Amendments

September 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 of, or Serious Injury to, a Child in the Community or a Child in Care This guidance 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.
Unaccompanied Migrant Children and Child Victims of Trafficking and Modern Slavery This chapter has been updated. A new Section 6, Suitable Placements has been added. Details of the National Transfer Scheme Protocol for Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children have been added into Section 1, Introduction and Definitions.
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 in After the Private Fostering Arrangement Ends 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.
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 to reflect the role of the Youth Custody Service Placement Team when placing young people in custody, see Section 2.3, How to Request a Transfer or Placement Review.
Leaving Care and Transition

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.
Children in Care in Contact with Youth Justice Services This chapter has been updated in relation to the role of the Youth Custody Service Placement Team when placing young people in custody, see Section 7.7, How to Request a Transfer or Placement Review.
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 new chapter reflects statutory guidance in relation to children who are placed by health authorities or local authorities for more than 3 months in residential establishments for educational purposes and children placed in care homes or independent hospitals (including hospices) by health authorities or local authorities (Sections 85 and 86 of the Children Act 1989).

Statutory visits and monitoring of these placements are undertaken by the Responsible Authority.

However, note that this guidance is not relevant for Looked After Children – who have their own statutory visiting requirements (see Social Work Visits to Looked After Children Procedure).
Next Update: March 2020

March 2019

Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Permanence Planning Guidance

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

The changes introduced 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.
Section 20 Accommodation and Agreement

Additional Information has been added to Section 2, Obtaining Parental Consent, in line with recent case-law which considered the use of Section 20 Accommodation by local authorities These court was clear that:

  • A local authority failing to permit a parent to remove a child in circumstances within section 20(8) acts unlawfully; and
  • The relevant information that a parent would need to be able to understand, retain and weigh up in order to have competency to consent to the accommodation of a child is as follows:
    • That the child will be staying with someone chosen by the local authority, probably a foster carer;
    • That the parent can change their mind about the arrangements, and request the child back from accommodation at any time;
    • That the parent will be able to see the child.
Placements in Secure Accommodation on Welfare Grounds This procedure has been revised to reflect the updated DfE guidance 'Secure children's homes: how to place a child aged under 13 (July 2018)' (see Section 6, Placements of Children under the age of 13 Years for full details).
Looked After Reviews Section 13, The Role of the Looked After Review in Achieving Permanence for the Child has been 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. The court noted the IROs' recognition and action over a number of reviews but acknowledged that a more robust response had been needed.
Education of Children in Care

This guidance has been updated throughout to reflect amendments made by the Children and Social Work Act 2017 relating 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. A new Section 15, Mental Health has been added, as well as a new Section 8, Safeguarding Children in Care at School.

In addition, those elements of the statutory guidance Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE) which applies to Children in Care have also been incorporated.
Children Relinquished for Adoption Section 3, Consent has been updated to include additional information on parental capacity to consent, in line with High Court case-law.
Adoption Support

This procedures have 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 as required 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).
Adoption Reviews Section 5, The Conduct of Adoption Reviews (bullet point 1.f) has been amended to reflect the status of adopted children as being 'Previously Looked After' when considering their educational needs.
Adoption Case Records Section 3, 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.
Applications for Special Guardianship Orders

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. It has also been updated to reflect good practice points from a recent Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman publication on Special Guardianship. A link to the full report 'Firm Foundations: Complaints about Council Support and Advice for Special Guardians (Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman)' has been added into the Relevant National Guidance section of this chapter.
Removed Chapters
  • Family Intervention and Support Services;
  • Family Intervention and Support Service Weekend Support Policy.

September 2018

Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Policies, Values and Principles A new Section 2, Corporate Parenting has been added to reflect the DfE publication 'Applying Corporate Parenting Principles to Looked-after Children and Care Leavers – Statutory Guidance (Feb 2018)' This includes the seven corporate parenting principles set out in the guidance.
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 s. 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.

