SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER
Hull Children and Families Service has a number of different teams with different responsibilities and remits. At certain points in a child's journey one team or another will be best placed to meet the child's needs. This policy and procedure aims to make the transfer between teams as seamless as possible for children and families.RELATED DOCUMENTS
The child's needs should be central to the process. Children and families should be kept informed throughout.
Transfer of cases should not cause delay to social work intervention with families. Throughput of work is essential to maintain access to new referrals and ensure that each team is working with the children and families that it is best able to support. Therefore all cases should move to the new team once the transfer point has been reached.
The process outlined below must be used flexibly and with discretion between Managers. It aims to provide guidance, not rigid rules. There may be exceptional circumstances where it is preferable for a case to remain within the existing team. In such cases individual decisions should be based on the child's best interests.
Case records must be up to date, including:
The case records are essential but can only provide part of the picture. Case discussions and attendance at key meetings will provide further insight and understanding.
The timescale of the transfer process will vary depending on the case. As a general rule, once Team Managers have discussed the transfer, the process should take no more than four weeks. The date of the transfer is the date of the handover meeting with the family.
A discussion or meeting between the Team Managers from the current team and the receiving team must take place to ensure that full information is shared. There should be agreement between the Team Manager about the continuity of the provision of services during the case transfer.
Social worker updates case records and transfer summary (see Section 2, Transfer Standards).
The social worker should discuss and agree the transfer with the child (where appropriate) and the family. The worker needs to identify what additional support or preparation might be needed.
The worker handing over the case must inform the network of other professionals working with the family of the change of worker / team. If there are key meetings (for example Child Protection Conference, Core Group, Professionals Meeting) the worker handing over the case and the receiving worker should attend.
The worker handing over the case and the worker receiving the case meet the child or young person and their family, and carer (if looked after) to introduce the new worker.
The receiving team formally assign the new worker on Liquidlogic
Outlined below is the guidance for points of transfer which most cases will follow. There may be occasions when for service reasons, cases will be transferred outside these points, but the principle of no delay and child focus should underlie such decisions. Section 2, Transfer Standards and Section 3, Process should always be followed.
The Access and Assessment Service will receive all new referrals to children's social care where there are concerns about a child; this will be delivered through the Access and Assessment Teams.
The Access and Assessment Service will provide a point of access to all children and young people aged 0-18yrs. This includes young people who are assessed as Section 17 under the Children Act 1989.
Children with an identified disability will be assessed and supported with services by the Children and Families Disability Team. This will include all children who have disability and who are deemed: Children in Need, on a Child Protection Plan or Looked After.
The Access and Assessment Teams will be responsible for all assessments in the first instance. This includes work under the Children Act 1989; Section 17, accommodation under Section 20, Section 47, progression into child protection plans or into legal proceedings and Private Law proceedings (including Child Arrangements Orders). Private Fostering Assessments where children are newly referred will also be undertaken by the Access and Assessment Teams.
Professional discretion needs to be considered in identifying where the case is held but in principle the following applies:
Cases will move to Locality Teams at the most appropriate opportunity on completion of assessment, if assessment indicates longer term work is needed. Otherwise cases would remain in Assessment Team up to four months to ensure short pieces of work are undertaken to enable community based responses, where appropriate.
It is anticipated that cases move to Locality Teams at the most appropriate early opportunity on completion of assessment, usually between 1st and 2nd conference.
If the child has disabilities identified the case will be transferred to the Children and Families Disability Team (CFTD) at the earliest opportunity.
When the court requests a Section 7 or Section 37 report be provided the following applies: Where there is current active involvement and the case is open to Locality Teams the piece of private law work (Section 7 or Section 37) will remain with the Locality Team. If there is no current involvement then private law work is to be undertaken in the Assessment and Access service.
After the Access and Assessment Team has completed the Private Fostering Assessment the case will transfer to one of the Locality Teams.
If the Care Plan for a looked after child or young person is changed to indicate that the child will be looked after long-term, the case will transfer to the Integrated Looked After Children (ILAC) Team. The case should be transferred at the point at which the care plan changes.
If a family who are being supported by a Locality Team move to another locality; give up their old tenancy and gain a permanent tenancy in the new area, the case will be transferred to the appropriate Locality Team.
If the Locality Team is involved with older siblings, they will manage the pre-birth case too. If there is no ongoing involvement with older siblings, the case of an un-born baby will be taken by the AAT.
If a new concern of significant harm arises in a case that is open to a Locality Team the Locality Team will undertake Section 47 enquiries and any immediate action that is required to protect the child. If a case has been closed for less than eight weeks the same applies. If a case has been closed for more than eight weeks and new safeguarding concerns arise, AAT will undertake child protection processes.
Continuity of worker is important to children and their families – particularly for looked after children – but sometimes case transfers are necessary because of staff movement or for other reasons. The same Case Transfer Standards (see Section 2, Transfer Standards) and Process (see Section 3, Process) set out above should be followed.
If there is a difference of views about which team is best placed to meet the needs of a child or about the point of transfer, attempts should be made to resolve it by dialogue between the respective Team Managers. Face to face discussion is often the most effective way of reaching a solution. However, if the difference remains, it may be escalated to more senior managers including Group Managers or Assistant Heads of Service to reach a resolution.
Child in need cases may be closed if the child or young person no longer needs the service. Closure should be brought about through discussion between the child, family and professionals involved.
The decision to close a case is made by the Team Manager following discussion with the worker in supervision. It is important to gain the views of and keep other professionals informed. This may be done by discussing the case closure at a core group or child in need review.
Once the decision to close the case is made, the worker will notify all core group members and other professionals involved with the family; the child (if appropriate); the parents or carers and other relevant family members. There is not a standard pro forma closure letter to these parties: the social worker will need to write a letter to the child (if appropriate) and family members. It is important to observe the following points:
A Case Closure Summary should be completed and recorded on the Liquidlogic record. When a case is closed, if there is a new referral within 8 weeks the case responsibility should be held by the team that last held it. A re-referral on a case closed longer than eight weeks would be the responsibility of the AAT.
Only valid for 48hrs