Amendments

October 2021

Caption: October 2021
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Capacity and Consent Section 4.3, Consent to the Use of Medication to Suppress Puberty has been updated and new Section 5.4, Consent to Life-ending Withdrawal of Medical Support has been added, to reflect High Court judgments. Section 2.1, Consent to Information has been updated to reflect revisions contained in the statutory guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children.
Lambeth Pre-Birth Assessment Practice Guidance This practice guidance has been updated.
Care and Supervision Proceedings and the Public Law Outline This chapter has been updated to reflect Practice Guidance on Special Guardianship (Family Justice Council, June 2020). See in particular Section 9, Expectations of the Local Authority by the Court.
Lambeth Children's Social Care Child Sexual Exploitation This chapter has been reviewed and should be re-read in its entirety.
Missing from Home and Care Protocol This chapter has been reviewed and should be re-read in its entirety.
Unaccompanied Migrant Children and Child Victims of Trafficking and Modern Slavery Minor amendments have been made to this chapter in line with the UK’s exit from the EEA. Also the New National Transfer Scheme, the New National Transfer Scheme: National Rota and the New National Transfer Scheme: Voluntary Rota has been added in the further information section.
Families with No Recourse to Public Funds This chapter has been updated.
Delegation of Authority to Foster Carers and Residential Workers New Section 7.4, Consent to Life-ending Withdrawal of Medical Support has been added, to reflect a High Court judgment.
Unregulated Placements Procedure This policy and procedure has been updated.
Advocacy and Independent Visitors This chapter has been updated.
Applications for Special Guardianship Orders This chapter has been updated to reflect Practice Guidance on Special Guardianship published by the Family Justice Council (June 2020). See Section 6.2, Special Guardianship Applications in Care Proceedings and new Section 16, Special Guardianship Orders in International Cases.
Court Reports in Placement Order Applications and Adoption/Special Guardianship Guidance This chapter has been updated to include a link to the Family Justice Council in Section 3, Special Guardianship - Matters to be Dealt with in Report for the Court.
Local Contacts Details have been updated.
List of Agency Decision Makers, Designated Managers and Nominated Officers This chapter has been updated.
Next Update: April 2022

July 2021

Caption: July 2021
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Unregulated Placements Procedure

This chapter has been replaced.

April 2021

Caption: April 2021
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Lambeth Multi-Agency Threshold Guidance

This chapter replaces a similar chapter and provides links to the Lambeth Safeguarding Children Partnership: Multi-Agency Threshold Guidance and a link specifically to the Guidance Threshold Chart.

The Guidance seeks to identify the issues and concerns that are relevant to the 4 Tiers of need and provides a useful case example to reflect the levels of need and consequent multi-agency working required. The Guidance provides also provides links to additional relevant local and national guidance.

Please re-reference.
Capacity and Consent

Information has been added in relation to: a High Court case with regard to consent in the context of the use of medication to suppress puberty (see new Section 4.3, Consent to the Use of Medication to Suppress Puberty) and NICE Quality Standard: Decision-Making and Mental Capacity (see new Section 6, NICE Quality Standard: Decision-Making and Mental Capacity).

Please re-reference.
Assessments

This chapter has been amended to reflect amendments to Working Together. A new section on '16 and 17 year olds who may be Homeless and/or require Accommodation' has been added and reflects the issue of Homelessness and the vulnerability of young people identified in Working Together to Safeguard Children; 'contextual safeguarding' is re-referenced by Working Together as 'risk outside of the home'.

Please fully re-reference.
Complaints and Representations

Information contained in this procedure has been reviewed and refreshed as required. A link to Lambeth's 'Make a complaint about children's social care' (which includes access to the relevant form) has been included in Local Information.

Please re-reference.
Lambeth Whistleblowing Policy

This chapter has been amended and now links to the Whistleblowing document in the Share hub.

Please reference as required.
Children and Young People Aged 0-25 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Section 15, Resolving Disagreements has been updated to reference recent case-law holding that, as part of the mediation process, a parent/child/young person is entitled to bring along any supporter they wish, including a lawyer.
Unaccompanied Migrant Children and Child Victims of Trafficking and Modern Slavery

Section 11, Further Information has been as updated to include a link to Statutory Guidance 'Modern Slavery: How to Identify and Support Victims' and Home Office guidance on 'Assessing age for asylum applicants'.

Please reference as required.
Families with No Recourse to Public Funds

This chapter has been fully refreshed and updated to focus on the meaning of 'Public Funds' and the assessment of need under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989 issues including: 'Assessment Considerations', 'limitations on the ability to self-support', 'providing support' and 'ongoing duty to reassess need' etc. (see Section 2, Meaning of 'Public Funds' and Section 3, Role of the Local Authority particularly).

Please re-reference.
Prevention of Homelessness and Provision of Accommodation for 16 and 17 Year Olds who may be Homeless and/or Require Accommodation; and Duty to Refer

This chapter has been updated to add a link to Joint Housing Protocols for Care Leavers: good practice advice (DfE and MHCLG) to support the development of joint protocols that can help local authorities to meet the accommodation needs of care leavers (see Section 4, Housing Protocols for Care leavers). It also reflects the amended Working Together to Safeguard Children (see Section 2, Homelessness: Duty to Refer and Section 3, Homelessness: Code of Guidance - Referral Process).

Please re-reference.
Placements in Secure Accommodation on Welfare Grounds

A new Section 10, Use of Inherent Jurisdiction to Authorise a Placement Involving a Deprivation of Liberty When One or More of the Relevant Criteria Under Section 25 Children Act 1989 are Not Satisfied has been added. Section 6, Placements of Children under 13 years has been updated following publication of revised DfE guidance. A revised link has been added to Secure Children's Homes.