Additional information on parents who lack capacity has been added, as well as a link to a note from the President of the Family Division on Parents with a Learning Disability note (see Case management in Section 4, Documentation).
Unaccompanied Migrant Children and Child Victims of Trafficking and Modern Slavery This guidance has been extensively updated to reflect the DfE publication Care of Unaccompanied Migrant Children and Child Victims of Modern Slavery: Statutory Guidance for Local Authorities, November 2017.
Electronic Recording of Meetings and Conversations This guidance has been reviewed and updated following the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018.
Child in Need Plans and Reviews A new Section 5, Children in Need Moving to Another Authority - Principles has been added stress the importance of information sharing and communication when a Child in Need moves to another authority area.
Decision to Look After and Care Planning Section 2.1, The Care Plan – Contents has been updated to reflect the additional 'permanence provisions' of the Care Plan (s. 8 Children and Social Work Act 2017 amends section 31(3B) Children Act 1989) which a court is now required to consider when deciding whether to make a Care Order.
Permanency Planning Meetings and Permanency Panels This procedure has been updated to contain links to the most recent Terms of Reference for the Permanency Panel and the template Permanence Panel form for completion by the child's social worker.
Permanence Planning Guidance Section 5, Assessing and Planning for Permanence, has been updated to reflect the additional 'permanence provisions' of the Care Plan (under s.8 Children and Social Work Act 2017 which amends section 31(3B) Children Act 1989) which a court is now required to consider when deciding whether to make a Care Order.
Care Plans Guidance Section 8, Contents has been amended to reflect the additional 'permanence provisions' of the Care Plan (s. 8 Children and Social Work Act 2017 amends section 31(3B) Children Act 1989) which a court is now required to consider when deciding whether to make a Care Order.
Contact With Parents/Adults and Siblings Section 2, Different Types of Contact has been updated to take account of the ways young people use mobile communication to keep in touch with family and friends.
Health Care Assessments and Health Plans A new Section 3.9, Consent to Health Care Assessments has been added to provide information on the situations when children can consent to their own health assessments and treatment.
Leaving Care and Transition This guidance has been reviewed and been updated throughout to reflect the provisions of the Children &Social Work Act 2017 and 3 new Department for Education statutory guidance documents which require local authorities to offer Personal Adviser support to all care leavers up to the age of 25, to publish a Local Offer for care leavers and to have regard to seven 'corporate parenting principles'.

March 2018

Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Contacts and Referrals This procedure has been revised to set out in more detail the timetable and partnership requirements associated with effectively managing contacts and Referrals.
Pre-Birth Assessments Procedure

This procedure has been reviewed and updated throughout to reflect practice around conducting Pre Birth Assessments. Information has been added in relation to the Legal Gateway Panel which must consider any request to initiate care proceedings. The Social Worker and Team Manager are required to attend the Legal Gateway Panel to seek approval for proceedings or the initiation of the Public Law Outline Process.

Links to the following additional guidance documents have also been added:

  • Pre Birth Assessments Multi-Agency Pathway;
  • Guidance for Social Workers when completing Pre Birth Assessments.
Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children Section 5, Age Assessment Process has been updated with to require that, in advance of undertaking an age assessment for an unaccompanied asylum seeking child, local authorities must seek Home Office assistance with verifying the authenticity of identity documents e.g. travel documents or a birth certificate. A link to the relevant contact details for local authorities has been added.
Families with No Recourse to Public Funding A link has been added to information from the Project for the Registration of Children as British Citizens in relation 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.
Looked After Reviews This chapter has been amended to fully reflect the Care Planning, Placement and Case Review Guidance and Regulations (Volume 2) with respect to the circumstances when the Independent Reviewing Officer might want to bring forward the date of a child's Looked After Review (see Section 3, Frequency of Looked After Reviews).
Resolution Process The procedures has been updated to include information on the Resolution Process for Children Looked After and Child Protection Cases. Previously know as known as the Dispute Resolution Process, the focus of the Resolution Process has shifted and will concentrate on the quality of the resolutions made following the intervention of the Independent Reviewing Officer. Every effort will be made to resolve issues informally in the first instance.
Education of Looked After Children

Tthe following local documents have been added:

