Skip to main content
Caption: floating buttons
 
spacer_valid
View East Riding Safeguarding Children Partnership View East Riding Safeguarding Children Partnership
spacer_valid 2
View Working Together View Working Together
Caption: main heading
 

6.11.1 Permanency Panel

Please see relevant section of Forms Library to access the required template.


Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Membership of the Permanency Panel
  3. Functions of the Permanency Panel
  4. Meetings of the Permanency Panel and Conduct of Business
  5. Presentation of Special Guardianship Cases to Panel
  6. Presentation of Child Arrangements Order Cases
  7. Presentation of other Cases for Advice


1. Introduction

The role of the Permanency Panel is to provide an independent perspective (informed by a broad range of expertise) and, to monitor and quality assure social work recommendations to a court considering an application for a Special Guardianship Order or Child Arrangements Order in respect of a child looked after by the Council.


2. Membership of the Permanency Panel

Members of the East Riding of Yorkshire Adoption Panel will also be members of the Permanency Panel. They will be appointed to the panel at the same time as being appointed to the Adoption Panel, and on the same terms and conditions.

The Chair and Vice Chair of the Adoption Panel will also act as Chair and Vice Chair of the Permanency Panel.


3. Functions of the Permanency Panel

The Permanency Panel will undertake the following business:

  • Receive reports summarising the investigations made for the court into applications to become a Special Guardian to a child or young person looked after by the Council, and recommend to the Head of Children's Social Care whether the application should be supported;
  • Provide advice and guidance in respect of the provision of Special Guardianship Support Services, including financial assistance paid as a regular allowance;
  • Receive reports in respect of cases where a statutory review has endorsed a Care Plan of supporting a Child Arrangements Order application in respect of a looked after child, and recommend to the Head of Children's Social Care whether the application should be supported;
  • Provide advice and guidance in respect of the provision of Child Arrangements Order Allowances;
  • Provide advice and guidance in respect of the appropriate permanence option for any looked after child referred to it.


4. Meetings of the Permanency Panel and Conduct of Business

The Permanency Panel will meet at least monthly, and meetings will normally take place, separately from, but immediately after a meeting of the Adoption Panel. Notice of the meeting, the agenda and papers will be circulated along with the papers for the Adoption Panel meeting that immediately precedes it. Additional meetings may be held when necessary to ensure timely decision making for children, and these may take place on days when an Adoption Panel meeting is not scheduled.

The Permanency Panel must be quorate to conduct business. At least 5 members of the Panel must be present. Panel members must include:

  • The Chair or Vice Chair
  • At least one of the Social Workers employed by East Riding of Yorkshire Council.
  • At least one independent panel member.

Meetings of the Permanency Panel will also be attended by:

  • The Children's Trust Manager (Strategic and Operational)
  • The Adoption Team Manager
  • The Fostering Team Manager
  • A solicitor from legal services
  • Any other person the panel considers might assist them in making a recommendation,

Individuals with a bona fide learning need may be permitted, at the discretion of the panel chair, to attend a Permanency Panel meeting as an observer. However, no more than two observers should be present at any particular meeting, and each observer must sign a confidentiality undertaking. Whenever practicable the agreement of those prospective applicants whose cases are under discussion will be sought.

All prospective applicants for a Special Guardianship or Child Arrangements Order will be given the opportunity to attend, and address the panel meeting at which their application is being considered. They may provide verbal or written information in support of their application, which they consider appropriate. Panel members may seek clarification from them with regard to any aspect of their application or circumstances relevant to deciding whether to support the application. Applicants will not remain present whilst panel members discuss their recommendation.

The Permanency Panel Chair will endeavour to encourage panel members to reach consensus recommendations. If after a full discussion, all members of the panel are not in agreement, the recommendation will reflect the view of the majority of panel members. Where the views of panel members are evenly divided the chair will not hold a casting vote and a positive recommendation will not be made. All dissent from a recommendation made by the majority will be noted in the minutes with reservations.

Panel members must declare any personal knowledge of any child or prospective applicant, including members of their wider families; or professional involvement in any case to be considered by a meeting of the Permanency Panel at the outset of the meeting. The Panel Chair will then decide whether it is appropriate for the panel member to contribute to the discussion or withdraw from the panel whilst the case is being considered.

