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W3C Compliance

Amendments

May 2017

Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Single Assessment Guidance This chapter was reviewed and updated to reflect the terminology of Merton’s electronic recording system.
Children’s Disability Service This chapter was reviewed and amended to reflect the current organisational structure and decision-making.
Family and Friends Care Policy This chapter was reviewed and updated to reflect the decision-making and responsible leads for this policy. Temporary approval of a placement with a Connected and family and Friends placement is made by the Assistant Director, Children’s Social Care and Youth Inclusion.
Private Fostering This chapter was reviewed and amended to reflect the current organisational structure and decision-making. In addition, the notification of a Private Fostering placement is now initially screened by the MASH, before the being authorised by the appropriate team. (See Vulnerable Children's Team Private Fostering Referral Process). The chapter also contains a link to Merton’s Private Fostering Statement of Purpose.
Policy and Practice Guidance in Respect of No Recourse to Public Funds Cases This chapter was reviewed and updated to reflect the terminology of Merton’s electronic recording system.
Joint Protocol for the Assessment of Housing and Support Needs of Homeless 16 and 17 Year Olds This chapter was reviewed and amended to reflect the current organisational structure and decision-making.
Teenage Pregnancy

This chapter was significantly updated throughout to add two new sections, Parenthood (Mothers aged under 16) and Parenthood (Mothers aged over 16), as well as links to: ‘London Borough of Merton Referral Pathway for Pregnant Teenagers and Teenage Parents Aged 19 and Under’; ‘Supporting Pregnant Teenagers and Young Parents in Education – Guidance for Education Settings’ and ‘Getting It On’, (see Relevant Links).

