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Transfer and Closure of Cases

RELATED CHAPTERS

Early Help Referral to Assessment & Intervention Team (A&I) Procedure

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The Integrated Referral and Assessment Team (IRAT) has been replaced by 2 teams: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 June 2019.


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 CSC.

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.

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 CP plans from the ICPC where a CP plan is made.

Retain CP cases which end and become a 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 3 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 LBP will also transfer from A&I 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 plan is required the case remains in A&I until closure is appropriate or escalation to CP plan or LAC plan becomes necessary.

CP plans that end in SGCP and become CiN plans where the change in relationship won’t impact negatively on the progress of the case or the family/child.

Section 7 and 37 that are directed 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 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 cases as a CIN 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 A&I 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 A&I or A&I 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.

Cases which require additional intense and sustained intervention to achieve an agreed plan of reunification with their family from care over a specific period. These cases are likely to be co-worked with a Social Worker from another team or service. In such circumstances the Social Worker from the requesting service remains responsible for the case.

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

Wrap Around Team (formally Rapid Response Team)

This team primarily supports 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. Wraparound 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 gate way meeting has concluded that proceedings are not necessary and Long-Term fostering is the plan - see Protocol for the Transfer of Cases to the LAC Team from SGCP Teams.

Children with Disabilities (CWD)

Referrals relating to families with a disabled child are made directly to the 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. See Children with Disabilities Team: Access to Services Eligibility Criteria Procedure

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

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

Process

The receiving team will be informed of cases for transfer via A&I Team Outlook diary and at a weekly meeting between the transferring team and receiving team no later than 10am on the Thursday prior to the meeting. The receiving Team Manager uses the A&I Outlook Team Diary to obtain the date of when case responsibility will transfer, for example, at a LAC Review or Initial CP Conference. Within 5 working days of this meeting A&I will ensure that the ESCR will be updated by the Social Worker and audited by Manager and Business Support.

Business Support complete the audit of ESCR within 7 days of transfer, and add a business support trigger of 91 days (from date of transfer). SGCP team manager will be notified of completed transfer

(See Procedure for Business Support Audit at Transfer, Closure and 3 Month Intervals).

Child Protection Cases (Section 47)

  • The A&I team manager will notify the receiving S&CP team manager at the weekly hand over meeting if an Initial Child Protection Conference has been booked. The S&CP team manager will ensure a social worker is allocated in time to attend the ICPC with the social worker from the A&I team; the receiving team manager will also attend the ICPC, where capacity allows;
  • Any cases transferred to SGCP Team where the threshold is met for DCT services, will be co-worked with DCT and key responsibilities agreed at Core Group;
  • Any case will be allocated to the newly appointed social worker following the meeting, however responsibility for the file being up to date ahead of transfer will remain with A&I (in line with Procedure for Business Support Audit at Transfer, Closure and 3 Month Intervals);
  • If a case is not identified at the weekly transfer meeting, case responsibility will remain with A&I until the first core group meeting is held.

Looked After Children

  • The A&I team manager will notify the receiving S&CP or Looked After Children’s Service team manager at the weekly hand over meeting if a 20 day Looked after review has been booked; 
  • The LAC Care plan must be completed by the A&I Social Worker and authorised by a manager following which it will be duplicated by the receiving social worker. The Plan will remain open until the next LAC review when a new LAC Care Plan is added with any updates;
  • When a plan has been agreed in the appropriate arena (e.g. review, decision making meeting, fostering/adoption panel or legal hearing) where a Permanent Plan has been agreed for the child to remain looked after, the case should be transferred from S&CP to the LAC team. The child’s ESCR must be updated and all permanence reports completed. The S&CP team manager will contact the LAC team manager and confirm that the case is ready to transfer; 
  • The S&CP manager will notify the LAC manager at the monthly SGCP transfer meeting (held on first Wednesday of every month) the S&CP Social Worker will arrange to introduce the identified LAC Social Worker to the young person and his/her carers at their placement;
  • The S&CP social worker completes the transfer LAC document and case file audit completed; see Protocol for the Transfer of Cases to the LAC Team from SGCP Teams;
  • In cases where the child’s original plan was adoption but is changed to long term foster care (following a formal review) at this point the case would transfer to the LAC team. The S&CP manager will contact the LAC team manager and a Placement Order Review Meeting is completed;
  • Looked after young people who are disabled and are the responsibility of the Disabled Children Team need to be assessed and a pathway plan formulated, where an agreement has been reached the young person will transfer to the Transitions Team when they reach their 18th birthday. The Transitions Team will then assume lead responsibility for the case;
  • The Transition Team will become involved, to progress the transition planning with the young person, following his/her fourteenth birthday.

Private Fostering

  • These cases will be transferred from A&I to S&CP team following the completion of the assessment by either mutual agreement at an Outcome Meeting or joint visit. The completed report should be authorised by the appropriate team manager & the arrangements approved by the Private Fostering Coordinator;
  • The Team Manager A&I will advise the Team Manager S&CP that the case is ready for transfer at the weekly transfer meeting before approval by the Private Fostering Coordinator;
  • The Team Manager S&CP will allocate the case to a social worker, who will assume case responsibility following approval by the Private Fostering Coordinator;
  • A visit from A&I just before transfer should be made. To ensure timescales are kept and an Activity to show when the next visit is due should be added.

Care Proceedings

  • Where the agreed plan, at Legal Gateway, is to issue proceedings, the A&I worker will complete the first statement and attend the initial court hearing, along with the S&CP worker. This does not prevent the transfer of case responsibility to the S&CP team at the ICPC or 20 day LAC review;
  • Child in need assessments will be made available to Court and the A&I worker would be expected give evidence as necessary at any stage during the proceedings.

Adoptions

  • Step parent adoptions - any queries or referrals should be passed to SGCP who will then work with the Regional Adoption Agency;
  • Relinquished babies - any queries regarding possible relinquished babies/infants should be passed straight to SGCP
  • In the event of any concerns or complications which need further discussion about the status of the case, the Service Manager SGCP will make the 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