Please re-reference.
Notifications of Significant Events

This procedure has been updated to reflect the latest Ofsted guidance for social care providers on the types of incident which they consider to be serious and which will therefore require notification to the regulatory authority.

Please re-reference.
Education of Looked After and Previously Looked After Children

This chapter has been updated to reflect changes from the revised Working Together to Safeguard Children (see Section 8.1, Child Protection Policy and Procedures).

Please re-reference.
Holidays and School Trips In and Outside the UK

This guidance has been reviewed and updated throughout. Section 2.3, Insurance Cover has been updated to include details of how to apply for a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) which provides access to reduced cost or free medical insurance in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland.

Section 2.4, Obtaining a Passport has also been updated to link to reissued Home Office guidance for Local Authorities Children's Services Departments when Applying for Passports on Behalf of Children.

Please re-reference.
Leaving Care and Transition

This chapter has been updated to add a link to 'Joint Housing Protocols for Care Leavers: good practice advice (DfE and MHCLG)' to support the development of joint protocols that can help local authorities to meet the accommodation needs of care leavers.

Additional content has therefore been added in a new Section 8, Joint Housing Protocols for Care Leavers as well as Section 7, Reviews of Pathway Plans and Section 13, Where Care Leavers Live or Move to a Different Local Authority Area.

Please re-reference.
Responsibilities of the Local Authority to Former Looked After Children and Young People in Custody This chapter has been updated to reflect the Joint Housing Protocols for Care Leavers: good practice advice, Section 2.6 Care leavers leaving custody (DfE and MHCLG) (see Section 3.9, Planning for Release).
Assessment and Approvals of Foster Carers

A revised link has been added to 'Prepare for a review panel: adopters and foster carers' (see Section 9, Representations / Independent Review Procedure).

Please re-reference.
Review and Termination of Approval of Foster Carers

A revised link has been made to 'Prepare for a review panel: adopters and foster carers' (see Section 6.1, Proposal to Terminate Foster Carer's Approval).

Please re-reference.
Assessment and Approvals of Prospective Adopters A revised link has been made to 'Prepare for a review panel: adopters and foster carers' (see Section 9, After the Panel Recommendation and Section 10, Representations / Independent Review Procedure).
Access to Birth Records and Adoption Case Records

This chapter has been significantly refreshed and updated throughout. Information has been added on applying for a copy of a birth certificate online and a link to the IRM has been updated.

Please reference.
Local Contacts These details have been updated.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Home Page: Practice Toolkit A link to the Lambeth Practice Toolkit is included and is readily accessible on the 'Home' or 'Landing Page'.
Aftercare under Section 117 of the Mental Health Act 1983

This policy applies when a child or care leaver is discharged from hospital after having been detained under the Mental Health Act 1983. The chapter reflects particularly the Duties to provide after-care services and aftercare planning.

Please reference.

June 2020

Caption: June 2020
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Assessments This chapter draws attention to the changed approach to reporting potential victims of Modern Slavery.
Recording Policy and Guidelines This chapter has been amended to reflect the twitter blog by Yvette Stanley, Ofsted's National Director for Social Care, which explores what a good recording should look like.
Children and Young People Aged 0-25 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities This chapter has bee updated to draw attention to OFSTED's advice that LAs should exercise due diligence in ensuring schools for pupils with SEN are registered with the DfE. The same diligence should be exercised on behalf of pupils with SEN.
Unaccompanied Migrant Children and Child Victims of Trafficking and Modern Slavery This chapter draws attention to the changed approach to reporting potential victims of Modern Slavery.
Education of Looked After and Previously Looked After Children This chapter has been updated to reflect Keeping Children Safe in Education (2018). Section 8, Safeguarding the Looked After Child at School includes a reference to Upskirting (which is now a criminal offence) and a new section on Serious Violence. Information has been added to reflect OFSTED's advice that LAs should exercise due diligence in ensuring schools for LAC pupils are registered with the DFE.
Allegations Against Foster Carers This chapter has been refreshed.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Capacity and Consent In this chapter, guidance is offered in relation to the various situations in which consent is likely to be sought, with reference to previous legal judgements. This is a potentially complex practice arena and if the practitioner is in any doubt about gaining consent they should always seek further advice from managers and legal advice must be sought as necessary.
Use of Social Media Sites by Social Care and Safeguarding Staff

The use of social media in a social care and safeguarding environment is a developing area. Cases and reviews have discussed the use of social media in social work practice. There is, however, currently no specific government guidance on the issue. This chapter is designed to highlight some of the issues to be considered, with links to additional information. It is not intended to provide any legal advice, and legal advice must be sought as appropriate. Local Authorities and Courts may have local protocols in place on the use of social media/service of documents.

This chapter will continue to be updated as the body of case-law develops.
Storage of Data on Mobile Devices

This chapter provides guidance on the storage of personal data (including photographs) on mobile devices. 'Personal data' is any information about an identifiable living individual.

'Mobile devices' includes memory sticks, mobile telephones including smartphones, tablet technologies, netbooks and laptops.
Unregulated Placements Procedure (DRAFT)

This document has been added.

