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Transfer and Closure of Cases

RELATED CHAPTERS

Early Help Service Supervision/Staff Development Policy

Business Support Audit at Transfer, Closure and 3 month intervals Procedure

Team Restructuring

The Integrated Referral and Assessment Team (IRAT) has been replaced by 2 teams:

The Integrated Referral Team (IRT) is the ‘front door’

The Assessment & Intervention Team (A&I) receive referrals for assessment from the Integrated Referral Team (IRT) and hold cases for longer. Where a CiN plan is required the case remains in A&I until closure is appropriate or escalation to CP plan or LAC plan becomes necessary.

AMENDMENT

This chapter was updated throughout in November 2021.


Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Internal Case Transfer Procedure
  3. External Case Transfers
  4. Closed Cases

    Appendix 1: Children Who Move – Subject to Child Protection Plans


1. Introduction

Cases are transferred both within Social Work - Children and Families and across authorities. This procedure brings together both of these situations and case closures.


2. Internal Case Transfer Procedure

Memorandum of understanding between A&I, Edge of Care, SGCP, LAC and CWD

Principles and best practice guidance

  • Reduce where possible the number of Social Workers a child or family have during their involvement with Children's Social Care;
  • Transfers should be as seamless as possible for the service user whose needs will take priority;
  • Promote caseloads that are manageable and allow sufficient capacity for meaningful change orientated interventions to be successful with children and families;
  • Services will always apply the most collegial and collaborative approaches to any individual, team or service facing capacity difficulties;
  • Disputes should be resolved at Team Manager level where possible;
  • If a decision is made to issue care proceedings the service making that decision should provide the initial documents for Court (i.e. initial statement and care plan).

Before any case is transferred to another team or Service a transfer summary must be completed and authorised by a manager, which will include an audit to ensure each case has the following:

  • Up to date chronology;
  • Up to date recording;
  • Up to date relationships;
  • Current Genogram.

Safeguarding and Care Planning (SGCP):

Take child protection (CP) plans from the initial child protection conference (ICPC) where a CP plan is made following the ICPC.

Retain CP cases which end and become a child in need (CiN) plan until the case can be safely closed or transferred to Early Help. Exceptionally a CP case where the plan ends and CiN plan made might transfer to A&I where this won’t impact negatively on the progress of the case or the family/child.

Take re-referred cases within three months of SGCP closing the case, including those stepped down to Early Help.

Children accommodated by A&I during their work will transfer to SGCP at the first LAC review.

Similarly, cases that progress to letter before proceedings (LBP) will also transfer from A&I or EoC to SGCP.

Supervision Orders will either transfer from SGCP to A&I or may remain with SGCP where practice / relationships demand.

Assessment and Intervention (A&I):

Referrals for assessment from the Integrated Referral Team (IRT). Where a CiN assessment/plan is required the case remains in A&I until closure is appropriate or escalation to CP plan or LAC plan becomes necessary.

Exceptionally a SGCP CP Case where the plan ends and CiN plan made might transfer to A&I where this won’t impact negatively on the progress of the case or the family/child.

Section 7 and 37 that are directed by the court while open to A&I. Where the case is subject to a section 47 and an ICPC and subsequent CP plan likely the Service Managers will agree which service would be best placed to take on the court report.

Where a section 7 or section 37 is ordered by the court on a closed case the team/service who had the previous involvement and knowledge should pick up the case, unless there is no legitimate link to the previous team/service in which case A&I will pick up the case.

Supervision Orders where the change in relationship with the SGCP worker won’t impact negatively on the progress of the case or the family/child.

Court ordered Family Assistance Orders.

Private fostering arrangements.

Edge of Care (formally CCiN team):

Cases identified by IRT or A&I service where there is a high probability that a child over the age of 11 will become looked after imminently unless urgent, intense, and sustained intervention takes place.

Cases identified by IRT, A&I or SGCP service where there are highly complex family dynamics that are impacting on the behaviour or welfare of the children and without intense and sustained intervention it is highly probable that a child or children will become accommodated.

Where the Edge of Care team accommodate a child on their caseload the team will retain the case where rehabilitation is a realistic plan and achievable before the LAC 2nd review.

If a case escalates to LBP an initial parenting assessment will be completed by the EoC worker that analyses the impact of their interventions and whether they have effected change.

Social workers in Schools (SWIS):

Referrals are received via IRT. At least one of the young people on the referral should attend the school of the allocated social worker.

SWIS workers complete CiN assessments, section 47 enquires, ICPC and hold CP cases.

If a child becomes LAC this is then transferred to SGCP social worker.

Wrap Around Team (formally Rapid Response Team):

This team primarily support the work of the Edge of Care Team in providing support to families in crisis out of normal working hours.

Where capacity allows the team, via the team manager, can be approached to provide specific short-term support to cases open to SGCP, LAC and A&I where a significant crisis or risk of family breakdown is evident. In such circumstances the social worker from the requesting service remains responsible for the case.