  • Role of Kirklees Virtual School;
  • The Virtual School Educational Placement (school or other) Transfer Protocol  - One Minute Guide.
Placement for Adoption This chapter has been amended to emphasise the importance 'procedural fairness' as a key aspect of the adoption planning process in respect of ensuring birth parents are provided with information throughout the process, including being informed of the dates of placement and 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).
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Equality and Diversity This new guidance includes links to the Kirklees Inclusion and Diversity Policy Statements and Kirklees Council's Inclusion and Diversity Strategy and Action Plan. It provides a useful overview of the Council's plans for improving inclusion and also raises key points to remember as part of promoting equality, diversity and inclusion when delivering services to children and families, including at the point of Referral and during care planning and review.
Confidentiality Policy This procedure explains the responsibilities of employees in relation to the handling of confidential information in the context of their social work role and as an employee of the Council.
Practitioner Assessment Resource Pack This resource, adapted from Leeds Children's Social Work Services, contains resources and tools to help you when assessing and working with children and families. Areas covered include chronologies, life maps, the stepwise approach, promoting resilience and assessing neglect.
Written Agreements with Families This new guidance outlines the circumstances when Written Agreements can be used with families, and covers the process to be followed when using a Written Agreement. A pro forma for use when drafting a Written Agreement can be found in the Appendix.
Achieving Best Evidence in Criminal Proceedings This newly added guidance describes good practice in interviewing vulnerable and intimidated witnesses, in order to enable them to give their best evidence in criminal proceedings.
Person Posing a Risk to Children Assessment This new chapter provides nformation for Kirklees social work practitioners on how to carry out an assessment of a person who may pose a risk to children; this person may or may not be convicted of an offence related to the potential risk.
Legal Gateway Panel Process

This new chapter outlines the role of the Legal Gateway Panel in Kirklees and provides links to the following documents:

  • Legal Gateway Panel Guidance for Social Workers – Process for Children to be Discussed at Legal Gateway Panel;
  • Legal Gateway Panel Process – Flowchart;
  • Legal Gateway Panel – Terms of Reference (Managing Decision Making in Relation to Legal Proceedings);
  • Legal Gateway Panel Item Front Sheet.
Court Practice and Expectations of Legal Staff This new guidance describes the role of the social care legal team, the Legal Project Officers and the role of the social work team in respect of Court proceedings and legal responsibilities.
Protocol and Good Practice Model: Disclosure of Information in Cases of Alleged Child Abuse and Linked Criminal and Care Direction Hearings (October 2013) A link to this protocol has been added.
Working with Uncooperative and Hard to Engage Families This new guidance is designed to support workers by providing strategies for working with families who are hard to engage. It also highlights that the child's welfare should remain paramount at all times and professionals must keep in mind what life is like for a child in the family.
Kirklees Prevent - Channel Referral Guidance for Concerns Relating to Extremism and/or Radicalisation This document has been developed to assist practitioners in making a referral to Kirklees Prevent. This document aims to aid decision making on whether to make a referral and provides guidance on what information should be included within the referral.
Electronic Recording of Meetings and Conversations Advances in technology such as smartphones mean it is now much easier for meetings and other conversations to be recorded – either overly or covertly. This new chapter deals with recording of meetings/conversations by individual service-users, in their capacity as private individuals. It looks at issues of consent, how any recorded material can be subsequently used and ends with a section on good practice in this area.
Information Security Incidents This new guidance explains the process for dealing with information security incidents. It links to a new e-form which can be used to report information security incidents. The guidance contains examples of information security incidents and describes the action employees should take if they become aware of an information security incident. The aim of the reporting process is so that the Council can take action to recover information, mitigate against the impact on individuals, and ensure that the issue does not happen again.
Deprivations of Liberty This new procedure should be used by practitioners working with children and young people under the age of 18, where a deprivation of liberty may be occurring.
Mental Capacity This links to an online resource which will support practitioners to understand the Mental Capacity Act and practice confidently. Everyone working with (or caring for) any young person from the age of 16 who may lack capacity must comply with the Mental Capacity Act 2005.
Procedure where the Local Authority is Ceasing to Look After a Child This new guidance contains detail on the local authority's duty to ensure that when children have been accommodated under Section 20 (Children Act 1989) and are discharged from, or leave care, that the discharge is in their best interests and that they will be safeguarded and their welfare promoted. Where a child has been accommodated for 20 days or more, the decision should be made by the Service Director or Director of Children's Services if the child/young person is 16/17 years and has been accommodated under Section 20, before discharge.
Notifications from Other Local Authorities / Placement Providers This procedure summarises the action to be taken on receipt of a notification from another local authority that a Looked After child has been placed at an address in this authority.
Process for Should be Placed for Adoption (SHOBPA) Meetings This document sets out the process to be followed by Social Workers who want to present a child to the Should be Placed for Adoption (SHOBPA) meeting.
Removed Chapters
  • Adoption Panel;
  • Assessment and Approval of Prospective Adopters;
  • Non-Agency Adoption.