December 2019

Caption: December 2019
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Care and Supervision Proceedings and the Public Law Outline This chapter has been updated to reference and note the Family Court Justice Interim Guidance on Special Guardianship, Courts and Tribunals Judiciary (May 2019) (see Section 1, Introduction).
Death or Serious Injury to a Child (Looked After and Child In Need) This chapter has been updated throughout to reflect Working Together to Safeguard Children and the process for reporting a serious incident to the Panel via the Child Safeguarding Incident Notification System.
Secure Accommodation (Criteria) Reviews This chapter has been reviewed and updated. The requirement for clear separation of reviews (for clarifying whether the criteria for keeping a child in secure accommodation are met, and the child's looked after review) has been emphasised. Clarifying whether the criteria for keeping a child in secure accommodation are met must come before a LAC review so the decision can inform the LAC review and they must be chaired by different individuals.
Notifications of Significant Events This chapter has been significantly updated and should be re-read
Assessment and Approvals of Foster Carers A link has been added to Attending an IRM Panel: information sheets. See Section 9, Representations / Independent Review Procedure.
Supervision and Support of Foster Carers This chapter has been updated to reflect in more detail the foster carer's role and responsibilities with respect to Fostering National Minimum Standards – Notification of Significant Events (see Section 1, Introduction) and relevant aspects of Schedule 6 The Fostering Services (England) Regulations 2011 (see Section 2, Planned Supervision Visits).
Review and Termination of Approval of Foster Carers A link has been added to Attending an IRM Panel: information sheets. See Section 6, Representations/Review Procedure.
Assessment and Approvals of Prospective Adopters This chapter has been amended to reflect the national changes in adoption registration and matching (see Section 9, After the Panel Recommendation). A link has also been added to Attending an IRM Panel: information sheets. See Section 10, Representations / Independent Review Procedure.
Placement for Adoption This chapter has been amended to reflect the national changes in adoption registration and matching (see Section 7.13, Inter Agency Placements and Section 11, Children Approved for Adoption for Whom no Placement has been Identified).
Access to Birth Records and Adoption Case Records A link has been added to Attending and IRM Panel: information sheets. See Section 3.2, Adoption Orders made on or after 30 December 2005.
Applications for Special Guardianship Orders This chapter has been updated to reference and reflect the Family Court Justice Interim Guidance on Special Guardianship, Courts and Tribunals Judiciary (see new Section 6.2, Special Guardianship applications in care proceedings).
Court Reports in Placement Order Applications and Adoption/Special Guardianship Guidance This chapter has been updated to note the Family Court Justice Interim Guidance on Special Guardianship, Courts and Tribunals Judiciary (May 2019). See Section 3, Special Guardianship - Matters to be Dealt with in Report for the Court and final paragraphs 11 and 12.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Placing and Visiting Children with Special Needs and Disabilities or Health Conditions in Long-Term Residential Settings This chapter has been added to the manual. It reflects statutory guidance in relation to children who are placed by health authorities or local authorities for more than 3 months in residential establishments for educational purposes and children placed in care homes or independent hospitals (including hospices) by health authorities or local authorities (Sections 85 and 86 of the Children Act 1989).

June 2019

Caption: June 2019
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Children's Consultation and Participation The Scope Box note has been adjusted to reflect the current Working Together to Safeguard Children guidance and the Relevant Guidance section has been updated to add supporting resources with regard to children's consultation and participation. Please reference.
Assessments This chapter has been revised to reflect updated guidance on Assessment in Working Together to Safeguard Children. It highlights that some assessments will require particular for specific reasons, e.g. young carers; children with special educational needs (including to inform and be informed by Education, Health and Care Plans, etc. and where the initial focus for a referral is on one child, other children in the household or family should be equally considered, and the individual circumstances of each assessed and evaluated separately. A new Section 16, Contextual Safeguarding has also been added.
Care and Supervision Proceedings and the Public Law Outline

This chapter has been amended to reflect changes from 'Practice Direction 27a - Family Proceedings: Court Bundles (Universal Practice to be Applied in the High Court and Family Court)' in relation to the required maximum length of certain court documents, (unless otherwise specifically directed by the court). In addition, a new subsection of Section 4.1, Local Authority Documentation 'Final Care Plan' provides further detail on the importance of recording information on the Care Plan which will help the child, parent or the child's carer understand why decisions have been or are being made.

It has also been amended to reflect HHJ Greensmith's comments regarding M and N (Children: Local authority gathering, preserving and disclosing evidence) [2018] EWFC 40 (1 June 2018)). (See Section 9, Good Local Authority Practice During Proceedings).
Recording Policy and Guidelines This chapter has been amended to reflect HHJ Greensmith's comments regarding M and N (Children: Local authority gathering, preserving and disclosing evidence) [2018] EWFC 40 (1 June 2018). Please reference.
Children and Young People Aged 0-25 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

This chapter has been updated in line with the Children and Social Work Act 2017 and revised statutory guidance which require schools, through the designated teacher to provide support to previously Looked After Children.

A previously Looked After Child is one who is no longer looked after in England and Wales because they are the subject of an Adoption, Special Guardianship or Child Arrangements Order which includes arrangements relating to with whom the child is to live, or when the child is to live with any person, or has been adopted from 'state care' outside England and Wales.
Unaccompanied Migrant Children and Child Victims of Trafficking and Modern Slavery This chapter has been updated when a new Section 6, Suitable Placements has been added. Details of the National Transfer Scheme Protocol for Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children Version 2.0 March 2018 have been added into Section 1, Introduction and Definitions.
Prevention of Homelessness and Provision of Accommodation for 16 and 17 Year Olds who may be Homeless and/or Require Accommodation; and Duty to Refer

This chapter already links to statutory guidance:

  • Prevention of Homelessness and Provision of accommodation for 16 and 17 year old young people who may be homeless and/or require accommodation (2018): this guidance is solely concerned with the functions of children's services and housing services when young people seek help from, or are referred to, local authorities because of homelessness or being threatened with homelessness. It incorporates judgements made in the House of Lords over several years around the duties of local authorities under Section 20 (Children Act 1989) and Part 7 of the Housing Act 1996.

The guidance also reflects the duties introduced under the Homelessness Reduction Act (2017).

