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4.12 Children in Need Moving In and Out of Wirral

Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Children in Need who move into Wirral
  3. Children in need who move out of Wirral
  4. Action to be taken in cases where there is a Dispute or Delay in Case Transfer


1. Introduction

The Laming Report highlighted the need for the transfer of information between authorities when a 'vulnerable' child is moving, even temporarily, into another authority's boundary.

This procedure outlines the steps that need to be taken when a child in need moves into or out of Wirral. This compliments existing procedures regarding the movement of children who are subject to a Child Protection Plan or who are Looked After.


2. Children in Need who move into Wirral

Any person working with a child or family who receives information which indicates that a child who is known to Children's Specialist Services of another authority has moved to Wirral, whether on a permanent or temporary basis, should take the following action:

  • Contact Children's Specialist Services IFD
  • IFD undertake a service user trace to ascertain if the child has been known to Wirral Children's Specialist Services previously or have already been contacted by the other Authority
  • Bring the contact to the attention of the appropriate District Team Manager
  • The District Team Manager will telephone the relevant social work office in the child's previous authority and discuss the case in order to determine whether any immediate action is necessary. This will include a Social Work Assessment of Needs and Strengths of the current situation and may involve gathering information directly from agencies holding information regarding the child
  • If, following this initial enquiry, there is any indication that the child is at immediate risk of Significant Harm, Child Protection Procedures should be invoked in line with the procedures for Managing Individual Cases Where There are Concerns about a Child's Safety and Welfare.
  • If  the initial enquiry indicates no immediate risk, the District Team Manager will request that the previous authority provide a case transfer summary. This request should be confirmed in writing to the previous authority within 2 working days and should state that the contact will not be accepted as a Referral until this information is received
  • If the previous authority does not provide written information about the child within 2 working days, a further letter should be sent from the Strategic Service Manager to the previous authority, requesting that the information is supplied immediately.  If the information is not sent, a Social Work Assessment of Needs and Strengths should be carried out within 7 days of the initial contact being received by IFD to establish whether services are required.
  • Agreement should be sought from the family regarding the contact and provision of information. Where agreement cannot be reached and there are past or current child protection concerns, a Referral must be made using the Contacts and Referrals Procedure. If further advice is required it can be obtained from legal services 
  • On receipt of the case transfer summary the District Team Manager will discuss the case with the relevant Team Manager in the previous authority and consider whether the contact should be converted into a Referral and any further action to be taken, if necessary.
  • A letter acknowledging receipt of the transfer summary; and informing the previous local authority of the decision regarding any further action should be sent within 5 working days of receipt.
  • The previous authority is responsible for convening a Child In Need meeting or conference discussion involving both authorities
  • If the case warrants allocation to a Wirral social worker, it is good practice to arrange a transfer meeting with social work staff from the previous authority and keep the child and family informed of the progress of case transfer.


3. Children in need who move out of Wirral

When it is known that a Child In Need who is an active case is to move, or has moved, to another local authority, the child's allocated social worker must:

  • Inform their Practice Manager/ Team Manager
  • Inform the other local authority of the move. Practice Manager/ Team Manager to ensure this information is confirmed in writing within 2 working days
  • Provide a written case transfer summary within 5 working days and request that written acknowledgement, including the decision regarding any further action, is provided by the other authority. The case Transfer Summary must be approved and signed off by the Practice Manager/ Team Manager
  • The child must remain as an active case and allocated to a Social Worker until written notification from the other local authority confirms in writing that they are accepting case responsibility for the child
  • If case responsibility is accepted by the other local authority it is good practice to arrange a transfer meeting with social work staff from the other authority and keep the child and family informed of the progress of case transfer


4. Action to be taken in cases where there is a Dispute or Delay in Case Transfer

  • Where there is a dispute about case responsibility or delay in the receiving authority accepting responsibility for the case, the Practice Manager/ Team Manager should inform their District Manager
  • The District Manager should immediately contact the receiving authority to reach agreement about case responsibility
  • If agreement has not been reached within 10 days of the child's move, the Head of Branch will contact the receiving Local Authority to reach agreement about case responsibility

End