1.10 Cross Boundary Movement of Children with Child Protection Plans Including Moving Abroad
AMENDMENTIn October 2019, minor amendments were made in relation to local practice/terminology.
1. Actions to be taken in the Child's Originating Area
Where a Child subject to a Child Protection Plan moves permanently out of Sheffield, anyone who becomes aware of the plan to move or the move taking place, must inform the child's Lead Social Worker or, if not available, the Lead Social Worker's line manager. The responsibility for a child subject to a Child Protection Plan remains with Sheffield SCSP until the receiving authority's transfer CP Conference has taken place.
The Lead Social Worker will:
- Immediately inform Children's Social Care in the new area of the change in the child's circumstances;
- Send the child's relevant personal details to the new area including a copy of the most recent Child Protection Plan;
- Inform the 'home' Designated Manager (Children subject to a Child Protection Plan) of the changes;
- Inform the Core Group of the change in circumstances;
- Attend any Initial Child Protection Conference in the new area.
The Designated Manager (Children subject to a Child Protection Plan) will:
- Ensure that all information is updated and the correct address is displayed on the List of Children subject to a Child Protection Plan;
- Inform the new area's Designated Manager (Children subject to a Child Protection Plan) of the current details and forward any relevant documentation such as copies of minutes of the Initial Child Protection Conference and the most recent Review Conference;
- Inform the local Designated Nurse of the relevant information in order for the health agencies in the new area to be informed.
A transfer Child Protection Conference should be convened by the receiving authority within fifteen working days of notification of a child subject to a Child Protection Plan elsewhere having moved permanently to its area.
Only when the new area has made a decision whether the child is to become subject to a Child Protection Plan or not should the child's details be removed from the List of Children who have a Child Protection Plan in the original area.
The date that the child's name is removed from the List in the original area will therefore be the date of the Initial Child Protection Conference in the new area when the decision is made.
2. Actions to be taken when a Child is Transferred to Sheffield
At the point of notification, the Designated Manager (Children subject to a Child Protection Plan) or their nominated representative will be expected to:
- Place the child's name, address and relevant known personal details on the List of Children with a Child Protection Plan;
- Request information from the originating Local Authority, including copies of the Initial Child Protection Conference and the last Review Conference minutes from the originating area;
- Inform the relevant Children's Social Care team of the details of the incoming child;
- Inform the Designated Nurse;
- Make arrangements to hold an Initial Child Protection Conference within 15 working days of the notification of the child moving in;
- Request representation from the originating local authority's Children's Social Care to attend the conference to ensure that up to date and accurate information is shared and discussed;
- Confirm the outcome of the Initial Child Protection Conference with the originating local authority's Designated Manager (Children subject to a Child Protection Plan) and forward a copy of the Conference record for their files.
The relevant Children's Social Care team will:
- Undertake enquiries to ensure that protective action is taken in order to safeguard the child in the new area until the Initial Child Protection Conference has taken place;
- Undertake an assessment to determine whether the child is still likely to suffer Significant Harm in Sheffield and work with the child and family to prepare for the Initial Child Protection Conference;
- Invite the Lead Social Worker and other relevant Core Group members from the previous local authority to the transfer-in conference.
Following the transfer-in conference within the authority, the Sheffield Safeguarding Children Service should inform in writing counterparts in the previous authority of the decisions made by conference.
3. Temporary Moves
A temporary move could cover a range of situations from holiday stays to short stay placement moves to relatives or residential units; the circumstances should always be checked with the child's Lead Social Worker.
Where it is known that the child has moved out of the area for a temporary period, however long or short, the area where the child is temporarily residing must be provided with the relevant information and contact numbers as follows:
- The Lead Social Worker must contact the Designated Manager (Children subject to a Child Protection Plan) and the Children's Social Care team where the child is temporarily resident, providing them with the relevant personal details and the last Child Protection Plan;
- The 'home' Designated Manager (Children subject to a Child Protection Plan) must write to the Designated Manager (Children subject to a Child Protection Plan) in the area of the temporary residence and include any relevant information.
The child 's name and details will remain on the List of Children subject to Child Protection Plans in the permanent home area until the criteria for discontinuing the Child Protection Plan are met.
4. Children on Child Protection Plans who Move Abroad
Local agencies and professionals should bear in mind when working with children and families where there are outstanding concerns about the children's safety and welfare (including where the concerns are about an unborn child who may be at future risk of Significant Harm), that a series of missed appointments may indicate that the family has moved out of the area or overseas. Children's social care and the police should be informed immediately when such concerns arise.
Where a child subject of a Child Protection Plan moves abroad whether planned or unplanned the Lead Social Worker and Conference Chair should reconvene a Review Conference to determine what action to take. Appropriate steps should be taken to inform the relevant local and overseas authorities in the country to which the child has moved of any concerns.
Consideration needs to be given to appropriate legal interventions, where it appears that a child, who has outstanding child protection concerns about their safety and welfare, may be removed from the UK by his/her family in order to avoid the involvement of agencies with safeguarding responsibilities. This also applies when a child, who is subject to a care order, has been removed from the UK. Children's Social Care, the Police and the Child Abduction Unit at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office should be informed immediately.In the case of children taken overseas it may be appropriate to contact the Consular Directorate at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office which offers assistance to British nationals in distress overseas (020 7008 1500). They may be able to follow up a case through their consular post(s) in the country concerned.