And now includes a link to:

  • Homelessness - Duty to Refer: the Homelessness Reduction Act (2017) places a duty on specified public authorities to refer service users who they think may be homeless or threatened with homelessness to local authority homelessness/housing options teams. The guidance provides helpful information and detail on the referral process which is brought out in additional links.
Please re-reference.
Family and Friends Care This chapter has been updated by adding a link to Looking after someone else's child, GOV.UK (see Relevant Guidance).
Private Fostering

This chapter has been amended and confirms that 'After the Private Fostering Arrangement Ends' any request for support by the young person should be made to the local authority in which they are resident or where the education and training is being provided.

Please re-reference.
Decision to Look After and Care Planning This chapter has been amended to reflect Section 3 of the Care Planning and Care Leavers (Amendment) Regulations 2014. The Care Plan must identify whether there is reason to believe the child has been trafficked or is an unaccompanied asylum seeker (see Section 2.1, The Care Plan - Contents). Additional information has also been added in to Section 1.3, Section 20 Accommodation, in line with recent case-law.
Ceasing to Look After a Child

This chapter has been updated in line with the Children and Social Work Act 2017 and revised statutory guidance.

These changes relate to the status of 'previously Looked After Children'. A previously Looked After Child is one who is no longer looked after in England and Wales because they are the subject of an Adoption, Special Guardianship or Child Arrangements Order which includes arrangements relating to with whom the child is to live, or when the child is to live with any person, or has been adopted from 'state care' outside England and Wales.

Previously Looked After Children are entitled to support from their school through the Designated Teacher (see Section 2.5, Children Who Move into Permanency).
Permanence Planning Guidance

This chapter has been updated in line with the Children and Social Work Act 2017 and revised statutory guidance.

These changes relate to the status of 'previously looked after children'. A previously Looked After Child is one who is no longer looked after in England and Wales because they are the subject of an Adoption, Special Guardianship or Child Arrangements Order which includes arrangements relating to with whom the child is to live, or when the child is to live with any person, or has been adopted from 'state care' outside England and Wales.

Children subject to a Adoption, Special Guardianship or Child Arrangements Order are entitled to support from their school, through the designated teacher.
Placements with Parents This chapter has been further amended to note that this procedure does not apply to children subject to Interim Care Orders where the placement is required by the court under Section 38(6) Children Act 1989 for the purposes of assessment, (see Scope Box).
Remands to Local Authority Accommodation or to Youth Detention Accommodation This chapter has been updated in relation to placing young people in custody, see Section 2.3, How to Request a Transfer or Placement Review.
Social Worker Visits to Looked After Children This chapter has been amended to include a link to the Leaving Care and Transition Procedure in relation to Personal Adviser visits to 'Relevant' or 'Former Relevant' young people, (see Exceptions).
Education of Looked After Children

This chapter has been updated to reflect amendments made by the Children and Social Work Act 2017.

These changes relate to the status of 'previously looked after children' i.e. a previously looked-after child is one who is no longer looked after in England and Wales because they are the subject of an adoption, special guardianship or child arrangements order which includes arrangements relating to with whom the child is to live, or when the child is to live with any person, or has been adopted from 'state care' outside England and Wales. The chapter includes a new Section 15, Mental Health and a new Section 8, Safeguarding the Looked After Child at School. A link has been added to the National Curriculum Assessments at Key Stage 2.

In addition, the chapter reflects the statutory guidance Keeping children safe in education (KCSIE) 2018, as it relates to Looked After Children and guidance regarding Data protection and safeguarding as set out in Data protection: a toolkit for schools (Open Beta: Version1.0) (August 2018).
Leaving Care and Transition

This chapter has been updated and amendments have been made in:

  • Section 5, Leaving Care Assessment of Need - in relation to children who are victims of trafficking or unaccompanied asylum seeking children;
  • Section 7, Reviews of Pathway Plans - in relation to Relevant/Former Relevant young people moving to 'unregulated' accommodation; and
  • Section 8, Personal Advisers - in relation to frequency of visits by Personal Advisers.
Please reference.
Looked After Children and Young People in Contact with Youth Justice Services This chapter has been updated in relation to placing young people in custody, see Section 7.7, How to Request a Transfer or Placement Review.
Responsibilities of the Local Authority to Former Looked After Children and Young People in Custody This chapter has been updated in relation to placing young people in custody, see Section 3.8, How to Request a Transfer or Placement Review.
Adoption Support

This chapter has been updated in line with the Children and Social Work Act 2017 and revised statutory guidance which require schools, through the Designated Teacher for Looked After Children, to offer support to previously looked after children.

A previously looked-after child is one who is no longer looked after in England and Wales because subject of an Adoption, Special Guardianship or Child Arrangements Order which includes arrangements relating to with whom the child is to live, or when the child is to live with any person, or has been adopted from 'state care' outside England and Wales).

Important Note: From 1st July 2019, Lambeth will be joining with a number of other London Boroughs to form Adopt London South with the aim of quicker matching for children and improved support for adoptive parents across the region. As part of joining, Lambeth's policy and procedures relating to Adoption Support will be updated in accordance with Adopt London South's new guidance.
If accessing this chapter after 1st July 2019, please refer to the South London Adoption & Permanence Consortium Adoption London South website for up-to-date information.
Adoption Reviews

Section 5, The Conduct of Adoption Reviews (bullet point 6) has been amended to reflect the status of adopted children as being 'previously looked after' when considering their educational needs. A link to DfE guidance on Promoting the Education of Looked After and Previously Looked After children has also been added.