Wrap around support offered to cases in A&I, LAC and SGCP will be time bound and have a clear and specific plan of intervention that will support the family plan in place.

Looked after Children Service (LAC):

Children who are subject to a Care Order at the end of proceedings.

Children subject to section 20 where a legal gateway meeting has concluded that proceedings are not necessary and long-term fostering is the plan.

Protocol for the transfer of cases to the LAC Team from SGCP Teams:

  1. SGCP social worker will complete the “Request Transfer to LAC and Young People’s Service” – Carefirst Codes are ELACALRT in Worker; LACCHYP in Team. The next Care Team Meeting date will be added into the Assessment.
  2. A transfer must occur within 10 working days following the TM’s discussion. During the 10 working days, a meeting must occur between the child, the LAC social worker and the SGCP social worker (a LAC Team Manager will attend if the social worker is unavailable). Should a Team Manager or social worker fail to attend the respective Transfer Meeting, the case will still transfer from this agreed date.
  3. A Transfer Summary, authorised by SGCP Team Manager will be in place at the point of transfer.
  4. All observations and recent assessments made in SGCP will be up to date.
  5. The IRO will be informed.
  6. If a LAC Review is happening within the above time frame, the LAC social worker can go and observe (depending on the views of the child). A handover of the case could be made at this point (again, depending on the views of the child). A Care Team Meeting is also an appropriate Transfer Meeting.
  7. If the case is not transferred within 10 working days and all of the above requirements are met, the Service Manager should be notified via e mail.
  8. Later Life Letters to be completed by the SGCP social worker, within six weeks of the case transferring to the LAC Team.

Children with Disabilities (CWD):

Referrals from outside services relating to families with a disabled child or self-referrals are made directly to IRT who will determine if the child meets the criteria for CWD team. If the criteria is met the CWD team manager will allocate the case for a CiN assessment. See Children with Disabilities Team: Access to Services Eligibility Criteria Procedure

CWD will assume case responsibility for that child and any siblings referred.

Where a CP concern becomes evident on an open case and the child becomes subject to a CP plan the case will remain with the Team. Likewise, if a child becomes a LA Child.

Internal transfers in to the CWD Team should be made following discussions between Team Managers.

Where there are needs identified but the threshold for CWD is not met then IRT will direct the case to the appropriate service namely: A&I, SGCP, or Early help.

Transfer protocol for CiN cases from SGCP to A&I:

To enable a successful transfer of case from one area of service to another the following actions are undertaken to ensure the case file and documents are up to date and the CiN plan transferred to A&I meet current assessed needs. It is intended to allow the child and family as well as the new worker a good understanding of the outstanding areas for intervention and support.

When considering the transfer of a case the principles above apply.

When seeking to transfer a case from SGCP to A&I the following actions are to be completed:

  • A CiN assessment and revised CiN plan is to be undertaken and completed by the social worker in preparation for CiN review and signed off by SGCP TM prior to CiN review to ensure agreement;
  • The open CiN plan is updated and signed off by SGCP TM prior to CiN review;
  • The transfer summary template is to be completed and added to the transfer diary with a clear rationale as to why the case is to be transferred to A&I e.g. have case transfer principles been followed;
  • The CiN review date/time will be added to the diary as per current use to allow for case consideration/discussion and the identification of the allocated social worker in A&I;
  • An identified social worker from A&I will attend the CiN review and this will be the agreed point of case transfer upon all relevant documents being completed and updated;
  • A CiN review is to be held, chaired by manager in SGCP. This will review the plan and make any amendments/changes to the plan ensuring it is meeting the current assessed needs;
  • The new/developed CiN plan from the CiN review is added to the individual child(rens) file by the social worker or TM in the SGCP team;
  • CiN review minutes are added by the chair within 5 working days of CiN review;
  • Social worker in SGCP will ensure that there is a genogram and fully updated chronology uploaded to CIVICA;
  • Transfer summary document to be added identifying clear*  transition point and to allow SGCP TM to audit case file ensuring all is up to date e. SW visits, observations etc;
  • SGCP TM will undertake audit within 5 working days of transfer and ensure all documents are added/updated.

Escalation from EH (Early Help)

Referral to A & I from Early Help TFS

  1. EH Manager call to IRT duty manager to agree referral threshold/context;
  2. EH worker adds New Contact/Referral document and reassign to IRT Desktop (EV2);
  3. EH worker to negotiate/agree role (or not) during CiN assessment process;
  4. EH worker adds closure summary document if case transfers to section 47/Edge of Care/CIN/CP;
  5. EH worker to update all case recording and chronology;
  6. Closure summary authorised by EH Manager;
  7. N.B. Escalation of cases where there is significant/immediate risk to children also uses Steps 1-2 in this process.