August 2017

Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Death of, or Serious Injury to, a Child in the Community or a Child in Care This chapter which outlines the immediate steps to be taken in the event of the suspicious death of/serious injury to a child living in the community or the death of/serious injury to any child in care, has been updated in line with the requirement to notify Ofsted of any serious childcare incident using the Ofsted online notification form.
Retention and Destruction of Records A note has been added into Section 2, Destruction of Files) in relation to the on-going national Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse; while the inquiry is on-going local authorities are required to retain children's records indefinitely.
Private Fostering Section 1, Definition has been updated to clarify the definition of private fostering with regard to 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 A new section has been added to reflect the outcome of a court judgement on Ordinary Residence which was included in DHSC, Care and support statutory guidance (December 2016). For full details please see Section 12, Funding Issues - Ordinary Residence.
Decision to Look After and Care Planning This guidance has been updated to reflect the outcome of an Appeal Court hearing (2017) in respect of 'consent'. The court recognised that while the term 'consent' itself is not used in Section 20, previous court observations in relation to consent stand as 'good practice guidance'. For full details please see Section 1.3.1, Obtaining Parental Consent.
Practice Guidance for Connected Persons Section 7, Types of Connected Person Assessments has been updated to include a reminder that one of the matters which should be considered when placing a child with a Connected Person is an initial risk assessment of any pets, together with the environment in which the pet is kept.
Placements in Secure Accommodation on Welfare Grounds This guidance has been reviewed and updated throughout. It should be read in full.
Placements with Parents Section 1.4, Assessment and Checks before has been updated to note that when assessing whether the home environment is safe for the child, this should include a risk assessment of any pets and the environment in which they are kept.
Advocacy and Independent Visitors A link has been added to the Children's Society 'Advocacy Services for Children and Young People – A Guide for Commissioners'. This guide summarises the legislative requirements placed on local authorities in relation to the provision of advocacy support to Children in Need and Looked After Children.
Looked After Reviews This chapter has been updated to reference the Law Society guidance 'Attendance of solicitors at local authority Children Act Meetings' and associated Code of Conduct which apply when the child or family who attend reviews are supported by a legal representative (see Section 9, Supporters and Interpreters for full details).
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 (2015). In particular, a note has been added about the need for the IRO to be sensitive to the close and active involvement of parents of a child who is looked after in a series of Short Breaks, and problem-solving where there might be difficulties or issues.
Social Visits (Including Over Night Stays) This guidance has been reviewed throughout and updated as required.
Supervision of Foster Carers Section 5, Support Provided by the Supervising Social Worker (During Placement) has been updated to reflect that the Safer Caring Plan should be updated to as required to reflect any changes in household circumstances and any health and safety issues including the addition of any new pets.
Assessment and Approval of Prospective Adopters Section 5.3, Assessments has been updated to note that, where the applicants have pets, a risk assessment should be conducted and any associated risks should be taken into account with regard to both 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.
Applications for Special Guardianship Orders This chapter has been reviewed and substantially revised to reflect the most recent national Special Guardianship Guidance (January 2017).
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Children's Consultation and Participation Working Together to Safeguard Children states clearly that one of the key principles underpinning safeguarding should be: "a child-centred approach: for services to be effective they should be based on a clear understanding of the needs and views of children". It is essential therefore that children and young people are enabled by professionals to participate in matters that affect them, particularly any plans or arrangements that will affect them and/or their family and are consulted with regard to processes designed to improve services both to them individually and more generally.
This new guidance considers the benefits of, and barriers to, promoting the involvement of children and young people in the work of Children's Social Care.

January 2017

Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Care and Supervision Proceedings and the Public Law Outline This chapter has been updated to reflect the outcome of a judgment following an application to remove a child at birth. The judge highlighted what were thought to be 'good practice steps' to issuing care proceedings in respect of the removal of a child at birth (see Section 3.1, Pre-birth Planning and Proceedings).
Local Missing Children Procedure for all  Kirklees Looked After Children This guidance has been reviewed locally and updated as required.
Local Missing Children Procedure for all Non-LAC Children and Out of Area LAC Living in Kirklees This guidance has been reviewed locally and updated as required.
Decision to Look After and Care Planning A link has been added to ADCS/Cafcass Practice Guidance for the Use of Section 20 which seeks to clarify good practice in this area.
Remands to Local Authority Accommodation or to Youth Detention Accommodation This chapter has been reviewed throughout and extensively updated. It should be read in full.
Placements in Secure Accommodation This chapter has been amended to reflect the President of the High Court's recent judgement regarding applications in English courts for Secure Accommodation placements in Scotland (see Section 3.1, Placement Request, Identification and Approval).
Looked After Children and Young People in Contact with Youth Justice Services This chapter has been reviewed throughout and extensively updated; it should be read in full.
Fostering for Adoption, Concurrent Planning and Temporary Approval as Foster Carers of Approved Prospective Adopters A note has been added into Section 4.2, Considering Adoption for a Child to reiterate that if, at any point during the planning of a Fostering for Adoption / Early Permanence 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 as soon as possible. This will allow the carers the opportunity to make an informed choice about their position, and also allows the local authority to consider their position in light of the change in circumstances.
Removed Chapters
  • CareFirst v6 Handbook;
  • Practice for when a Child on a Child Protection Plan Becomes Looked After (Flowchart);
  • BAAF Practice Note No.53 - Guidelines for the Testing of Looked After Children who are at risk of a Blood Borne Infection.

