updated to bring it in line with the Children and Families Act 2014, DfE, Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice: 0-25 years Statutory Guidance for Organisations who work with Children and Young People with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (2015) and DfE, The Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations - Volume 2: Care Planning, Placement and Case Review.
Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children This chapter has been extensively updated and should be read throughout.
Families with No Recourse to Public Funds This chapter has been slightly updated with regards to when the Children in Need Assessment is carried out, it should be considered whether there are any issues that may indicate that the child is or has been trafficked or a victim of compulsory labour, servitude or slavery.
Decision to Look After and Care Planning This chapter has been extensively updated and should be read throughout.
Ceasing to Look After a Child This chapter has been extensively updated and should be read throughout.
Remands to Local Authority Accommodation or to Youth Detention Accommodation This chapter has been extensively updated and should be read throughout.
Placements in Residential Care Section 2.2, Identification and Approval of Placement has been amended to include that the placement provider should be able to provide evidence that supports the appropriateness and effectiveness of any therapeutic approach or model of care they intend to use.
Advocacy and Independent Visitors This chapter has been extensively updated and should be read throughout.
Looked After Children and Young People in Contact with Youth Justice Service This chapter has been extensively updated and should be read throughout.
Secure Accommodation (Criteria) Reviews This chapter has been extensively updated and should be read throughout.
Contact with Parents / Adults and Siblings This chapter has been extensively updated and should be read throughout.
Education of Children in Care A link has been added to Mental Health Behaviour in Schools Guidance (DfE 2016).
Responsibilities of the Local Authority to Former Children and Young People in Care in Custody This chapter has been reviewed and updated and should be read in its entirety.
Placement for Adoption Section 1, Planning for Permanence has been updated to reflect that in relation to a Relinquished Child, a referral should be made through CDT and then into the District Social Work Team. The District Team will contact the Family Finding Team to arrange a joint visit to the expectant mother.
Adoption Case Records This chapter has been extensively updated and should be read throughout.
Fostering for Adoption, Concurrent Planning and Temporary Approval as Foster Carers of Approved Prospective Adopters Section 4, Fostering for Adoption has been updated to reflect that if, at any point during the planning of a Fostering for Adoption placement or if the child is already in such a placement, there is any change to the circumstances of prospective carers, including relatives, a planning meeting with the Fostering for Adoption carers and all professionals involved should take place to consider the new information at the earliest opportunity, so that the carers can make an informed choice about their position. Similarly, this also allows the local authority to consider their position in light of the change in circumstances.
Court Reports in Adoption Links have been added to, Adoption Order Application and BAAF form CPR Section A of the Annex B Report Placement Order Application.
Special Guardianship Orders Guidance This chapter has been extensively updated and should be read in its entirety.
Local Contacts This chapter has been updated.
Accountability and Delegation The Leaving Care Team replaced the term 16+.
List of Agency Decision Makers, Designated Managers and Nominated Officers This chapter has been updated.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Joint Protocol for Young Carers and their Families Adult Social Care, Public Health, Education and Young People's Services and Specialist Children's Services commit, through this protocol, to work together, adopting a whole system, whole council, whole family approach, to providing support for young carers and their families. We will achieve this through seamless working across directorates, and effective partnerships with health, schools and commissioned services.
Working with Children and Families and with Foreign Authorities This document provides practice guidance on working with families and with foreign authorities where there is a link, or connection, with a foreign country.
Electronic Recording of Meetings

This chapter deals with recording of meetings/conversations by individual service-users, in their capacity as private individuals. Note that the employees of the local authority, acting in their professional capacity, are subject to different legislative requirements, e.g. under the Data Protection Act 1998.

This is a developing area, and legal advice must be sought as necessary.

June 2016

CAPTION: June 2016
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Quality Assurance Framework

This chapter has been updated and should be read.


April 2016

CAPTION: April 2016
   
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Case Progression Policy

This chapter has been added to the manual.