The NICE, Clinical Guidance, 'Post natal care up to 8 weeks after birth (January 2017)' has been updated and now reflects the updated guidance and provides recommendations on: care planning and delivery; maternal health; infant feeding and maintaining infant health. Please re-reference.
Mental Health and Self Harm This chapter was reviewed and updated to reflect the current organisational structure and decision-making. A link was also added to ‘DfE, Mental health and behaviour in schools – Departmental advice for school staff, (2016)’. (See Related Guidance).
Death or Serious Injury to a Child (Including Looked After and Child In Need) This chapter was reviewed and amended to reflect the current organisational structure and decision-making. Please re-reference.
Care Planning for Looked After Children This chapter was reviewed and amended to reflect the current organisational structure and decision-making. Please re-reference.
Public Law Outline Guidance for Practitioners This chapter was reviewed and amended to reflect the current organisational structure and decision-making. Please re-reference.
Permanence Planning Guidance This chapter was reviewed and amended to reflect the current organisational structure and decision-making. Please re-reference.
Legal Planning Meetings This chapter was updated by adding a link to the Legal Planning Meeting Referral Form. (See Appendix). Note – the Referral Form is directly available in the Documents Library.
Remands to Local Authority Accommodation or to Youth Detention Accommodation This chapter was reviewed and amended to reflect the current organisational structure and decision-making. Please re-reference.
Disruption Meetings This chapter was reviewed and amended to reflect the current organisational structure and decision-making. Please re-reference.
Placements in Foster Care This chapter was reviewed and amended to reflect the organisational structure of the Department and revised process in identifying placements through the Access to Resources Team. Please re-reference.
Placements in Residential Care This chapter was reviewed and amended to reflect the current organisational structure and decision-making.
Out of Area Placements This chapter was reviewed and updated to reflect the current organisational structure and decision-making and includes guidance relating to Senior Management approval when requesting an Out of Borough placement. (See Related Guidance).
Placement with Connected Persons Foster Carers This chapter was reviewed and updated to reflect the terminology of Merton’s electronic recording system.
Secure Accommodation: Policy and Practice Guidance This chapter was amended to add a note in respect of 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 Sect 25 (Children Act 1989). (See Section 1, Overview).
Placements with Parents This chapter was reviewed and amended to reflect the current organisational structure and decision-making within the Department and to reflect the updated terminology of Merton’s electronic recording system.
Placements Outside England and Wales This chapter was reviewed and amended to reflect the current organisational structure and decision-making within the Department and to reflect the updated terminology of Merton’s electronic recording system.
Notifications from Other Local Authorities This chapter was reviewed and updated to reflect the current organisational structure and decision-making within the Department and to reflect the updated terminology of Merton’s electronic recording system.
Social Worker Visits to Looked After Children This chapter was reviewed and updated to reflect the current organisational structure and decision-making within the Department and to reflect the updated terminology of Merton’s electronic recording system.
Advocacy and Independent Visitors This chapter was reviewed and updated throughout to reflect the current organisational structure and decision-making.
Looked After Reviews This chapter was reviewed and updated to reflect the current organisational structure and decision-making within the Department and to reflect the updated terminology of Merton’s electronic recording system.
Appointment and Role of Independent Reviewing Officers This chapter was 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, June 2015'. 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. In addition, the role and responsibilities of the IRO have been revised and re-drafted, (see 'Role of the IRO in Relation to Children Subject to Care Proceedings'). Please re-reference.
Dispute Resolution Protocol This chapter was reviewed and updated to reflect the current organisational structure and decision-making within the Department and to reflect the updated terminology of Merton’s electronic recording system.
Secure Accommodation (Criteria) Reviews This chapter was reviewed and updated to reflect the current organisational structure and decision-making.
Education of Looked After Children This chapter was reviewed and updated to reflect the terminology of Merton’s electronic recording system.
LAC Health Care Assessments and Plans This chapter was reviewed and updated to update and provide enhanced information on the Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) - including guidance on the 4-band categorisation and completing the SDQ. (See Section Strength and Difficulty Questionnaires). The amendments also reflect the current organisational structure and decision-making within the Department and the updated terminology for Merton’s electronic recording system.
London Borough of Merton Guidance on Pocket Money and Savings Please note the Special guardianship guidance now links to the updated January 2017 version. Please also note that the maximum amount that can be paid into a Junior ISA is £4128 per annum.
Personal Care and Relationships Section 8, Sexual Exploitation was updated to add the change of definition in ‘DfE, Child Sexual Exploitation: Definition and Guide for Practitioners (February 2017)’. This guidance is non-statutory, and has been produced to help practitioners to identify child sexual exploitation and take appropriate action in response and includes advice on the management, disruption and prosecution of perpetrators.
Contact with Parents and Siblings This chapter was reviewed and updated to reflect the current organisational structure and decision-making.
Financial Arrangements for Care Leavers This chapter details the relevant allowances. Please re-reference.
Marriage of a Looked After Child This chapter was reviewed and updated to reflect the current organisational structure and decision-making.
Foster Carers’ Charter The Charter between Merton Council and its foster carers has been refreshed. Please re-reference as required.
Merton Standards of Care Procedures This chapter was reviewed and updated to reflect the current organisational structure and decision-making.
