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4.5.2 The Placement Plan and the Placement


  1. Key Points
  2. Placement Procedure

1. Key Points

  1. No placement must take place until a Placement Plan has been agreed. For further information about Placement Plans (see Placement Plans Procedure);
  2. In the case of an immediate placement, the Placement Plan must be drawn up as soon as possible after the child or young person has been placed;
  3. The content of the Placement Plan should be discussed and agreed at an agreement meeting, which should be chaired by the designated Social Worker’s Team Manager. The participants should include the parent(s), young person/child (if of sufficient age and understanding), present carer(s), anyone who will be providing a significant level of support to the placement (e.g. health visitor, school teacher, relative) and any other person with Parental Responsibility, (unless this would demonstrably not be in the child’s best interest);
  4. Whilst the regulations require that the Placement Plan is recorded in writing there is no requirement for the parent(s) to sign it. However, they should be asked to do so, as evidence of the agreement, and to indicate their acceptance of the content. In circumstances where there is a divergence of view on any matter, this should be noted in the Plan;
  5. Whilst the Placement Plan does not need to be finalised before the placement decision is made, a copy of the Plan, unsigned and in draft, should be available to the Service Manager with the other papers when making the placement decision;
  6. Any significant change to the Placement Plan should normally be made following discussion at a Looked After Review. In circumstances when it is deemed necessary to make a change urgently, agreement should be sought from the Area Manager and a review meeting should be arranged as soon as possible;
  7. The regulations require that notification of the placement decision and details of where the child/young person is to be placed must be sent to all specified individuals and agencies, unless:
    • To do so would not be in the best interests of the child
    • The whereabouts of any individual are not known, or cannot readily be ascertained

The notification should contain additional information when the child/young person is not being placed with a parent; including the name and address of the person with whom the child is placed and details of contact arrangements as well as any other information the local authority considers appropriate.

2. Placement Procedure

  1. The designated social worker draws up a Placement Plan following discussion at the Placement Planning Meeting using the appropriate form.
  2. The social worker arranges for the Plan to be signed by the parent(s) once the placement decision has been made. It may also be appropriate for a young person to sign the Plan. A copy of the Plan should be sent to all signatories, and the child or young person, subject to their age and understanding.
  3. The placement can take place, once the Placement Plan has been finalised. The social worker should notify the Management Information Section of the date of placement by telephone.
  4. The social worker should check that arrangements to register the child/young person with a GP and Dentist local to the placement are carried out.
  5. The social worker must ensure that written notification of the placement decision and details of where the child/young person is to be placed is sent to all individuals and agencies who were consulted about the proposed placement. These are:
    The following individuals and agencies must also be sent notification (if not already notified in above):
    • The District Health Trust, and
    • The Local Education Service, and
    • The area (Children's Social Care) authority, in the area where the child will be living
    • The Children’s Independent and Safeguarding Reviewing Officer.
    • The GP with whom the child/young person will be registered
    • A person (not an officer of a local authority) who was caring for the child immediately before the placement e.g. a foster carer
    • Any person who held a Child Arrangements Order specifying with whom the child is to live immediately  immediately prior to the making of the Care Order
    • Any other person who was not involved in the placement decision making process but has had, or will have, a significant involvement with the child/young person and needs to know of his/her placement