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Case Accountability and Transfer of Cases

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

This chapter relates to the necessity from time to time to transfer the accountability for a case between teams, units or even one service to another. This procedure covers transfers of case accountability within the Children's services.

1. Introduction

It may be necessary from time to time to transfer the accountability for a case between teams, units or even from one service to another. This procedure covers transfers of case accountability within the Children's Services. Transfer of cases to Adult Services is covered in the adult procedures.

Reasons for transfer of case accountability are usually:
  • A child is subject to a Child Arrangements Order and no other order (e.g. Supervision Order) and there is on-going financial support (but no other service provision);
  • A child is subject to a Special Guardianship Order and no other order (e.g. Supervision Order) and on-going support services are provided, which may include financial support;
  • The plan for the child is adoption;
  • A child is looked after and the plan is long term foster or residential care;
  • A looked after child is aged 15 1/2 or older and has been accommodated for 13 weeks or more;
  • A child has become permanently Disabled.

Whatever the reason for transferring case accountability between teams, the same standards and expectations apply. These are as follows:

  1. The Social Worker or Team Manager currently holding case accountability must inform the service user of plans to transfer case accountability to the new team and keep him/her informed of progress;
  2. Cases should not be transferred during legal proceedings or Section 47 investigations;
  3. Once the transfer summary has been sent, the receiving team must allocate the case within 28 working days;
  4. During this period the current team retains case responsibility;
  5. Once the period for allocation has been reached, the receiving team must take case accountability and allocate the case or "stack" it;
  6. On transferring a case file, it must be presented to the new team with up to date recording, reviews, a full Chronology, a current Care Plan or Child in Need Plan and a written transfer summary. Liquid Logic records must be up to date;
  7. All transfers of cases will require a Transfer Meeting attended by both Team Managers and case holding Social Workers;
  8. The case will be transferred at the conclusion of this meeting unless another date is negotiated by the Team Managers. (e.g. if a statutory Looked After Children's Review is to be held within the next few days);
  9. Case files should be brought to the Transfer Meeting, or sent on soon afterwards;
  10. Case files should not be sent in the internal post, but hand delivered to the office of the new team.

In the case of a dispute which cannot be resolved by the Team Managers, Unit Manager(s) will arbitrate. If the matter still cannot be resolved, the Divisional Managers (Fieldwork Services/Family Support & Looked After Services) will decide which team will accept case accountability.

2. The Child is Subject to a Child Arrangements Order, but No Other Order (e.g. Supervision Order) There is Ongoing Financial Support (but No Other Service Provision)

The case will transfer to the Family Placement Unit who will review the financial support on an annual basis.

When a child is subject to a Child Arrangements Order but is also subject to a Supervision Order the case will be retained by the Area Team until such time as the Supervision Order has expired. The case would then transfer to the Family Placement Unit who will be responsible for reviewing on an annual basis the financial support.

3. The Child is Subject to a Special Guardianship Order, but No Other order (e.g. Supervision Order) and Ongoing Support Services are Provided Which May Include Financial Support:

When a child becomes subject to a Special Guardianship Order and there are ongoing support services the case will transfer to the Family Placement Unit. The Family Placement Unit will be responsible for reviewing on an annual basis the provision of support (including financial support).

When a Child is subject to a Special Guardianship Order but is also subject to a Supervision Order the case will be retained by the Area Team until such time as the Supervision Order has expired. The case would then transfer to the Family Placement Unit who will be responsible for reviewing on an annual basis the provision of support (including financial support).

4. The Plan is Adoption

When a decision has been made that the child 'should be placed for adoption' (SHOBPA), plans begin for a transfer of case accountability to the adoption team.

Cases are not transferred during legal proceedings, though a family finder will be allocated in the adoption team. The family finder should be invited to key meetings, particularly the child's reviews.

During legal proceedings the adoption team may be required to make statements regarding family finding for the child. Their involvement and likely future role as case holder should be notified to the child and parent, legal services and the Reviewing Officer.

Case accountability transfers to the Adoption Team once the legal proceedings have concluded. The only exception to this is where it is deemed very unlikely that adoption will ever be achieved for the child. In such circumstances, case accountability will transfer to the Looked After Children Team, as the child is likely to remain looked after on a long term basis.

Children who are not the subject of care proceedings (usually Relinquished Children) will transfer to the adoption team as soon as the decision that 'the child should be placed for adoption' has been made by the Adoption Panel.

5. A Child is Looked After and the Plan is Long Term Fostering, Residential Care or Subject to Placement with Parent Regulations

Looked After Children, who are subject to Care Orders or Accommodated under Section 20 of the Children Act 1989, and where the plan is for the child to remain Looked After either in foster care, residential care or subject to Placement with Parents Regulations can be transferred to the Looked After Children Team.

The allocated social worker (Area Team) completes a full transfer summary and sends this to the Looked After Children Team Manager. Following receipt of the transfer summary and any further discussion or clarification, the LAC Team Manager allocates the case to a team member.

Arrangements for the transfer of cases between the area team and the LAC Team are as for any other transfer of case accountability. It may not always be necessary for the Area Team Manager to attend the transfer meeting, though this is preferable.

6. Transfer From an Area Team or Looked After Children's Team to the Leaving Care Team

Looked After Children, who have been Accommodated for at least 13 weeks, and have reached 15 1/2 years old, can be transferred to the Leaving Care Team.

The allocated social worker completes a full transfer summary and sends this to the Leaving Care Team Manager. Following receipt of the transfer summary and any further discussion or clarification, the team manager allocates the case to a Leaving Care Team member.

Arrangements for the transfer of cases between the area team or LAC team and the Leaving Care Team are as for any other transfer of case accountability. It may not always be necessary for the Team Manager to attend the Transfer Meeting, though this is preferable.

7. Essential Information to be Presented at the Transfer Meeting / Included On The File

  1. Transfer Summary;
  2. Current financial arrangements (inc bank account/savings);
  3. Birth Certificate;
  4. National Insurance No;
  5. Medical card;
  6. Medical history;
  7. All LAC materials.

Trix procedures

Only valid for 48hrs