March 2016

CAPTION: March 2016
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Confidentiality Policy The chapter has been updated to include government guidance on Information Sharing with regard to the responsibility of employees to familiarise themselves with confidential information.
Supervision Policy A link to Appendix 2: Guidance on the Recording of Clinical Supervision and Management Oversight within the Post Adoption Support Service has been added.
Team Remits and Transfer Protocol (Step Up Step Down) This chapter has been extensively updated and should be read throughout.
Alerts This chapter has been updated in particular Appendix 2: Alerts Notification Procedure Flowchart and Appendix 4: National Alert Notification of a Missing Child have been updated.
Procedure for Making Applications for Criminal Injuries Compensation on Behalf of Children in Care This chapter has been updated with new information in relation to timescales when making an application for criminal injuries compensation on behalf of children in care.
Whistleblowing This chapter has been updated and should be read throughout.
Access to Records This chapter has been extensively updated in March 2016 and should be read throughout.
Financial Assistance Section 17 (s17) Children Act 1989 A link has been added to Financial Assistance for a Child in Need Section 17 Children Act 1989 Practice Guidance for Social Work Staff.
Private Fostering Links have been added to Private Fostering Statement of Purpose and Practice Guidance, Privately Fostered Children.
Children and Young People Aged 0-25 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities This chapter has been updated to include new links to the Care and Support Statutory Guidance (DOH, October 2014) and The Young Carer's (Needs Assessment) Regulations (DOE, March 2015). A new Section 13, Young Carers and Parental Carers of Disabled Children has been added. This chapter should be re-read throughout.
Families with No Recourse to Public Funds This chapter has been slightly updated with regards to the Care Act 2014. A new Section 5, Independent Family Returns Panel has been added.
Permanence Planning Guidance This chapter has been updated to reflect The Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations - Volume 2: Care Planning, Placement and Case Review. An addition has been made to the list of disadvantages in relation to long-term fostering as a Permanence Plan. This chapter should be re-read throughout.
Permanency Planning Meetings Appendix 2: Permanency Planning Meeting Agenda has been updated.
Placements in Foster Care This chapter has been updated to reflect The Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations - Volume 2: Care Planning, Placement and Case Review. A new Section 10, Long Term Foster Placement has been added. This chapter should be re-read.
Placements in Residential Care A link has been added to Joint Resources Allocation Panel and the Joint Resources Allocation Panel Referral Form.
Placements with Connected Persons Links have been added to Connected Person Flowchart for Child Already in Care and Connected Person Flowchart for Child Placed in Exceptional and Unforeseen Circumstances Only.
Placements in Secure Accommodation on Welfare Grounds This chapter has been updated to include a new link in related guidance to the Government guidance - Secure children's homes: how to place a child aged under 13.
Child in Care Reviews This chapter has been updated to reflect The Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations - Volume 2: Care Planning, Placement and Case Review. It includes a new Section 11, Looked After Reviews Concerning Children in Long Term Foster Placements.
Guidance on Health Assessments and Health Plans This chapter has been updated to include a link to the 2015 Statutory Guidance Promoting the Health and Welfare of Looked After Children, and should be re-read throughout.
Guidance for Social Workers Regarding Review Health Assessments Requests for Children and Young People This chapter has been extensively updated and should be read throughout.
Restrictive Physical Intervention This chapter has been refreshed due to the new Quality Standards for Children's Homes and deprivation of liberty.
Notifications of Significant Events This chapter has been updated in regard to the Children's Homes Quality Standards and Regulations (March 2015) and Working Together to Safeguard Children. A link has been added to Schedule 7 Events and Notifications.
Adoption Service Statement of Purpose This document has been updated and should be re-read.
Recruitment, Assessment and Approval of Prospective Adopters

Minor amendments have been made to this procedure as follows:

  • Where a prospective adopter enquires about inter-country adoption, information should also be given about the policy on fees and an estimation of the costs the prospective adopter will have to pay to the agency and the Department for Education;
  • In relation to references, applicants will be asked to provide the names of three personal referees, who are adults (not more than one of whom should be related to them), have known the applicant for at least two years and who are happy to provide personal references on the prospective adopter. A written report must be prepared of the interviews held with each of the referees.
Placement for Adoption This chapter has been updated throughout and should be re-read.
Adoption Support A link to Adoption Statutory guidance 2013 has been added.
Intermediary Services This chapter has been updated to include a new Section 7.7, Offence to say that it is an offence for an agency to disclose information in contravention of the regulations.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Young Carers This chapter deals with the definition, assessment and response for young carers.
Ceasing to Look After a Child This chapter reflects the statutory guidance 'Ceasing to look after a child' in 'Care Planning, Placement and Case Review Regulations' as amended by the 'Care Planning and Fostering (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations' together with Working Together to Safeguard Children. It deals with the various situations where a child may cease to become looked after.