Important Note: From 1st July 2019, Lambeth will be joining with a number of other London Boroughs to form Adopt London South with the aim of quicker matching for children and improved support for adoptive parents across the region. As part of joining, Lambeth's policy and procedures relating to Adoption Reviews will be updated in accordance with Adopt London South's new guidance.
If accessing this chapter after 1st July 2019, please refer to the South London Adoption & Permanence Consortium Adoption London South website for up-to-date information.
Adoption Case Records

Section 3, Security Retention and Sharing of Records has been updated in line with Adoption and Care Planning (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2018, which provides that an adoption agency may disclose an adoption case record to another adoption agency for purposes related to either agency's functions as an adoption agency. Further information has been added in relation to adoption records where an Adoption Order is not made.

Important Note: From 1st July 2019, Lambeth will be joining with a number of other London Boroughs to form Adopt London South with the aim of quicker matching for children and improved support for adoptive parents across the region. As part of joining, Lambeth's policy and procedures relating to Adoption Case Records will be updated in accordance with Adopt London South's new guidance.
If accessing this chapter after 1st July 2019, please refer to the South London Adoption & Permanence Consortium Adoption London South website for up-to-date information.
Applications for Special Guardianship Orders

This chapter has been updated in line with the Children and Social Work Act 2017 and revised statutory guidance which require schools, through the designated teacher to provide support to previously Looked After Children.

A previously Looked After Child is one who is no longer looked after in England and Wales because they are the subject of an Adoption, Special Guardianship or Child Arrangements Order which includes arrangements relating to with whom the child is to live, or when the child is to live with any person, or has been adopted from 'state care' outside England and Wales.

It has also been updated to reflect the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman good practice points to follow when working with Special Guardians. A link to the full report 'Firm Foundations: Complaints about Council Support and Advice for Special Guardians (Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman) (May 2018)' has been added into the Relevant National Guidance section of this chapter.
Life Story Books Guidance This chapter has been reviewed and refreshed. Please re-reference.
Local Contacts These details have been updated.

December 2018

Caption: December 2018
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Children's Services Policies, Values and Principles A new Section 2, Corporate Parenting has been added in response to the DfE Applying Corporate Parenting Principles to Looked-after Children and Care Leavers – Statutory Guidance (Feb 2018). It includes the seven corporate parenting principles set out in the guidance.
Assessments Section 4, Communication has been updated to include reference to parents with learning disabilities.
Care and Supervision Proceedings and the Public Law Outline This chapter has been updated to provide some emphasis on parents who lack capacity and added links to the President of the Family Division, Family Proceedings: Parents with a Learning Disability note, and a relevant link to working with parents who have a learning disability, (see Section 2, Pre-proceedings) and Practice Direction 3aa - Vulnerable Persons: Participation in Proceedings and Giving Evidence (see case management in Section 4, Documentation). In Related Guidance a link has been added to Research in Practice supporting information and guidance on the Social Work Evidence template (SWET).
Death or Serious Injury to a Child (Looked After and Child In Need) This chapter has been amended throughout. From 29 June 2018 local authorities in England must notify the national Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel within 5 working days of becoming aware of a serious incident.
Recording Policy and Guidelines This guidance has been reviewed and updated following the introduction of the UK General Data Protection Regulations (UK GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018. A link to Lambeth Children's Social Care privacy notice has been included.
Case Records and Retention Section 1, The Case Record has been updated in line with Adoption and Care Planning (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2018, which permits the transfer of a copy of the child's case record (or part of that record) to another adoption agency when the local authority considers this to be in the interests of the child.
Access to Records / Subject Access Requests This chapter has been substantially amended, updated and re-titled to reflect the UK General Data Protection Regulations (UK GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018.
Confidentiality Policy This guidance has been reviewed and updated following the introduction of the UK General Data Protection Regulations (UK GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018. A link to Lambeth's Social care privacy notice has been included, (see Section 2.2, Disclosure of confidential information is permitted in exceptional circumstances).
Electronic Recording of Meetings and Conversations This guidance has been reviewed and updated following the introduction of the UK General Data Protection Regulations (UK GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018.
Relinquished Children Section 5, Consent and Competency has been updated to include additional information on parental capacity to consent, in line with High Court case-law.
Placements in Secure Accommodation on Welfare Grounds This chapter has been updated to fully reflect the updated guidance 'Secure children's homes: how to place a child aged under 13 (July 2018)'. (See Section 6, Placements of Children under the age of 13 Years).
Looked After Reviews

Section 9, The Role of the Looked After Review in Achieving Permanence for the Child has been amended to reflect the outcome of a High Court Judgement in respect of children who were subject to Section 20 and where there were concerns of significant delays in their planning for permanence. The court noted the IROs' recognition and action over a number of reviews but acknowledged that a more robust response had been needed.

A link to Lambeth's Dispute Resolution Protocol has been added. (See Section15, Conflict Resolution).
Leaving Care and Transition This guidance has been reviewed and updated following the introduction of the UK General Data Protection Regulations (UK GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018.
Adoption Panel This guidance has been reviewed and updated following the introduction of the UK General Data Protection Regulations (UK GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018.
Later Life Letters This chapter has been fully reviewed, refreshed and updated.
Applications for Special Guardianship Orders This chapter has been updated to reflect the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman good practice points to follow when working with Special Guardians. A link to the full report 'Firm Foundations: Complaints about Council Support and Advice for Special Guardians (Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman) (May 2018)' has been added into the Relevant National Guidance section of this chapter.
Local Contacts These details have been updated.