Referral to Tier 3 from Early Help TFS where Tier 3 have assessed/held the case within the previous 3 months

  1. EH Manager holds initial discussion with previous team manager to discuss risks/referral context;
  2. Following Team manager confirmation of Tier 3 threshold being met, case is returned to previous Tier 3 service;
  3. For SGCP - add New Contact/Referral document and reassign to SGCP desktop at ESGCP (+ team number) on duty;
  4. For A & I – add New Contact/Referral document and reassign to IRT desktop (EV2);
  5. Arrangements can be made for A & I/SGCP manager/rep to attend a TAF meeting to explore issues/risks after consent secured from family;
  6. EH worker adds Closure Summary and updates all case recording and chronology;
  7. Closure Summary authorised by EH Manager;
  8. If case not accepted by Tier 3, EH Manager adds Manager’s Decision with next steps for EH – safety planning, etc.

Step Down to Early Help

Step Down from A & I – Full Child In Need Assessment, 45 days

  1. (Optional) conversation from A & I worker with EH Duty about the referral/ threshold;
  2. A & I worker reassigns the Request for Early Help (RFEH) document to the EH Duty Desktop;
  3. Referral should include a meeting date, time and venue with notice of 5 working days;
  4. CIN Assessment should be fully completed and include a clear plan of action for EH to adopt/develop;
  5. EH Duty Manager updates the RFEH with outcome/rationale and adds a Manager’s Decision.

Step Down from A & I – Short Child in Need Assessment, 28 days

  1. (Optional) conversation from A & I worker with EH Duty about the referral/ threshold;
  2. A & I Worker reassigns the RFEH document to the EH Duty Desktop;
  3. Outcome 1 - Direct allocation of EH Worker without the need for a transfer meeting;
  4. Outcome 2 – EH Duty Manager queries threshold; dispute resolution followed;
  5. EH Duty Manager closes the RFEH with outcome/rationale and add a Manager’s Decision.

Step Down from IRT – duty contact

  1. IRT duty reassign Contact record to EH Duty Desktop;
  2. EH Duty contact family, explore issues/risks and either:
    • Closes the Contact with an outcome of advice given, signpost to another service, etc;
    • Agrees that an EH worker allocation is required, secures consent and adds a RFEH.
  3. EH Duty Manager closes the RFEH with outcome/rationale, closes/reassigns Contact and adds a Manager’s Decision.

Step-Down from SGCP/CWDT to Early Help TFS

  1. (Optional) conversation from SGCP/CWDT worker with EH Duty about the referral/threshold;
  2. SGCP/CWDT Worker reassigns the Request for Early Help (RFEH) document to the EH Duty Desktop;
  3. Referral should include a meeting date, time and venue with notice of 5 working days;
  4. RFEH should include a clear plan of action for EH to adopt/develop;
  5. EH Duty Manager updates the RFEH with outcome/rationale and adds a Manager’s Decision.

Cases for Direct Transfer from other Authorities

  • Recently opened cases transferring from another local authority providing they have a completed the following assessments as a minimum requirement - child in need single assessment, child in need plan, chronology and a genogram. A&I duty gather information required for CIN transfer and once all documentation is received forward to relevant S&CP team for action; the information is also included in the A&I transfer diary;
  • Children subject to a child protection plan from other areas that are moving into Gateshead; a notification is sent to the Safeguarding Children’s Unit, who alert the relevant SGCP Team Manager of that particular transfer week. The SGCP Team Manager will then make contact with the relevant Local Authority to request the documentation, and will then make a decision on accepting the transfer once the documentation has been received;


3. External Case Transfers

Children In Need Cases

  • If families require ongoing services and they move permanently to another local authority a referral should be made to the authority’s equivalent Integrated Referral Team, outlining the needs which have been identified through the assessment and the social worker should follow the receiving Local Authority’s transfer policy;
  • Social Worker to follow Closure Procedure (see below).

Looked After Children

  • When a child is placed with carers living in another Local Authority the allocated social worker must inform relevant Business Support. The notification letter (CF89 and 89a) is then completed and distributed via secure email to the local authority. A copy is also sent to Duty Fostering admin who maintain the register of all LAC within the borough and those placed outside;
  • The letter is a standard notification only – any information about the child which the other authority needs to be aware of must be separately communicated, for example risk assessment information, child in need assessment or social work report as felt to be appropriate;

(see Appendix 1: Children Who Move – Subject to Child Protection Plans).

Temporary Moves

  • Any change of address must be referred immediately to the Designated Administrator (Safeguarding Unit) who will send a standard notification to the other local authority‘s Designated Manager and Designated Administrator to which the child/children has/have temporarily moved. This does not include any specific information about the child or his/her protection plan. These must be separately communicated where required.

Permanent Moves

  • Again, the designated Administrator will notify the new authority;
  • Any discussions about transferring case responsibility must be initiated by the Social Worker/Team Manager, with reference to Local Safeguarding Children’s Partnership Procedures;
  • Any negotiations about supervision of the child, dependent upon geography etc must be confirmed in writing.


4. Closed Cases

Business Support Audit at Closure (see Business Support Audit at Transfer, Closure and 3 month Intervals procedure).

Appendices

Appendix 1: Children Who Move – Subject to Child Protection Plans

End