A written record of the proceedings of the Permanency Panel, including panel recommendations, reasons for recommendations and any advice given in respect of individual cases, will be made. Minutes will be taken by the panel administrator. Copies of the minutes will be circulated to all panel members with the papers for the next adoption panel. A full copy of the minutes will also be sent to the Head of Children's Social Care and the Adoption and Fostering Team Managers.

The Head of Children's Social Care will make a decision whether to support any application to the court for a Special Guardianship Order or Child Arrangements Order, taking account of the recommendations of the Permanency Panel. The applicant will be notified in writing of the decision, and will have the right to make representations to the Head of Children's Social Care, who will consider whether to refer the matter back to the Permanency Panel. The Head of Children's Social Care will make a final decision taking account of any representations made by the applicant, and any further recommendations of the Permanency Panel.


5. Presentation of Special Guardianship Cases to Panel

When a notification of intention to apply for a special guardianship order is received in respect of a looked after child, the Fostering Team Manager will alert the panel administrator that the case will need to be provisionally tabled for consideration by the Permanency Panel within 3 months of the date of receipt of the notification.

The Panel Administrator will notify the child's social worker and the designated fostering social worker by e-mail of the provisional date of the panel meeting and the deadline for submission of reports.

The designated fostering social worker completes the Special Guardianship Report for the Permanency Panel and forwards this to the Fostering Team Manager, along with:

  • Draft Court report
  • Medical adviser's report on the child's health
  • Medical adviser's report on applicant(s)'s health
  • Copy of the report of the child's last statutory review.
  • Copy of the report of the applicant's last foster care review.
  • Copy of any draft special guardianship support plan

The Fostering Team Manager will check that all the required documents have been received and are in order, before forwarding to the panel administrator.

The panel administrator will e-mail the social worker and designated fostering social worker confirmation of the panel arrangements, and will send a written invitation to the prospective special guardian to attend the panel meeting.

The child's social worker and the designated fostering officer will attend the Permanency Panel to present the case. The panel will first discuss the case with the child's social worker and fostering social worker before inviting the prospective special guardian(s) to join the meeting. The applicants will be asked to leave following the discussion with them. The panel will then formally make their recommendation. The outcome can be that it is recommended that the application is supported, or is not supported, or that the matter should be deferred if panel members consider that there is a need for more information before making a recommendation. The panel may also give advice with regard to the provision of support to the applicants(s) and on matters of contact.

Following the panel discussion, the applicant(s) will be advised of the recommendations of the panel, and the Panel Chair will decide how this should be done.

Following the Permanency Panel the panel administrator will forward details of the panel's recommendations to the Head of Children's Social Care, who will make the final decision within 7 working days of the panel meeting, taking the recommendation of the panel into account. The panel administrator will arrange for written notification of the decision to be sent to the child's social worker and the fostering social worker.

The fostering social worker will notify the applicants of the decision, and this will be confirmed in writing.

The panel administrator will send a copy of the minute relating to the case, for retention on the relevant file, to the child's social worker and the fostering social worker.

Where the decision is not to support the special guardianship application, the applicants may make representations in writing to the Head of Children's Social Care within 14 days of being notified of the decision. The Head of Children's Social Care will decided whether:

  • The decision should be confirmed
  • The matter is referred back to the Permanency Panel
  • The decision should be reversed and the application supported.


6. Presentation of Child Arrangements Order Cases

Any proposal that involves a looked after child's foster carer, or a relative /friend of the child, applying for a Child Arrangements Order, must be considered at the child's statutory review, and then presented to the Permanency Panel. The panel will consider whether the application should be supported, including the provision of financial support.

In the event that a Child Arrangements Order application is made prior to the case being considered at the child's statutory review, the child's social worker should not delay contacting the Fostering Team Manager and the Panel Administrator.

In the case of an applicant who is not already a registered foster carer, the Fostering Team Manager will discuss with the relevant Safeguarding Team Manager what level of assessment of the applicants is required, and who should undertake this.

The Panel Administrator will notify the child's social worker and the designated fostering social worker by e-mail of the provisional date of the panel meeting and the deadline for submission of reports.

