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5.7 Children Subject to Child Protection Plans and a Legal Order (Dual Plans)

In April 2019, this chapter was added.


The purpose of this policy is to clarify practice when children who are subject to child protection plans become subject to legal Orders, Looked After, or are removed from the family home. This procedure change is to ensure there is consistency across the service to avoid any risk of confusion around planning for children; it reduces duplication of work by social work teams and it also avoids families and children being subject to two different statutory processes.

Therefore, it has been agreed:

  1. When an Interim Care Order (ICO) is granted, the threshold for significant harm being met has been agreed by the Courts. The social work (SW) Team will therefore notify the Quality Assurance and Review (QAR) Team within 24 hours of this event. The L flag and rationale will be added to ICS, by the SW Team and the Child Looked After (CLA) review process will commence. If the child is no longer residing within the family home, the child will cease to be subject to a Child Protection Plan and all parties will be notified of the change. If the child remains living in the Family home there will be a discussion between the Chair and the SW Team Manager to ascertain whether the Child Protection Plan needs to cease or not. If the CP Plan is to be ceased letters will be sent to all parties advising them of this, but giving them 10 working days to respond to the letter and make their representations as to why the CP Plan should not cease. The CLA review will occur within 20 working days;
  2. When an Interim Supervision Order (ISO) is granted, we continue with the protection plan until the final outcome of the Court has concluded and the final Order has been granted or not. In the interim the child will continue to be subject to Review Child Protection Conference. Although if the Conference agrees, the child can cease to be subject to a CP plan, whilst an Interim Supervision Order is in place;
  3. When a Supervision Order (SO) is granted, the threshold for significant harm being met has been agreed by the Courts therefore the SW Team will notify the QAR Team within 24 hours. The SW Team Manager will put the rationale for the child no longer requiring to remain subject to a CP Plan onto ICS and workflow this to QAR Admin. Consideration needs to be given as to whether it is appropriate for the CP Plan to continue or not. The Core Group prior to the child becoming subject to a Supervision Order will discuss whether it is felt the CP Plan needs to continue or not. If is felt it does not need to continue, and the outcome of the Court is the SO is granted, there will then be a discussion between the SW Team Manager and the Chair to ascertain whether it is appropriate for the CP Plan to cease, or not. If the CP Plan is to be ceased letters will be sent to all parties advising them of this, but giving them 10 working days to respond to the letter and make their representations as to why the CP Plan should not cease. The CLA review will occur within 20 working days. The protection plan will be incorporated into the supervision order/CIN plan;
  4. When a child becomes Looked After, under s20 of The Children Act 1989, the SW Team will notify the QAR Team within 24 hours. The L flag will be applied to ICS by the SW Team and the CLA review process will commence. Consideration needs to be given as to whether it is appropriate for the CP Plan to continue or not. The Core Group following the child becoming accommodated should be held within 5 working days and would discuss whether it is felt the CP Plan needs to continue or not. If it is felt it does not need to continue, there will be a discussion between the Chair and the SW Team Manager. If the CP Plan is to be ceased letters will be sent to all parties advising them of this, but giving them 10 working days to respond to the letter and make their representations as to why the CP Plan should not cease. The CLA review will occur within 20 working days;
  5. If consent for s20 is withdrawn by those with parental responsibility in an unplanned way the team manager( nominated officer) or Director of Children’s Services ( if child 16/17) must be satisfied a) the child’s wishes and feelings have been sought an given due consideration b) the decision to cease the child being looked after will safeguard and promote their welfare ( this should include whether a strategy discussion should take place if the child is at immediate risk so as to plan the immediate action.) c) Inform the IRO and d) where the child is eligible the appropriate requirements have been met. A new plan will be developed and either an ICPC triggered or a CIN process. Either way a multiagency plan will be developed, and progressed until the harm is assessed and any risk reduced. Either way a multiagency meeting should take place within 5 days of the child returning home;
  6. Where the child has been subject to PLO it is expected that the Child Protection Plan will have been incorporated into this process and vice a versa for the duration of the Child Protection Plan. The child will remain on a PP.

    In all cases above the Team Manager will ensure that the relevant elements of the Child Protection Plan are incorporated into the child’s care plan;
  7. When an Emergency Protection Order (EPO) is granted, the threshold for significant harm being met has been agreed by the Courts therefore, the SW Team will notify the QAR Team within 24 hours. However, the child will not be removed from a CP plan at this point, as the EPO is only valid for eight days. It would be anticipated that the Local Authority would return to Court within that duration and dependent upon which option is then followed that particular process will be duly followed;
  8. When a Police Protection (PP) is implemented, the threshold for immediate significant harm has been met by the police, but not the Courts or multi agency partners. If a child is already on a CP Plan, the SW Team will notify the QAR Team of this development within 24 hours, but the child will not be removed from a CP Plan at that point as the PP expires after 72 hours. Dependent upon follow up actions that are taken by the Local Authority, this will inform which process is then duly followed.

In very exceptional circumstances there may need to be circumstances where the child would need to remain dual planned.

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