June 2016

Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Pre-Birth Assessments Procedure This guidance has been reviewed locally and updated throughout. Section 2.4, Avoiding Delay is new and contains a summary of recent case law which emphasised the need to avoid delay in conducting Pre-Birth Assessments and sets the basic and fundamental steps which local authorities must follow when completing Pre-Birth Assessments.
Local Missing Children Procedure for all  Kirklees Looked After Children This guidance has been reviewed locally and updated as required.
Local Missing Children Procedure for all Non-LAC Children and Out of Area LAC Living in Kirklees This guidance has been reviewed locally and updated as required.
Access to Records Section 7, Applications by Parents has been updated throughout.
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 The Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations - Volume 2: Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (2015).
Decision to Look After and Care Planning This chapter has been updated following the judgment of Munby P in the matter of N (Children) (Adoption: Jurisdiction) [2015] EWCA Civ 1112. Good practice guidance in using and drafting agreements under section 20 of the Children Act has been added. It is recommended that Section 1.3, Section 20 Accommodation is read in full.
Advocacy and Independent Visitors This chapter has been reviewed and updated throughout. Section 1.1, Duties of an Advocate is new. Section 2, Independent Visitors has also been updated.
Secure Accommodation (Criteria) Reviews

Information contained in Section 3, Chairing of Secure Accommodation Reviews has been amended as follows:

The Secure Accommodation Panel should be chaired by a person independent of the care planning for the child, including line managers and the Independent Reviewing Officer. Given the need to focus on the Section 25, Children Act 1989 criteria issues, the chair should also be independent of any resource allocation, etc. but should have sufficient experience and knowledge to carry out the task.

However an Independent Reviewing Officer may sit as one of the other two Panel members (not as part of the IRO function).
Contact With Parents/Adults and Siblings This guidance has been reviewed and updated throughout.
Applications for Special Guardianship Orders Section 5, Planning Meeting has been revised and updated to reflect the enhanced assessment and reporting requirements for all applications made from 29 February 2016) as set out in the Special Guardianship (Amendment) Regulations 2016.
Court Reports in Adoption/Special Guardianship Section 3, Special Guardianship – Matters to be Dealt with in Report to Court, has been revised to reflect the enhanced assessment and reporting requirements (for all applications made from 29 February 2016 as set out in the Special Guardianship (Amendment) Regulations 2016.
Removed Chapters
  • Family Intervention and Support Services - Eligibility Criteria Levels of Need;
  • Family Support and Child Protection Structure Chart.

January 2016

Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Single Assessment Guidance and Process

In Kirklees, the Early Help Assessment and Initial and Core Assessments have been replaced with a Single Assessment, The Single Assessment is in two parts:

Part One replaces the Early Help Assessment and Part Two replaces the Initial and Core Assessments.

