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Placement Planning and Disruption Meetings

AMENDMENT

This procedure was updated in November 2018 and should be re-read in its entirety.


Contents 

  1. Placement Planning Meetings
  2. 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. Disruption Meetings

2.1 Why are Disruption Meetings Necessary?

Placements breakdown through a combination of several factors. The objective of a Disruption Meeting is to look at the sequence of events and to learn from the experience.

All participants need to know that the process is not an exercise in apportioning blame but a way of identifying why happened and to avoid further disruptions in the future.

A Disruption Meeting will examine whether the placement was appropriate.

A Disruption Meeting also examines whether appropriate resources were provided to enable the placement to continue.

It offers the different agencies involved with the child/young person a chance to talk through the reasons for the disruption.

A Disruption Meeting could identify trends and patterns that would contribute to a future Care Plan for the specific child or children as well as more general learning points for the agency/agencies concerned.

2.2 Disruption Meetings

In this instance the term 'disruption' refers to a placement that has ended in an unplanned manner.

A Disruption Meeting should be considered in the following circumstances:

  • When a foster carer, residential or semi - independent provider gives notice or ends the placement without giving notice;
  • When a child experiences two unplanned placement endings in a 12 month period;
  • When foster carer/s experience two unplanned placement endings in a 12 month period.

Disruption Meeting must be convened in the following circumstances:

  • When a permanent placement, identified as part of a Care Plan disrupts (fostering or adoption);
  • When a placement of over twelve months duration ends in a unplanned way;
  • When a permanent placement, identified as part of a Care Plan disrupts (fostering or adoption). This is irrespective of whether notice to end placement has been given.

Decisions about placements for children and/or carers should not be delayed to await outcome of Disruption Meetings. Any concerns about foster carers when placement ends need to be addressed by Fostering & Placements Service at the time. The purpose of a Disruption Meeting is to look at the sequence of events and to learn from the experience. Should any concerns about foster carers emerge during a Disruption Meeting these will need to be followed up by Fostering & Placements Service with either Individual Fostering Agencies or the in-house Foster Carer. Consideration will also need to be given to a brought forward Foster Carer Review in relation to concerns about carers.

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

2.3 Arranging a Disruption Meeting

A disruption meeting should usually be held as soon as possible of when it is known that the placement is at risk, ideally before the placement breaks down. This is to see if this is the correct placement for the child and if the local authority can put any additional support, resources in place to prevent the placement from breaking down. If the placement has ended then the disruption meeting should be held within 4 weeks of the placement disruption. N.B. The above timescale may occasionally need to be adjusted to enable key participants to attend.

Children's Social Care will make its own arrangements regarding who will arrange the Disruption Meeting, but this would usually be the child's social worker in conjunction with the identified chairperson/facilitator.

The child's Social Worker should arrange to have invitations sent to the key participants at the meeting.

An "off line" manager will usually chair the meeting. In complex cases, however, consideration will be given to appointing an independent person as chair.

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;
  8. Other relevant staff/professionals.

The meeting will ensure the child (depending on his or her age and level of understanding) is given the opportunity to understand the reasons for and be supported with managing the transition.

2.4 Essential Information to be provided to the Chair of the Disruption Meeting

Paperwork that should be provided for the Disruption Meeting includes:

  • Last LAC Review Documentation, including the Care Plan;
  • Placement Plan;
  • Last Foster Carer Review documentation;
  • Any previous Disruption Meeting Minutes, that either the child or the carer has experienced;
  • Statutory Assessment and any other relevant assessments;
  • Child's Chronology from birth;
  • Chronology of events leading up to the disruption and the support that was provided;
  • Contract (if other agency placement);
  • Child's Permanence Report;
  • Form F/ Prospective Adopter's Report;
  • Matching Report/ Adoption Placement Report/ Adoption Placement Plan.

The Social Worker will be responsible for providing the child's information and the Adoption or Fostering Officer will be responsible for providing information about the adoptive/foster carer(s).

The written information should be provided to the Chair five working days before Disruption Meeting.

2.5 Format of the Meeting

The format of the meeting will follow the CoramBAAF guidelines:

  • Child's life prior to entering the care system;
  • Reason for care episode;
  • Selection process of the carers/placement;
  • Introduction process to the carers;
  • The recruitment, training and preparation of the carers;
  • The consideration of the carer(s) by the Adoption or Fostering Panel;
  • Care Planning process (including outcomes of Core and other assessments);
  • Chronology of events leading to the disruption;
  • Why the placement does not meet the child/young person's needs;
  • What could have made the placement work?
  • Were the LAC Reviewing and Foster Carer Reviewing processes robust?
  • Identification of disruptive patterns;
  • Disruption and subsequent events;
  • Future Care Planning;
  • Learning points;
  • Conclusion and Recommendation.

2.6 Record of the Meeting

The record of the meeting will be distributed to all parties within 14 days of the meeting. Individual authorities will make their own arrangements about who will be responsible for distributing the record.

Any feedback or comments regarding the Record of the Disruption Meeting should be returned to the Chair/IRO within 7 days of receipt.

The Chair/IRO will ensure the Final Record of Disruption Meeting is distributed to all parties.

Each Local Authority will collate their own statistics appropriate to their needs.

A copy of the record of the meeting is to be presented Sutton Fostering Panel.

2.7 Agenda for Disruption Meetings

  • Introductions;
  • Apologies;
  • Information sharing;
  • Confidentiality and equal opportunities;
  • How the process will be recorded;
  • What the process will be;
  • Child's life prior to entering the care system;
  • Reason for care episode;
  • Selection process of the carers/placement;
  • Introduction process to the carers;
  • The recruitment and preparation of the carers;
  • The consideration of the carer(s) by the Fostering Panel;
  • Care Planning process (including outcomes of Core and other assessments);
  • Chronology of events leading to the disruption;
  • Why the placement does not meet the child/young person's needs;
  • What could have made the placement work?
  • Was the LA Reviewing and Foster Carer Reviewing process robust?
  • Identification of disruptive patterns;
  • Disruption and subsequent events;
  • Future Care Planning;
  • Learning points;
  • Conclusion and Recommendation.

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