June 2018

Caption: June 2018
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Child in Need Plans and Reviews This chapter has been updated by adding a new Section 4, Children in Need Moving to Another Authority - Principles. Information and communication is important between the respective local authorities to ensure appropriate services continue for the child and family and, where relevant, any risk of harm is recognised and identified with the receiving local authority. It should be noted that the responsibility for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of the child lies with the local authority where the child is to be found.
Care and Supervision Proceedings and the Public Law Outline Section 4.2, Case Analysis has been updated to reflect the 'permanence provisions' of the Care Plan added by s.8 Children and Social Work Act 2017 (amending section 31(3B) Children Act 1989) which a court is required to consider when deciding whether to make a Care Order.
Prevention of homelessness and provision of accommodation for 16 and 17 year old young people who may be homeless and/or require accommodation This chapter has been updated to provide a link to the current Guidance 'Prevention of homelessness and provision of accommodation for 16 and 17 year old young people who may be homeless and/or require accommodation - Guidance to children's services authorities and local housing authorities about their duties under Part 3 of the Children Act 1989 and Part 7 of the Housing Act 1996 to secure or provide accommodation for homeless 16 and 17 year old young people, (Min. of Housing, Communities and Local Govt. / DfE, April 2018)'.
This guidance identifies the respective roles of Children's and Housing services and emphasises joint working and strategic planning. An Annex identifies 'Factors to be considered by children's services when assessing 16-17 year olds who may be children in need'. Please re-reference.
Decision to Look After and Care Planning Section 2.1, The Care Plan – Contents has been amended to reflect the additional 'permanence provisions' of the Care Plan (s.8 Children and Social Work Act 2017 amends section 31(3B) Children Act 1989) which a court is required to consider when deciding whether to make a Care Order.
Permanence Planning Guidance Section 5, Assessing and Planning for Permanence has been updated to reflect the additional 'permanence provisions' of the Care Plan (under s.8 Children and Social Work Act 2017 amends section 31(3B) Children Act 1989) which a court is required to consider when deciding whether to make a Care Order.
Placements with Parents This chapter has been updated to reflect that the DBS has no eligibility for a standard or enhanced check for birth parents or other adults living in the household. However, the Local Authority has a requirement under the Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England Regulations) 2010 to obtain information about unspent convictions and cautions before placing a child back with parents (see Section 1.2, Assessment and Checks Before Placement).
Also to add comment with regard to the parent recognising previous concerns regarding the care of the child/young person (see Section 1.2, Assessment and Checks Before Placement) and the consideration of therapeutic services where required (see Section 1.3, Recommending the Plan). Please re-reference.
Social Worker Visits to Looked After Children Section 2, Exceptions has been revised to set out more clearly the circumstances where visiting requirements differ from those set out in Section 1, Normal Frequency.
Contact with Parents/Adults and Siblings Section 2, Different Types of Contact has been updated to take account of the use of mobile phone communication with regards to contact.
Health Care Assessments and Plans A new Section 3.5, Consent to Health Care Assessments has been added and seeks to provide a framework for decision-making for practitioners in a potentially complex area.
Leaving Care and Transition

This chapter has been substantially amended to reflect the Children and Social Work Act 2017 on the Leaving Care Services and Care leavers. Particularly:

  • The Local Offer - all local authorities must publish up-date information about the services it offers for care leavers and other services which may assist care leavers in, or preparing for, adulthood and independent living. (This is to follow);
  • Corporate parenting: the Children and Social Work Act 2017 establishes 7 Corporate Parenting Principles, which should include and involve the Local Authority's partner agencies;
  • Continuing Support Up to the Age of 25: all Care leavers between the ages of 21 and up to 25 will be entitled to support irrespective of whether they are in education or training. Even when they may not initially choose such support, they can return and seek support, which can be provided on specific issues or on a more comprehensive basis where this is needed.
Assessment and Approvals of Foster Carers Section 8, After the Panel Recommendation has been updated to clarify the decision as to the suitability of the applicant must be made within 7 working days of receipt of the panel's recommendation and final set of panel minutes – The Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations - Volume 4: 5.39 and Standard 14 (14.9) Fostering panels and the fostering service's decision-maker. Additionally, Section 4.1, Checks has been amended to note that all those 16 and above in a household need to have a completed DBS check.
Placement for Adoption Section 1, Planning for Permanence has been updated to reflect the additional consideration (added by s.9 Children and Social Work Act 2017 amends section 1(4)(f) of the Adoption and Children Act 2002) into the list of considerations that whenever a court or adoption agency is coming to a decision relating to the adoption of a child), of the relationship which the child has with relatives, with any person who is a prospective adopter with whom the child is placed and with any other person in relation to whom the court or agency considers the relationship to be relevant.
Inter Country Adoption Section 8, Home Study has been updated to include a link to GOV.UK Benefits. Please re-reference where required.
Fostering for Adoption, Concurrent Planning and Temporary Approval as Foster Carers of Approved Prospective Adopters Section 4.1, Duty to Consider Fostering for Adoption Placement has been updated to reflect the additional consideration (added by s.9 Children and Social Work Act 2017 into the list of considerations whenever a court or adoption agency is coming to a decision relating to the adoption of a child), of the relationship which the child has with relatives, with any person who is a prospective adopter with whom the child is placed and with any other person in relation to whom the court or agency considers the relationship to be relevant.
Local Contacts These details have been updated.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Unaccompanied Migrant Children and Child Victims of Trafficking and Modern Slavery This chapter replaces the previous Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children chapter. The chapter has been developed to reflect the 'Care of Unaccompanied Migrant Children and Child Victims of Modern Slavery - Statutory Guidance for Local Authorities (2017)' and contains a link to this. Please re-reference.
Deprivations of Liberty and Mental Capacity These procedure links to a tri.x site and provides information on Mental Capacity and Deprivation of Liberty in relation to children and young people. Case-law makes clear that social workers and local authorities need to consider whether children in care, or cared for away from home in other settings, may be subject to a Deprivation of Liberty and, if so, what authorisation is required.
This is a developing area, and legal advice must be sought as appropriate. If you are uncertain as to whether a case may involve a deprivation of a child's/young person's liberty, you should seek legal advice.


