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W3C Compliance


January 2018

Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Life Story Work This chapter has been updated to acknowledge that all children with a plan for adoption must have a Life Story Book, (Children and Families Act 2014). (See Section 1, What is a Life Story Work Book?).

November 2017

Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Social Care Children With Disabilities Team This chapter describes the role of the Children With Disabilities Team and includes criteria for its services and its roles with other Children’s Social Care Teams including the transfer of case responsibility arrangements. This chapter has been added to the manual and replaces a similar previous chapter. Please re-reference.
Private Fostering This chapter has been amended to add clarity to the definition of private fostering with regards to the legislation and children under 16 who spend more than 2 weeks in residence during holiday time in a school and to ensure the chapter reflects the Children’s Social Care line-management structure.
Merton Safeguarding Children Board: Guidance for Working with Children and Young People who are Vulnerable to the Messages of Radicalisation and Extremism This chapter has been updated – linking to the Merton LSCB. Please re-reference.
Mental Health and Self Harm This chapter has been reviewed and updated to add a new section and link to the Merton Safeguarding Children Board Self-Harm Protocol. Please re-reference.
Merton Safeguarding Children Board: Online Safety Strategy – Supporting Merton’s Young People to Stay Safe Online The Merton Online and e-safety chapter has been comprehensively updated and re-drafted. Please re-reference.
Death or Serious Injury to a Child (Including Looked After and Child in Need) This chapter has been updated in line with the requirement to notify Ofsted of any serious childcare incident using the Ofsted Notification Form for Serious Childcare Incidents. Please re-reference if required.
Care Planning for Looked After Children This chapter has been amended to reflect the outcome of an Appeal Court hearing (2017) with respect to ‘consent’. The court recognised that the term ‘consent’ itself was not used in Section 20. However, it described previous court observations as ‘good practice guidance’, emphasising its judgment should not alter the content or effect of these (see Section 5.1, Duty to Provide Section 20 Accommodation when Consent Cannot be Obtained).
Remands to Local Authority Accommodation or to Youth Detention Accommodation This chapter has been reviewed and updated to amend Appendix 2: YOT and Children’s Social Care Practitioner Responsibility Flowchart - Remand and ensure that the processes reflect the current structure. Also to note that a post-release meeting will be held within 5 working days after the young person has been released. This meeting will also occur for any unexpected release from remand to YDA, (see Section 6, Care Planning for People on Remand).
Placement with Connected Persons Foster Carers Section 3, Approval of Immediate Placements of Looked After Children with Connected Persons was 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.
Placements with Parents Section 1.2, Assessment and Checks before Placement 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, and so other avenues can be explored. Additionally, Section 1.2, Assessment and Checks before Placement has also 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.
Dispute Resolution Process for Independent Reviewing Officers This chapter has been amended and now links to the Dispute Resolution Protocol for consistency, whilst retaining the key principles and legal issues for Iron.
Children’s Quality and Practice Development: Dispute Resolution Protocol This chapter has been reviewed and updated to reflect the current protocol which has been comprehensively revised and simplified into a four stage process. The chapter now also reflects the Department’s and Council’s structure in terms of roles and responsibilities.
Change of Name of a Looked After Child This chapter has been extensively updated following a review of the information, in order to focus on the key issues around a Looked After Child changing their name.
Supervision and Support of Foster Carers Section 5, Support Provided by the Supervising Social Worker (During Placement) has been updated to reflect the Safer Caring Plan: any changes in household circumstances along with any health and safety issues including the addition of any new pets and the environment in which they are kept should be reviewed as required.
Assessment and Approval of Prospective Adopters Section 5.3, Assessments has been updated to include that 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. Note also Links to First4Adoption and Adoption Match replace the National Gateway and National Register.
Scheme of Delegation This chapter has been updated.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Merton Well Being Model This is a new document that visually describes through four colours the threshold for levels of service, from a ‘Prevention Response’ through to ‘Acute or Intensive Response’. Please reference.
Joint Working Protocol for Youth Justice and Other Teams in Children’s Social Care The purpose of this protocol is to clarify the working arrangements between the Youth Justice Team (YJT), (who act as the local Youth Offending Team), and other teams in the Children’s Social Care & Youth Inclusion. The purpose is to deliver effective and efficient services through partnership to help prevent the likelihood of reoffending; to manage child protection issues and to promote safeguarding, and ensure a consistent approach to individual young people. The chapter contains Appendices which include useful flowcharts and the ‘Children Missing from Education Reporting Form’. Please reference.
Harmful Sexual Behaviour Protocol This chapter links to the Merton LSCB chapter and has been undertaken with the help of some pupils at Raynes Park High School. It includes a definition of harmful sexual behaviour; a continuum of children and young people’s sexual behaviours; responses to harmful sexual behaviour; an idea of shared categories of harm/exploitation and a helpful flowchart.
The chapter comprehensively updates a previous chapter dealing with these issues and has been re-titled. Please re-reference.
Holidays and School Trips In and Outside the UK This procedure applies to day trips and holidays within and outside the UK for all Looked After Children. Please reference.

Next Update: May 2018


2017 Amendments

2016 Amendments

2015 Amendments

2014 Amendments