Part Two is only completed by qualified social workers but if you identify additional needs for a child that do not meet the threshold for intervention by social workers then you may be asked to complete Part One of the Single Assessment. A link has been added to guidance developed by Kirklees Safeguarding Children Board which explains the relationship between Part's One and Two and Children's Social Care. The guidance also contains processes for the escalation and de-escalation of cases.
Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children A link has been added to Age Assessment Guidance developed by the Association of Directors of Children's Services (ADCS). The guidance has been produced to help social care professionals determine whether or not age assessments are necessary in individual cases. It also provides step by step information on the process for carrying out age assessments, including planning and preparation, conducting the interviews, making decisions and sharing results.
Families with No Recourse to Public Funding This chapter has been reviewed and updated to reflect provisions of the Care Act 2014. Information on the Independent Family Returns Panel has been added into the end of Section 3, Procedures for Working with Families with No Recourse to Public Funds.
Protocol for the Transfer of Cases This chapter has been amended to require that cases where children are subject to care proceedings should be sent to the receiving team in advance of the final hearing, and that the case should transfer with 20 days of the final order being made.
Children and Young People Aged 0 - 25 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities This guidance has been updated to reflect the provisions of the Care Act 2014. Section 10.1, Adult Services Statutory Care and Support Plans has been rewritten and covers the assessment of disabled children likely to need support when they turn 18. Section 13, Young Carers and Parent Carers of Disabled Children is new and should be read.
Permanence Planning Guidance This chapter has been updated to reflect the 2015 Statutory Guidance The Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations - Volume 2: Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (2015). Section 3.7, Long Term Fostering has been re-written to and should be read in full.
Placements in Foster Care This chapter has been reviewed and updated following publication of the revised Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations - Volume 2: Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (2015). A new Section 9, Long Term Foster Placements has been added.
Social Worker Visits This chapter has been updated to reflect the revised visiting requirements in respect of long term foster placements as set out in The Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations - Volume 2: Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (2015).
Looked After Reviews

This chapter has been updated to reflect the requirements of The Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations - Volume 2: Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (2015).

A new Section 14, Looked After Reviews Concerning Children in Long Term Foster Placements has been added, and explains that where a child is placed in a designated long-term foster placement, and has been in this placement for more than a year, consideration should be given to whether it is necessary to hold a meeting as part of each review. Any decision to reduce the frequency of meetings will be taken by the IRO and the child's social worker, in consultation with the child / young person (subject to their age and understanding). Even where the Review will not include a meeting, the IRO must ensure that full consultation with all relevant individuals, including the child, has taken place to inform the review of the child's case.
Health Care Assessments and Health Plans This chapter has been updated to reflect revised statutory guidance for local authorities, clinical commissioning groups and NHS England on Promoting the health and well-being of looked-after children. Section 1, The Responsibilities of Local Authorities and Clinical Commissioning Groups is new. The role of the Social Worker in promoting child health is explained in Section 3, Health Care Assessments and information on Strengths and Difficulties questionnaires has been added into Section 4, Health Plans.
Adoption Panel A note has been added into Section 2, Membership of the Adoption Panel requiring that the list of persons considered to be suitable to be members of an Adoption Panel must be maintained by an appointed senior social worker with at least 5 years' relevant post-qualification experience and relevant management experience.
Assessment and Approval of Prospective Adopters

Minor amendments have been made to this chapter 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

The following information has been added in relation to the Child's Permanence Report:

  • Child's Permanence Report must be written by the worker who knows the child best and is also a qualified social worker;
  • The Report should include a summary, written by the agency's medical adviser, of the state of the child's health, health history and any need for health care which might arise in the future, and a Chronology of the decisions and actions taken by the agency with respect to the child; and
  • Those parts of the Report that contain factual information about the birth family should be shared with the relevant family members to enable them to confirm their accuracy and agree to it being passed on to a child in due course. Any such agreement should be clearly recorded on the child's case record. Each of the child's parents should be shown those parts of the Report which set out their views and wishes, and given the opportunity, if they so wish, to express these in their own words.
Adoption Support

A new has been added providing the following  information on Remuneration for Former Foster Carers:

Where the adopter previously fostered the child they are adopting, and they received remuneration in the financial support paid to them as the child's foster parent, the local authority may continue to pay remuneration for a transitional period of two years from the date of the adoption order. This can continue for longer than two years if the local authority considers the case to be exceptional. The decision to include remuneration must have been taken before the making of the adoption order.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Local Missing Children Procedure for all  Kirklees Looked After Children This new document contains detailed procedures in line with the West Yorkshire Joint Protocol for Children Missing from Home or Care. It describes the actions required by Kirklees social workers, foster cares ad residential workers when looked after children are found to be missing. 
Local Missing Children Procedure for all Non-LAC Children and Out of Area LAC Living in Kirklees This protocol has been developed for staff and carers in Kirklees. It provides detailed guidance and sets out the actions required of the police, parents / carers and children's social care when a child (who is not looked after) goes missing from home. It also applies to looks after children from another local authority who are placed in Kirklees.
Young Carers

This chapter provides guidance on identifying and responding to the needs of young carers.