April 2018

Caption: April 2018
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Family and Friends Care This chapter has been introduced into the manual and replaces the previous chapter to ensure this chapter reflects fully Lambeth's policies and practices as well as highlighting the support and services that are available to safeguard, support and ensure children in Lambeth are able to be brought up in a stable and caring environment that promotes their welfare and best interests.

December 2017

Caption: December 2017
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Contacts and Referrals This chapter has been revised to set out in more detail the timetable and partnership requirements associated with effectively managing contacts and referrals and to reflect the balance with regard to 'Information Sharing' (see Section 4, Screening Process).
Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children

Section 3, Assessment has been updated: in advance of undertaking an age assessment for an unaccompanied asylum seeking child, local authorities must seek Home Office assistance with verifying the authenticity of identity documents e.g. travel documents or a birth certificate. A link to the relevant contact details for local authorities has been added. The statutory guidance has been updated to link to the DfE 2017 Care of unaccompanied migrant children and child victims of modern slavery – statutory guidance for local authorities. The Modern Slavery Act 2015 is referenced in relation to age assessments.

In addition, a link to NRPF, Securing British Citizenship for looked after children (2017) has been added.
Placements with Parents This chapter has been updated to reflect that the DBS has no eligibility for a standard or enhanced check for birth parents or other adults living in the household. However, the Local Authority has a requirement under the Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England Regulations) 2010 to obtain information about unspent convictions and cautions before placing a child back with parents (see Section 1.2, Assessment and Checks before Placement).
Looked After Reviews This chapter has been amended to fully reflect the Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations - Volume 2: Care Planning, Placement and Case Review with respect to the circumstances as to when a Looked After Review should be brought forward. The list is not exhaustive (see Section 2, Frequency of Looked After Reviews).
Placement for Adoption This chapter has been amended to emphasise 'procedural fairness' as a key aspect of the adoption planning process in respect of ensuring parents are provided with information throughout, including the dates of placement/proposed changes of a child's Status, etc. This follows the outcome of a judicial review ((2017) EWHC 1041 (Admin). (See new Section 4.2, Procedural Fairness).
Local Contacts These details have been updated.

June 2017

Caption: June 2017
   
Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Values and Principles This chapter has been reviewed to note the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse requires all institutions to retain their records relating to the care of children for the duration of the Inquiry (see Section 4, Recording Values and Principles).
Children in Need This chapter has been revised to add links to statutory guidance: 'DfE, Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations - Volume 2: Care Planning, Placement and Case Review'; 'DCSF Safeguarding disabled children – Practice guidance (2009)'; 'DCSF Short Breaks – Statutory guidance on how to safeguard and promote the welfare of disabled children using short breaks (2010)' (see Section 5, Children with Disabilities).
Families Without Recourse to Public Funds

This chapter has been updated by adding a link to 'NRPF Connect' and updating links to 'NRPF Practice Guidance' (which provides to a range of specific guidance).

In addition, a separate link has been made to update the previous specific guidance which is now: 'NRPF Practice Guidance: Assessing and Supporting Children and Families with No Recourse to Public Funds (2017)'. (See Relevant Guidance).
Placement with Connected Persons Section 3, Approval of Immediate Placements of Looked After Children with Connected Persons, has been updated to include matters that should be considered when placing a child with a Connected Person should include an initial risk assessment of any pets, together with the environment in which the pet is kept.
Placement with Parents Section 3.1, Assessment of the Parents Suitability to Care for the Child, has been updated to include consideration should be given as to whether the home environment is safe for the child including where relevant, the need for a risk assessment of any pets and the environment in which they are kept.
Placements in Secure Accommodation on Welfare Grounds

This chapter has been extensively amended and now includes new/enhanced sections on 'Applications for Secure Accommodation'; 'Children to Whom Section 25 Applies', (including the issues of children aged 16 years and Section 20 Accommodation); 'Placements for Children aged under 13 years' and 'Support, Monitoring and Ending of Placements' etc. The chapter has also been re-titled to reflect its (original) content and purpose (that of applications for children on 'welfare grounds'), thereby distinguishing it from the 'Remands to Local Authority Accommodation, etc' (LASPO Act 2012).

Note also Secure Accommodation -  Placements in Scotland: Schedule 1, Children and Social Work Act 2017, with immediate effect, now enables local authorities to make placements in Secure accommodation under Section 25 (Children Act 1989) (see Section 7.1, Placement Request, Identification and Approval).
Child Trust Funds and Junior Individual Savings Accounts (ISA's) for Looked After Children This chapter has been updated to reflect the maximum amount that can be saved is £4,128 in a Junior ISA (see Section 4.4, Who can Pay Money into Junior ISA's?).
Looked After Reviews This chapter has been amended to note The Law Society guidance 'Attendance of solicitors at local authority Children Act Meetings' and their Code of Conduct where the child or family who attend reviews are supported by a legal representative (see Section 8, Independent Reviewing Officer's Responsibilities).
Appointment and Role of the Independent Reviewing Officers Procedure This chapter has been updated in relation to the role of the Independent Reviewing Officer in line with the 'Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations - Volume 2: Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (2015)'. (Chapter 2 'Care Planning: The role of the IRO in improved care planning'). In particular, the IRO being sensitive to the close and active involvement of parents of a child looked after in a series of Short Breaks and problem-solving where there might be difficulties or issues. Additionally, Lambeth guidance has been added: Lambeth Protocol for liaison between Independent Reviewing Officers & Legal Services and Lambeth Independent Reviewing Officers / IRT Practice Standards. (See Related Guidance).
Assessment and Approval of Agency Prospective Adopters Section 5.3, Assessment has been updated to include where the applicants have pets, a risk assessment should be conducted and any associated risks should be taken into account with regard to the pet itself and where the pet is kept. Where necessary, an independent assessment should be undertaken by a vet to establish whether the dog falls within the scope of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. The chapter has also been updated throughput to bring it up-date with relevant links, terminology, etc.
Inter Country Adoption

This chapter has been significantly updated to reflect GOV.UK Child adoption – Adopting a child from overseas. In Section 3, Initial Meeting, the DfE have published Intercountry Adoption and Resident Status Requirements which set out the minimum requirements. However, entry clearance requirements vary depending upon the circumstances of each case and prospective adopters will need to obtain their own independent legal advice to establish the requirements that apply to their individual circumstances.

