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6.2 Placements in Residential Care


Caption: contents table
1. Scope
2. Consultation
3. Placements Process
  3.1 Placement Request
  3.2 Identification and Approval of Placement
  3.3 Placement Planning
  3.4 Notification of Placement
4. Support, Monitoring and Ending of Placements
  4.1 Support and Monitoring of Placements
  4.2 Ending of Placements

1. Scope

1.1 This chapter applies to any placement of a Looked After child in residential care, including residential short breaks, on the Isle of Man.
1.2 NB Where a child is placed with his or her parent or a proposed carer for the purposes of a residential assessment, the child must be the subject of an Interim Care Order.

2. Consultation


At the point that it is determined that a placement may be required, and throughout the subsequent process of identification, planning and placement, the social worker must consult and take account of the views of the following people:

  • The child;
  • The child's parents;
  • Anyone who is not a parent but has been caring for or looking after the child;
  • Other members of the child's family who are significant to the child;
  • The child's school;
  • The Youth Justice Team, if the child is known to them;
  • Any other relevant person, e.g. nursery, health care professional, Children’s Guardian.
2.2 The views of these people must be given by them, in writing, or must be recorded by the social worker.

3. Placements Process

Caption: placements process


Placement Request

  3.1.1 Where a decision has been made that a child requires a residential placement, the child's social worker must request a placement by contacting the Head of Statutory Social Work Services, Children and Families.
  3.1.2 In making this request, the social worker will be asked to provide information about the child, the type of placement sought, the CLA Plan, the date by which the placement is required, the likely length of time for which the placement is required and the expected level of contact between the child and parents. The social worker must also outline any risks associated with the placement.
  3.1.3 The Head of Statutory Social Work Services, Children and Families will ask for a check to be made as to whether a residential placement is available that appears to be appropriate to meet the child's needs.
  3.1.4 Once such a placement is available, the social worker will be advised accordingly.


Identification and Approval of Placement

  3.2.1 Once a resource has been identified, the social worker must contact the relevant registered manager directly to discuss the available placement further.
  3.2.2 The proposed placement will then be presented to the social worker's manager for approval.
  3.2.3 Once the relevant approvals have been obtained, the placement planning process can start - see Section 3.4, Notification of Placement below.
  3.2.4 The social worker may then arrange visits to the proposed placement, with the child (if old enough) and parents (if appropriate).


Placement Planning

  3.3.1 Before the child is placed, the child's social worker will liaise with the relevant registered manager to provide details of the child's immediate child care needs and to arrange a Placement Planning Meeting - see Placement Planning and Disruption Meetings Procedure. The meeting will usually be held in the child's new placement. If the child is to be placed with St Christopher’s, see St Christopher’s Procedures Manual.

Participants will include:

  • The parent;
  • The child (if appropriate);
  • The key residential staff;
  • Any other relevant professionals, e.g. a representative from the child's school;
  • Anyone else considered appropriate or who will have a role in the placement, e.g. CAMHS.
  3.3.3 The purpose of the Placement Planning Meeting is to finalise the Placement Information Record and the details of the child's needs in the placements including the daily routine, and discuss the CLA Plan. This will involve a discussion of the child's needs, including their health and education needs and how these are to be met.
  3.3.4 The meeting also provides an opportunity to ensure that the registered manager has a copy of any relevant court order and that full information is shared about any behaviour management issues.
  3.3.5 The Placement Planning Meeting must be used to plan any introductions to the placement.
  3.3.6 If it is not possible to hold a Placement Planning Meeting before the placement, because of the urgency of the placement, it must take place in order that the Placement Plan is prepared within 5 working days of the start of the placement.
  3.3.7 The child's social worker will complete and arrange for the circulation of the CLA Plan and Placement Information Record to the child, parents and residential staff.
  3.3.8 At the time of the placement, the residential staff must also be given any additional information about details of the child's day to day needs which may not be covered by the Placement Information Record but are important to ensure that the home is in the best possible position to help the child settle in the new placement, for example any particular fears at night-time or other emotional needs. This must be provided within the communication agreement.
  3.3.9 The child's social worker must provide the child with written information about the Looked After service, including information on using the Department's Complaints Policy and Procedure.
  3.3.10 The social worker must ensure that any written information about the placement that is available for the child is also obtained and given to him/her.
  3.3.11 In all cases, the child must be accompanied to the placement by the social worker and helped to settle in. Suitable luggage must be used and a child's belongings must never be transported in bin-bags or other inappropriate containers.


Notification of Placement

  3.4.1 The child's social worker will update the child's electronic record with the details of the placement.
  3.4.2 Notification of the placement will also be sent by the child's social worker to the Designated Nurse for LAC, the relevant person in the education service, and the child's GP.
  3.4.3 The child's social worker will notify all family members consulted and involved in the decision-making process of the placement.
  3.4.4 The child's social worker must also notify the Independent Reviewing Officer of the placement. This notification will trigger the appointment of an Independent Reviewing Officer if it is the first placement, and the setting up of arrangements for a Looked After Review.
  3.4.5 These notifications must be made in writing, advising of the placement decision and the name and address of the children's home where the child is to be placed.
  3.4.6 The child's social worker must also notify - preferably in writing but it may be verbally - all those involved in the day to day arrangements for the child, including school and any health professional or Youth Justice worker actively involved with the child.
  3.4.7 It will be necessary for the home or the child's social worker to ensure the child is registered with a GP, Dentist and Optician, either retaining practices known to him or her (which is preferable) or in the area where they are placed.
  3.4.8 In relation to a first Looked After placement it will also be necessary for the social worker to liaise with the Designated Nurse for LAC to arrange a Health Care Assessment. The social worker must arrange for the completion of PEP.
  3.4.9 For any new placement, every effort must be made to enable the child to remain at the same school unless there are reasons which would be detrimental to his or her well-being.

4. Support, Monitoring and Ending of Placements

Caption: support, monitoring and ending of placement


Support and Monitoring of Placements

  4.1.1 The child's social worker must visit the child in the placement within one week of the placement and then at specified intervals; see Social Worker Visits Procedure.
  4.1.2 Where there are concerns in relation to the progress of the placement, consideration must be given to seeking additional resources to assist the placement.
  4.1.3 Where there are any changes to the child's placement and/or legal status during the placement, the child's social worker must update the child's electronic records.


Ending of Placements

  4.2.1 The social worker must inform those notified when the placement was made of the ending of the placement.
  4.2.2 Where a long term or specialist placement ends in an unplanned way, consideration must be given to holding a Disruption Meeting - see Placement Planning and Disruption Meetings Procedure.