Local Authorities are expected to take 'reasonable steps' to identify which children in their area are young carers, and if they need support. The Local Authority must carry out an assessment if it appears that the young carer has the need for support. This assessment is called a Young Carer's Needs Assessment.
Ceasing to Look After a Child

This new chapter reflects the statutory guidance 'Ceasing to look after a child' in 'Care Planning, Placement and Case Review Regulations (2015)' as amended by the 'Care Planning and Fostering (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2015' and Working Together to Safeguard Children.

The Local Authority has a duty to ensure that when children have been Accommodated under Section 20 (Children Act 1989) and are discharged from, or leave care that the discharge is in their best interests and that they will be safeguarded and their welfare will be promoted. Where a child has been Accommodated for 20 days or more, the decision should be made by a Nominated Officer, or Director of Children's Services if the child/young person is 16/17 years and has been Accommodated under Section 20, before discharge.

June 2015

Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Policies, Values and Principles (Values) Section 18, Use of Computers at Home within Section 2, Recording Values and Principles has been updated in line with the Data Protection Act.
Thresholds for Need for Intervention by Family Support and Child Protection A link has been added to Information Sharing (March 2015) guidance.
Universal Assessments Guidance Links have been added to The International Child Abduction and Contact Unit and to guidance on Working with Foreign Authorities.
Cross-Border Child Protection Cases A link has been added to The International Child Abduction and Contact Unit.
Care and Supervision Proceedings and the Public Law Outline A link has been added to the Practice Direction 25B-The Duties of an Expert, The Expert's Report and Arrangements for an Expert to Attend Court. Additionally, a link has been added to the ADCS website.
Death of, or Serious Injury of, a Child in the Community or a Child in Care A link has been added to the Association of Chief Police Officers: A Guide to Investigating Child Deaths. Additionally, Section 1, Death of or Serious Injury of a Child in the Community (Paragraph 1.5) has been updated in line with Working Together to Safeguard Children.
Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children A link has been added to guidance on the Care of Unaccompanied and Trafficked Children.
Procedure Governing Roles and Responsibilities Between the Youth Offending Team and Family Support and Child Protection Section 4.2, Safeguarding has been updated in line with Working Together to Safeguard Children, and Section 6.1, Crime and Disorder Act 1998 has been updated to include Anti-Social Behaviour Injunctions which replaced Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) through the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.
Safeguarding Children and Young People from Sexual Exploitation A new Section 9, Sexual Harm Prevention Orders and Sexual Risk Orders has been added in line with the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.
Access to Records A link has been added to The Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations (Volume 3: planning transition to adulthood for care leavers) (January 2015).
Protocol for the Disclosure of Personal Data Relating to Criminal Offences Links have been added to new guidance regarding Disclosure and Barring Service eligibility and the DBS Privacy Policy.
Decision to Look After and Care Planning A link to Looked-After Children: Contact with Siblings has been added. Additionally, Section 1.4, Actions Required After a Decision to Look After is Made has been updated in relation to sibling placement.
Obtaining an External Residential Placement A link has been added to the Out of Authority Placement of Looked-After Children (Supplement to The Children Act 1989 - Volume 2: Care Planning, Placement and Case Review Guidance) (July 2014).
Placements in Secure Accommodation A link to guidance for placing children under 13 has been added at Section 2.4, Where the Secretary of State's Approval is Required.
Placements with Parents Additional information has been added into Section ix, Ending of Placements to take account of recent case-law. Additionally, Section iii, Consultation before Placement has been updated to say 'Minutes of the Looked After Review which recommended the child's placement can be taken as a written record of the consultation with those in attendance.' Section vi, Recommending the Plan has been significantly amended and should be re-read in full. Finally, Section 2, Immediate Placements has been amended to add 'A 'Working Agreement' should be completed by the practitioner with the parents to clarify the expectations of the parent(s) and ensure the child is safeguarded and their needs are met during this temporary phase before the Statutory Review.'
Contact with Parents and Siblings A link to Looked-After Children: Contact with Siblings has been added. Additionally, Section 1, Approving and Planning Contact has been updated in relation to sibling placements.
Holidays and School/Organisational Trips in the UK Section 1, Holidays in the UK has been updated in regard to Delegated Authority.
Sexual Health A link has been added to Promoting the Health and Well Being of Looked After Children (March 2015).
Countering Bullying A link has been added to Advice for Parents and Carers on Cyberbullying.
Supervision of Foster Carers A link has been added to The Fostering Network: All About Fostering.
Leaving Care A link has been added to The Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations (Volume 3: Planning Transition to Adulthood for Care Leavers) which has been revised in January 2015. Additionally, this chapter has been significantly amended throughout and should be re-read in full.
Assessment and Approval of Prospective Adopters Section 3.3, Police Checks has been amended to clarify seeking a Certificate of Good Conduct if a prospective adopter has lived abroad for an extended period.
Placement for Adoption Section 7, Identification of Adoptive Parents (including Inter Agency Placements) has been amended to clarify 'If the prospective adopter can meet most of the child's needs, the social worker must not delay placing a child with the prospective adopter because they are single, older than other adopters or does not share the child's racial or cultural background.'
Intermediary Services This chapter has been significantly amended throughout and should be re-read in full.
Fostering for Adoption, Concurrent Planning and Temporary Approval as Foster Carers of Approved Prospective Adopters