September 2015

CAPTION: September 2015
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Kent Specialist Children's Services Participation Strategy This chapter has been extensively updated and replaces the previous chapter - Kent Children in Care and Leaving Care Participation Strategy.
Care and Supervision Proceedings and the Public Law Outline A link has been added to Practice Direction 25b – The Duties of an Expert, The Expert's Report and Arrangements for an Expert to Attend Court in the Related Guidance section.
Alerts This chapter has been extensively updated and should be re-read throughout.
Whistleblowing A link to Raising Concerns at Work: Whistleblowing Guidance for Workers and employers in Health and Social Care (2014) has been added in the Related Guidance section.
Recording Policy and Guidelines Section 18, Use of Computers at Home has been amended to reflect staff using computers at home for work purposes must ensure that they are working within the rules of the 'data protection principles' in accordance with the Data Protection Act (1998) and they are required to familiarise themselves with the local information security policy.
Disabled Children's Services This chapter has been updated and Appendix A: Eligibility Criteria For Kent County Council's Disabled Children's Service has been added.
Short Breaks This chapter has been extensively updated including adding links to Short Breaks for Carers of Disabled Children: Departmental Advice for Local Authorities (2011) in Relevant Guidance and the Short Breaks Statement in the Related Chapter sections.
Unaccompanied Asylum Seekers This chapter has been updated to reflect Care of Unaccompanied and Trafficked Children: Statutory Guidance for Local Authorities on the Care of Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking and Trafficked Child (2014).
Independent Family Returns Panel This chapter has been updated to reflect the Independent Family Returns Panel and should be re-read throughout.
Permanence Planning Guidance Section 3.2, Rehabilitation Home has been added.
Permanency Planning Meetings This chapter has been extensively updated including adding a link to The Care Planning and Fostering (Miscellaneous Amendments) (England) Regulations 2015.
Placements in Foster Care This chapter has been updated to reflect changes in the process of requesting placements and placement referrals.
Delegation of Authority to Foster Carers and Residential Workers Appendix 2: Kent County Council Standard Agreement on Delegated Authority for Children Care has been updated.
Out of Area Placements This chapter has been updated and should be re-read.
Placements with Connected Persons This chapter has been extensively updated and should be re-read throughout.
Placements with Parents Section 1.7, Ending of Placement has been updated to take account of recent case-law.
Contact with Parents and Siblings This chapter has been updated in line with statutory guidance. Additional information has been added in to Section 1, Approving and Planning Contact, in relation to sibling placement.
Holidays and School Trips Outside the UK This chapter has been updated to include information in regard to Delegated Authority, see Section 1, Holidays for Accommodated Children.
Supervision, Support and Training of Foster Carers A link has been added to Transfer of Foster Carers Protocol England (2014) in the Related Information section.
Allegations and Complaints Against Foster Carers Section 18, Independent Fostering Agency Carers has been added.
Recruitment, Assessment and Approval of Prospective Adopters This chapter has been extensively updated and should be re-read throughout.
Placement for Adoption This chapter has been extensively updated and should be re-read throughout.
Accountability and Delegation The Table of Decision Making/Makers has been updated.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
The International Child Abduction Unit This chapter details the role of the Unit and how it can make a request for co-operation to another country for the collection and exchange of information.
Financial Assistance Section 17 (s17) Children Act 1989 This chapter outlines the provision of financial assistance Section 17 payments. This chapter should be read in conjunction with the Financial Assistance for a Child in Need Section 17 Children Act 1989 Practice Guidance for Social Work Staff.
Short Breaks Statement This statement sets out how Kent County Council and the NHS partners propose to provide short breaks for disabled children and young people in Kent.
My Guide to Adoption - Guidance for Social Workers 'My Guide to Adoption' is designed to be used as part of a social worker's life story work with a child in preparing them and working with them during their adoption journey.
Removed Chapters
  • Adoption and Special Guardianship Support Board.

April 2015

CAPTION: April 2015
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Family and Friends Care Policy This chapter has been revised throughout and should be re-read in full.