Within two months of a statutory review recommending a Care Plan involving a Child Arrangements Order Application, the child's social worker/designated fostering social worker should prepare and forward to the Fostering Team Manager:

  • A discharge from care report
  • Updated Form F assessment report on carer (or equivalent assessment report)
  • Child's CiN Single Assessment (updated if necessary)
  • Copy of the report of the child's last statutory review.
  • Copy of the report of the applicant's last foster care review (where relevant).

The Fostering Team Manager will check that all the required documents have been received and are in order, before forwarding to the panel administrator, and requesting that the case be tabled for consideration by the panel.

The panel administrator will e-mail the social worker and designated fostering social worker confirmation of the panel arrangements, and will send a written invitation to the prospective holder of the Child Arrangements Order to attend the panel meeting.

The child's social worker and the designated fostering officer will attend the Permanency Panel to present the case. The panel will first discuss the case with the child's social worker and fostering social worker before inviting the applicants to join the meeting. The applicants will be asked to leave following the discussion with them. The panel will then formally make their recommendation. The outcome can be that it is recommended that the application is supported, or is not supported, or that the matter should be deferred if panel members consider that there is a need for more information before making a recommendation. The panel may also give advice with regard to the provision of support to the applicants(s) and on matters of contact.

Following the panel discussion, the applicant(s) will be advised of the recommendations of the panel, and the Panel Chair will decide how this should be done.

Following the Permanency Panel, the panel administrator will forward details of the panel's recommendations to the Head of Children's Social Care, who will make the final decision within 7 working days of the panel meeting, taking the recommendation of the panel into account. The panel administrator will arrange for written notification of the decision to be sent to the child's social worker and the fostering social worker.

The fostering social worker will notify the applicants of the decision, and this will be confirmed in writing.

The panel administrator will send a copy of the minute relating to the case, for retention on the relevant file, to the child's social worker and the fostering social worker.

Where the decision is not to support the Child Arrangements Order application, the applicants may make representations in writing to the Head of Children's Social Care within 14 days of being notified of the decision. The Head of Children's Social Care will decided whether:

  • The decision should be confirmed;
  • The matter is referred back to the Permanency Panel;
  • The decision should be reversed and the application supported.


7. Presentation of other Cases for Advice

The Foster Panel, the Fostering and Adoption Team Managers or a Children's Independent and Safeguarding Reviewing Officer may refer any case involving a permanency plan for consideration by the Permanency Panel when there is any doubt or concern regarding the appropriateness of the permanence plan for a particular child.

The CISRO should make their request in writing to the Fostering or Adoption Team Leader, stating the reasons for the referral and enclosing a copy of the last statutory review record.

When a case is to be referred to the Permanency Panel for advice, the Fostering or Adoption Team Manager will consider what supporting paperwork will be required by the panel, and will arrange for the panel administrator to circulate this prior to the meeting. Panel papers should include, when available and relevant:

  • Care Plan for the child;
  • Child's last statutory review record;
  • Child's Permanence Report or other report providing background information;
  • CoramBAAF form F or other background report in respect of any proposed permanent carer;
  • Last foster carer review record in respect of any proposed permanent carer.

The panel Administrator will notify the child's social worker and any worker for a proposed permanent carer by e-mail of the provisional date of the panel meeting, of the reports required and of the deadline for submission of reports.

The CISRO, Fostering Team Manager, or Adoption Team Manager will present the case to the panel outlining the matters on which advice and guidance is sought. The child's social worker, and any worker for a proposed permanent carer, will be invited to comment on the case, and respond to any panel queries.

The panel will consider the case and provide advice /make recommendations. This could involve:

  • Endorsing current permanence plan;
  • Referring the case to the adoption panel for a relevant recommendation;
  • Referring the case to the Fostering Panel for a relevant recommendation;
  • The case being referred back to the Permanency Panel at a later date for an appropriate recommendation.

The Panel Administrator will send a copy of the minute relating to the case to the child's social worker and the fostering /social worker for a proposed permanent carer for retention on the relevant file, and will also send a copy to the Children's Independent and Safeguarding Reviewing Officer.

When the recommendation or advice of the Permanency Panel involves a change in the child's Care Plan, the CISRO will decide whether it is appropriate to bring forward the child's next statutory review.

End