South Gloucestershire Council


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Placement Planning and Disruption Meetings

Contents 

  1. Placement Planning Meetings
  2. Placement Stability and Disruption Meetings


1. Placement Planning Meetings

Placement Planning meetings should be convened as part of the process of identifying and placing a child - as set out in the Placements in Foster Care Procedure and the Placements in Residential Care Procedure. The first Placement Planning Meeting in relation to a placement should be held before the placement. Where this is not possible because of the urgency of the situation, it should be held in order that the Placement Plan is prepared within 5 working days of the start of the placement.

Further Placement Planning Meetings should be held at intervals agreed with the manager of the residential home or the foster carers and their supervising social worker - or as required for example where there are issues to be resolved in relation to the day to day arrangements for the placement.

The social worker and home manager/foster carers supervising social worker will agree the best format and venue for the meeting and who will chair the meeting.

The people listed below should contribute to the meetings:

  1. The child’s social worker and/or other professional associated with the child e.g. Personal Adviser or advocate;
  2. The child;
  3. The child’s parents;
  4. For children in residential care, the child’s link worker/keyworker and, where appropriate the home manager;
  5. For children in foster care, the foster carers and their supervising social worker.
Before any meeting, the chairperson should obtain or be updated on the following, if available:
  • The child's Placement Plan (recorded on the Placement Information Record on ICS);
  • Any work which has been undertaken in supporting the child’s placement;
  • If relevant: the child’s Care Plan, Personal Education Plan and Pathway Plan.

Where the proposed placement has the effect of disrupting the arrangements made for the child's education and training - see Education of Looked After and Previously Looked After Children Procedure.

Where the proposed placement is out of area, see Out of Area Placements Procedure.

The chairperson should also ensure that the child, parent(s) and others who have been asked to contribute understand the purpose of the meeting, how it will be conducted and are given the opportunity to put their views and suggestions.

If there are concerns about the suitability of the placement, consideration should be given to the following:

  • Whether it is possible to sustain the placement until the next Looked After Review by, for example, providing additional support to the placement;
  • Bringing forward the date of the next Looked After Review;
  • Ending the placement.


2. Placement Stability and Disruption Meetings

Placement Stability Meetings

Placement Stability Meetings should be convened at the request of the child care social worker, fostering or adoption social worker or foster carer whenever it is identified that a placement is at risk of disruption and there is the possibility of an unplanned placement move for a child or young person in care.

A Placement Stability meeting and all avenues of support and intervention must occur before agreement is given to authorise a further placement move for a young person

Foster carers are expected to co-operate with the requirement to request a Placement Stability meeting prior to giving 28 days notice on a placement for a young person. Where ever possible  suitable placements will be supported and maintained rather than necessitating a further move for a young person.

The only exception to the requirement that a placement stability meeting is convened and 28 days notice given prior to a placement ending will be where a grave incident of concern has occurred or where the young person is considered to be at risk of significant harm or pose a risk of significant harm.

Placement Stability meetings will be convened by the child care social worker for the young person in placement within 5 working days following a request for a Placement Stability meeting to be convened. The child care social worker will have responsibility for arranging the meeting and inviting all relevant professionals working as the team around the child (fostering or adoption social worker, carer, in house psychologist, IRO, young person, other relevant professionals). The social worker will need to consider whether it is appropriate for the young person to attend the whole meeting.

Placement Stability meetings will be chaired by the Team Manager for the Looked after Children’s Team or the Team Manager for the fostering and adoption team.

Decisions to cancel a Placement Stability meeting can only be made by the Fostering and Adoption Team Manager, or the Team Manager for Looked after Children.

Placement Stability Meetings will follow the agenda proforma, identify risk factors to Placement Stability and formulate an individual Placement Stability action plan to prevent the placement disrupting. Timescale for reviewing the Placement Stability plan or convening a further placement stability meeting will be agreed at the meeting. A review of the placement stability plan will not exceed the period of three months

Where it is assessed that stabilising and maintaining the placement is not realistic or a long term viable option, the chair of the Placement Stability meeting can recommend that a planned move to an alternative placement is facilitated for the young person within a period of 28 days unless exceptional criteria to wave the minimum notice period to end a placement is met.

Minutes of the Placement Stability meetings will be placed on the young person’s ICS file and inform service provision to the young person and carer. The chair of the meeting is responsible for ensuring that minutes are taken and circulated within 3 working days of the meeting.

Disruption Meetings

Disruption Meetings must take place in relation to children whose placement has ended abruptly or on an unplanned basis.

Disruptions meetings will be convened following an unplanned placement move where there has not been a Placement Stability meeting in the proceeding three months of the disruption or where new information is available or new risk factors identified that were not considered in the previous Placement Stability meeting.

Request for a disruption meeting will be made by the child care social worker within 48 hours of the placement disruption. The team manager for the child care team and the team manager for the fostering and adoption service have mutual responsibility for ensuring that this occurs and of notifying the independent reviewing service of the need for a placement disruption meeting within 48 hours of the placement disruption.

Those invited, or asked to contribute, should be:

  1. The child;
  2. The parents;
  3. The child's social worker and manager;
  4. The link worker/keyworker (for residential care) and home manager;
  5. The foster carer(s) and supervising social worker;
  6. The child's Independent Reviewing Officer;
  7. The child's current carers;

Other Relevant Staff/Professionals

Placement disruption meetings will be convened by the child care social worker for the young person in placement within a maximum of 15 working days following a placement disruption. The child care social worker will have responsibility for arranging the meeting and inviting all relevant professionals working as the team around the child (fostering or adoption social worker, carer, in house psychologist, IRO, young person, other relevant professionals) The social worker will need to consider whether it is appropriate for the young person to attend the whole meeting.

Independent Reviewing Officers will chair placement disruption meetings. Usual practice will be for the allocated IRO to the child to chair the disruption meeting. 

Placement disruption Meetings will follow the agenda proforma, identify key contributory factors to placement disruption, identify future placement needs, and matching criteria for the child/young person’s subsequent placement and foster carers subsequent placements. Required resources to promote and achieve future Placement Stability needs will be identified. The chairperson should keep minutes, which must be circulated to all concerned  Minutes of the placement disruption meetings will be placed on the young person’s ICS file and inform future matching and placement planning for the young person 

For children whose adoptive placement disrupts, a Disruption Meeting must take place - see Disruption of Adoptive Placements Procedure.

In relation to the disruption of an external residential placement, consideration needs to be given to further use of the resource by the authority.

In relation to the disruption of a permanent foster placement, where the foster carers are in-house approved carers, consideration should be given to holding an early Foster Carer Review to consider the foster carer's approval - see Review and Termination of Approval of Foster Carers Procedure.

End