February 2015

CAPTION: February 2015
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Team Remits and Transfer Protocol (Step Up Step Down) Section. 3.5, Early Help and Preventative Services has been updated to reflect practice.
Application for Emergency Protection Orders This chapter has been updated in line with revised guidance as set out above, the revised family justice and courts system, and a new Section 6, Powers to Assist in Discovery of Children who may be in Need of Emergency Protection has been added.
Legal Planning Meetings This chapter has been updated in line with revised guidance Statutory Guidance for Local Authorities on Court Orders and Pre-Proceedings (2014).
2013 Protocol and Good Practice Model Disclosure of Information in Cases of Alleged Child Abuse and Linked Criminal and Care Directions Hearings in Kent An updated version has been added.
Child Trust Funds and Individual Savings Accounts for Children in Care (including Children with Their Own Funds) This chapter has been extensively updated and should be re-read throughout.
Access to Records This chapter has been updated in line with Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations - Volume 3: Planning Transition to Adulthood for Care Leavers (revised May 2014). A new Section 8, Applications by Care Leavers has been added.
Private Fostering This chapter has been extensively updated and should be re-read throughout.
Permanence Planning Guidance This chapter has been updated in line with the Children and Families Act 2014, and the overall aim of speeding up the adoption process. The chapter has been updated throughout and should be re-read. The main changes are in relation to adoption, specifically Fostering for Adoption, Concurrent Planning and Temporary Approval as Foster Carers of Approved Prospective Adopters.
Permanency Planning Meetings Appendix 1: Dispute Resolution Flowchart has been added and Appendix 2: Permanency Planning Meeting Agenda has been updated.
Delegation of Authority to Foster Carers and Residential Workers This chapter has been extensively updated and should be re-read in its entirety.
Out of Area Placements This chapter has been updated in relation to Appendix 1: Placing Children In Care Outside Of The Local Authority Checklist for Social Workers.
Placements in Secure Accommodation on Welfare Grounds A link to Statutory Guidance for Local Authorities on Court Orders and Pre-Proceedings (2014) has been added.
Education of Children in Care This chapter has been extensively updated and should be re-read in its entirety.
Guidance on Health Assessments and Health Plans This chapter has been extensively updated and should be re-read in its entirety.
Care Leavers and Transition to Adulthood This chapter has been extensively updated and should be re-read throughout.
Kent Fostering Service Statement of Purpose and Policy The Statement of Purpose and Policy has been updated.
Recruitment, Assessment and Approvals of Foster Carers This chapter has been extensively updated and should be re-read throughout.
Fostering Panel Appendix 1: Flow Chart for Decision Timescales has been added.
Permanent Fostering This chapter has been extensively updated and should be read in its entirety.
Allegations and Complaints Against Foster Carers This chapter has been extensively updated and should be re-read throughout.
Recruitment, Assessment and Approval of Prospective Adopters This chapter has been extensively updated and should be re-read throughout.
Placement for Adoption

This chapter has been in line with the Children and Families Act 2014, and the overall aim of speeding up the adoption process. The chapter has been updated throughout and should be re-read. The main changes are in relation to:

  • The duty to consider Fostering for Adoption placements;
  • The removal of the requirement to give due consideration to a child's religious persuasion, racial origin and cultural and linguistic background when matching a child and prospective adopters;
  • Post-adoption contact;
  • Placing of siblings.
Adoption Support This chapter has been updated in line with the Children and Families Act 2014. A new Section 2, Duty to Provide Information Concerning Adoption Support, has been added.
Intermediary Services This chapter has been significantly updated and should be re-read.
Court Reports in Adoption This chapter has been updated, a new Section 1, Adoption Order Application - Supporting the Applicants has been added and a link to the Liberi Guidance - Adoption Order.
Life Story Books Guidance Section 9, Children who are Adopted has been updated to reflect that the draft Life Story Book should be taken to the Matching Panel and should be ready for the second review. Later Life Letters are to be given to adopters no later than 10 days after the ceremony to celebrate the making of the Adoption Order.
Local Contacts This chapter has been updated.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Care and Supervision Proceedings and the Public Law Outline This chapter reflects the revised family court system. It replaces the previous chapters on Court Proceedings and Public Law Outline.
Children and Young People Aged 0-25 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities This procedure sets out the specific provision under the Children and Families Act 2014 in relation to children and young people aged 0-25 with Special Educational Needs or disabilities.
Emergency Bed Fostering Scheme This chapter details providing placements for children/young people between the ages of 0 and 17 who need an immediate foster placement and where direct placement with a general foster carer cannot be made.
Notifications of Significant Events This chapter sets out who must be notified of specified events in relation to Looked After children placed in foster care or residential care.
Fostering for Adoption, Concurrent Planning and Temporary Approval as Foster Carers of Approved Prospective Adopters This procedure deals with placement of a child with carers who are dually approved, i.e. approved both as prospective adopters and as local authority foster carers.