Section 1, Introduction has been amended to add 'The placement will only become an adoptive placement after the case has been taken to Matching Panel.'

New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
What to do if You're Worried a Child is Being Abused This new chapter offers non-statutory advice, and has been produced to help practitioners identify child abuse and neglect and take appropriate action in response. This advice replaces the previous version of What to do if you're worried a child is being abused, published in 2006, and complements Working Together to Safeguard Children statutory guidance.
The Young Person's Guide to Children and Families Act 2014 (September 2014) This guide has been developed for children and young people so they know what is changing in the law about them.
Raising Concerns at Work: Whistleblowing Guidance for Workers and Employees in Health and Social Care This new chapter offers guidance on raising concerns at work.
Short Breaks This new chapter has been added to help clarify short breaks.
Out of Area Placements This new chapter applies to any placement of a Looked After child outside the area of the local authority, EXCEPT WHERE the placement is with a Connected Person, or a local authority foster carer approved by the placing authority.

December 2014

Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Applications for Emergency Protection Orders This chapter has been updated throughout 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. 
Families with No Recourse to Public Funding The reference to the NHS Act 1977 has been changed to the latest version of the NHS Act 2006.
Access to Records This chapter has been updated in line with The 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.
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 main changes are in relation to adoption, specifically Fostering for Adoption, Concurrent Planning and Temporary Approval as Foster Carers of Approved Prospective Adopters. However, the chapter has been updated throughout and should be re-read in full. 
Remands to Local Authority Accommodation or to Youth Detention Accommodation This chapter has been significantly amended throughout and should be re-read in full.
Education of Looked After Children This chapter has been updated throughout and several new links have been added. This entire chapter should be re-read in full.
Leaving Care This chapter has been updated in line with the Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations Volume 3: Planning Transition to Adulthood for Care Leavers (revised May 2014). In Section 5, The 16-19 Bursary Fund and Higher Education Bursary information has been added in relation to the Higher Education Bursary. A new Section 6, Young People Resuming Education or Training After 21 and Section 9, Access to Records have been added.
Assessment and Approval of Prospective Adopters

This chapter has been updated in December 2014 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. Information has been added in relation to: 

  • Fostering for Adoption (Section 1, Recruitment and Responding to Initial Enquiries and Section 5.4, Fostering for Adoption);
  • Adoption Register (Section 9, After the Panel Recommendation);
  • Duty to provide information on adoption support services (Section 1, Recruitment and Responding to Initial Enquiries and Section 2, Registration of Interest in Adoption);
  • Ethnicity (Section 15.3, Ethnicity).
Placement for Adoption 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 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 and placing of siblings. However, the chapter has been updated throughout and should be re-read. 
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.
Applications for Special Guardianship Orders This chapter has been updated in recognition of Child Arrangements Orders.
Life Story Books Guidance This chapter has been updated to state all children with a plan for adoption must have a Life Story Book.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Independent Family Returns Panel This chapter has been added to the manual.
Care and Supervision Proceedings and the Public Law Outline This chapter combines and further expands upon two previous chapters (Court Proceedings and Public Law Outline).
Safeguarding Children and Young People from Sexual Exploitation The information in this chapter is taken from Government guidance documents (referenced within the chapter). This chapter should be read in conjunction with the Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) procedures regarding sexual exploitation of children and young people and related procedures in this manual.
Looked After Children and Young People in Contact with Youth Justice Services This chapter takes account of the new youth remand framework under the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 and the Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations - Volume 2: Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (Supplement) (2014).
Children and Young People Aged 0 -25 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities This chapter 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.
Fostering for Adoption, Concurrent Planning and Temporary Approval as Foster Carers of Approved Prospective Adopters This chapter 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.