Persons Disqualified from Fostering This chapter was reviewed and updated and identifies the Assistant Director as the key senior manager and decision-maker with regard to persons identified as disqualified from fostering.
Assessments and Approvals of Foster Carers This chapter was updated to reflect the current organisational structure and decision-making within the Department and to reflect the updated terminology for Merton’s electronic recording system.
Exemptions and Extensions/Variations to Foster Carer Approval This chapter was reviewed and updated to reflect the current organisational structure and decision-making.
Review and Termination of Foster Carers This chapter was reviewed and updated to reflect the current organisational structure and decision-making.
Allegations Against Foster Carers This chapter was reviewed and updated to reflect the current organisational structure and decision-making.
Adoption, Fostering and Permanence Panel This chapter was reviewed and updated to reflect the current organisational structure and decision-making.
Placement Requests: Access to Resources Making LAC Placements with ART This chapter was updated to reflect the current organisational structure and decision-making within the Department and to reflect the updated terminology for Merton’s electronic recording system. There is emphasis also that where children are placed in residential care, the relevant documentation has been received from the provider before the placement is made (see Residential Care Options).
Assessment and Approval of Prospective Adopters This chapter was reviewed and updated to reflect the current organisational structure and decision-making.
Adoption Support This chapter was reviewed and updated to reflect the current organisational structure and decision-making.
Allegations Against Prospective Adopters and in Relation to Children Placed for Adoption or Already Adopted This chapter was reviewed and updated to reflect the current organisational structure and decision-making.
Special Guardianship Orders Please note the Special guardianship statutory guidance now links to the updated January 2017 version.
Court Reports in Adoption, Placement and Special Guardianship Order Applications: Guidance This chapter was reviewed and updated to reflect the current organisational structure and decision-making.
Placing Relinquished Babies and Children for Adoption This chapter was amended to reflect that consideration must be given to a Fostering to Adopt placement by the Access to Resource Team when considering placements, (see Actions for Allocated Social Worker), and the outcome of discussions with any family members must be put on the child’s record, (see section Prior to Birth).
Case File Transfer Protocol This chapter was reviewed and updated to reflect the current organisational structure and decision-making within the Department and to reflect the updated terminology for Merton’s electronic recording system.
Case Recording Practitioner Guidance This chapter was reviewed and updated to reflect the current organisational structure and decision-making within the Department and to reflect the updated terminology for Merton’s electronic recording system, etc.
Access to Records This chapter was reviewed and amended to reflect the terminology for Merton’s electronic recording system.
Access to Birth Records and Adoption Case Records This chapter was reviewed and amended to reflect the current organisational structure and decision-making.
Confidentiality Policy This chapter was reviewed and updated to reflect the current organisational structure and decision-making within the Department and to reflect the updated terminology for Merton’s electronic recording system, etc.
Scheme of Delegation This chapter has been updated to reflect the current organisational structure. Please re-reference.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Merton Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) A link was added to the Merton Intranet. Please reference.
Children Subject to Child Protection Plans Who Become Looked After Children - Process Flowchart This short flow chart describes key processes and tasks for children who are subject to Child Protection Plans who then become Looked After – therefore having two Plans.
Transport for Students with a Special Educational Need or Disability This chapter describes transport policies and practice for children with special educational needs and disabilities in Merton and contains links to two documents for pupils of statutory school age and those over school age. The documents highlight: key principles; the legal duties of the Local Authority; eligibility criteria; how the travel assistance will be provided, and, in respect of pupils over 16 years, grants and allowances together with ‘Independent Travel Training’ that may be available. Please read.
Substance Misuse This short chapter highlights Merton Council’s commitment to supporting families, children and young people to prevent and manage risk in relation to drug and alcohol use. It identifies the considerable additional risks – particularly for young people – provides a number of relevant links together with some alternative strategies to the ‘scare tactics’ which are the least helpful way of changing hearts and minds.
Residential Placements Contracts Monitoring This chapter describes the responsibilities of the Access to Resource team functions to ensure contract compliance and that the placement is meeting the needs of each child. The chapter highlights the methods by which the monitoring of the placement is undertaken – which is also an integral role of the child’s social worker, particularly around safeguarding and meeting the child’s needs.
Procedure Regarding Reviews for Children Looked After (CLA) and Schedule of Social Work Visits This chapter reflects the DfE’s guidance in Permanence, long term placements and ceasing to look after a child – 'Statutory guidance for local authorities, (March 2015)', which is now part of the 'DfE, The Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations – Volume 2: care planning, placement and case review, (2015)'. The guidance recognises that where children are in agreed long-term placements to their 18th birthday, there should be a sensitivity to them being treated ‘like every other child’, with a less intrusive style of monitoring by social care. This chapter seeks to provide a framework for practitioners to achieve this safely, whilst continuing to offer children/young people, and their placements, appropriate levels of support.
Updated Terminology

Keyword:

Child Sexual Exploitation

Please note new keyword and reference as required. Please reference.
Removed Chapters
  • Young People’s Participation, Reward and Recognition.
  • Initial Contacts and Referrals.
  • MASH Management Polices and Procedure.

Next Update: November 2017


Archive

2016 Amendments

2015 Amendments

2014 Amendments

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