In Section 4, Formal Approval, a link has been added to Intercountry adoption: means test form which contains information on how to apply for a fee reduction for people who wish to adopt a child from overseas and who earn £45,000 per year or less.

In Section 12, After Approval, information has been added on the Intercountry Adoption Forms: checklist for adoption which details the paperwork adoption agencies must include in the intercountry adoption applications they submit to DfE.
Health and Looked After Children This chapter has been updated in June 2017 by adding a link to 'Nice Guideline (NG26) Children's Attachment'. This guideline covers the identification, assessment and treatment of attachment difficulties in children and young people up to age 18 who are adopted from care, in special guardianship, looked after by local authorities in foster homes (including kinship foster care), residential settings and other accommodation, or on the edge of care. It aims to address the many emotional and psychological needs of children and young people in these situations, including those resulting from maltreatment. (See Relevant Guidance).
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Missing from Home and Care Protocol

This chapter fully explores the issues around children who go missing or are absent and describes in some details the process and protocols across this essentially multi-agency area of concern. The chapter recognises that there will be situations when absence is a part of 'testing boundaries' and adolescent behaviour generally, but in others, it represents a serious concern. In some instances, children can be sexually abused or trafficked – including exposure to Modern Slavery. It is key, therefore, that the full circumstances are known and that evaluated and carefully balanced decisions are made in each circumstance.

The chapter contains relevant tools to support the practitioner in undertaking their safeguarding role and includes a return home interview template.

This chapter is replicated at 3.7.1 in the contents list.

Lambeth Children's Social Care Child Sexual Exploitation Protocol This chapter details a range of issues around sexual exploitation and contains the update definition of 'sexual exploitation' in an amended Working Together, (see Appendix 1: Definition of Child Sexual Exploitation) and DfE guidance, to which there is a link. The chapter contains a range of relevant tools, including Assessing Level of Risk of Child Sexual and the Exploitation and CSE Risk Matrix Tool, together with information around a range of local Lambeth resources. (see Appendices).
Pre-Birth Assessment Practice Guidance This chapter establishes key timescales and expectations with respect to children where there are concerns for the unborn child, and within this, seeks to highlight circumstances that might indicate risk and therefore require assessment. The chapter recognises that within this, there are a number of potential issues that might require aspects of contingent planning and more urgent action. The chapter reflects the need that concerns around pre-birth situations require a multi-agency approach.
Supporting Children and Young People Vulnerable to Violent Extremism

This chapter is based on and summarises the document 'Prevent and Safeguarding Guidance: Supporting Individuals Vulnerable to Violent Extremism', which has been issued by the National Police Chief's Council.

The guidance provides advice on how to manage and respond to concerns of children and young people identified as being vulnerable to and affected by the radicalisation of others.

All schools and child care providers must have regard to the statutory guidance issued under Section 29 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015. The following link (Educate Against Hate website) gives parents, teachers and school leaders practical advice on protecting children from extremism and radicalisation.
Long Term Fostering Guidance and Process

This chapter details the process and procedure for placing children in long-term fostering placements - recognising that placements providing permanence for children is a key policy and long-term foster placements remain important for a number of children for whom the traditional permanent placements may not be appropriate.

It updates a previous and similar chapter.
Dispute Resolution Protocol

This chapter has been fully reviewed and revised and provides a more focussed guidance with regard to the Dispute Resolution process.

This chapter details responsibilities of the IRO with respect to addressing deficits perceived in the care planning process for the child and the actions that are required in addressing these concerns. The chapter identifies a five stage process, but in the anticipation that any issues will be resolved at the earliest stage possible. It also contains some useful examples, a process flow chart and a Practice Alert Form.
Applications for Special Guardianship Orders This chapter highlights and details a range of issues around applications for Special Guardianship, including who may apply; Parental Responsibility; Planning Meeting and a range of, matters around the Special; Guardianship support plan. Links to the DfE Special Guardianship Guidance (2017) and the Adoption Support Fund are included.
Relinquished Baby

The term 'relinquished baby' is used to describe a baby, or at pre-birth stage, whose parents are making the choice of adoption for the child.

This chapter deals with the first stages of the adoption process for relinquished children, whilst signposting other key processes that should be progressed and which are expected for any child who is Accommodated or where the plan is for adoption. It also summarises the counselling and support that will be made available to the birth family in these circumstances. Once a decision is made and consent is formally given, although not irreversible, the adoption process is as for any other child. The chapter replaces a previous protocol.
Social Visits (Including Overnight Stays) This policy and procedure applies to Looked After Children placed in foster homes in relation to social visits and where overnight stays with friends are planned. The chapter replaces a similarly named chapter but focuses on the social contacts Looked After Children have that promote them 'being treated as any other child' and acknowledges the issue of parental consent.
Children's Consultation and Participation

Working Together states clearly that one of the key principles underpinning safeguarding should be: "a child-centred approach: for services to be effective they should be based on a clear understanding of the needs and views of children."

It is essential therefore that children and young people are enabled by professionals to participate in matters that affect them, particularly any plans or arrangements that will affect them and/or their family and are consulted with regard to processes designed to improve services both to them individually and more generally.
Removed Chapters
  • Statutory Guidance on Children who Run Away and Go Missing from Home or Care (DfE).