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4.6.2 Placement Finding Process External Care Placements


If Commissioning Panel recommend placement search a looked after child with an external care provider the process below will be followed. As Commissioning Panel only meet on a weekly basis approval to commence a search can be given by the appropriate officer, however if an external placement is made then the case must be brought to Commissioning Panel to seek retrospective approval. The process cannot be used for emergency, same day, or next day placements, and such placement searches are undertaken by Fostering Duty.

See also Children's Commissioning Panel: Terms of Reference.


This chapter was updated in September 2014, when Section 2, Scoring Matrix which is used to assess returned applications from care providers was revised.


  1. Create Child / Young Person's Specification
  2. Scoring Matrix
  3. Contact with External Care Providers
  4. Evaluation of Applications

    Appendix A: Placement Finding Process Flow Chart

1. Create Child/Young Person's Specification

Quality Compliance Officer (Looked After Children) will discuss with the child/young person's Social Worker the needs and agree a Specification that lists the following:

  • Background;
  • Risks;
  • Education;
  • Health;
  • Interests;
  • Contact;
  • Required Skills/Qualities of Foster Carers or Care Home Staff;
  • Requirements of Care Provider.

2. Scoring Matrix

Prior to the circulation of information to providers a Scoring Matrix will be created to assess returned applications from Care Providers.

The matrix will state the following:

Name of Organisation

Gateway (Latest OFSTED Report) - Applications will only be considered if the latest overall OFSTED Report Rating on the organisation is good, outstanding, or satisfactory. Those companies whose rating is inadequate will not be evaluated as they have not passed through the gateway. Commissioning Panel reserve the right to recommend to the Head of Children's Social Care an exemption to this gateway.

Scores - Shows the marks awarded for each the 3 questions as follows:

Caption: marks awarded for each questions
Skills of Carers 10 marks
Weekly Fee 5 marks
Total 15 marks

3. Contact with External Care Providers

Local Care Providers that have been accredited by the Yorkshire and Humber Regional Consortium will be sent a Specification, and Application Form with a deadline for submission. The Specification is password protected. If a placement search is required outside the local area the search will be expanded.

4. Evaluation of Applications

Following the deadline Quality Compliance Officer (Looked After Children) and Social Worker will meet to evaluate the applications submitted.

Each application will be scored separately and the scores added together. Agreement will be reached about the preferred option. If necessary further information may be required to determine the preferred option i.e. visit to Foster Carer households by Social Worker. Having identified the preferred option authorisation of the Service Manager, Children's Social Care is required.

5. Communicating with Care Providers

The Social Worker will contact the preferred option Care Provider to commence introductions prior to placement of the child/young person. The Quality Compliance Officer (Looked After Children) will contact the other care providers who submitted an application to inform them they were unsuccessful, and give them an opportunity for feedback.

Appendix A: Placement Finding Process Flow Chart

Click here to view Flowchart