Care Plans

Every child and young person who is looked after will have a Care Plan which sets out what services and other help will be provided to them and their family. The Care Plan will say what the council and other agencies will do to meet the child’s needs including health, education, identity, family relationships and hobbies and sets out the plan for the child's future. It will describe the child’s contact arrangements with family and friends and, where appropriate, how parents or guardians will help to look after the child.

The Care Plan (and Placement Agreement) should be written either before the child becomes looked after or within ten days if the placement is an emergency. The child, their parents or guardians and anyone caring for the child will be consulted in the writing of the Care Plan and receive a copy. Care Plans should be clear and easy to understand. The social worker should make sure that everyone knows what it means for the child and their family

When a young person is 16 or over their plan will be called a Pathway Plan. This is like a care plan but also looks at what support the young person needs and wants to help them on their journey to being a young adult. Care leavers who are 18 and over will also have a Pathway Plan agreeing what how they will continue to be supported by the council. 

The Placement Agreement is a document which sets out what happens day to day in the place where the child is living – which could be a foster home, children’s home or with a relative who is a foster carer. It includes information about the child’s everyday living arrangements routines, including the specific details of arrangements for education, health, meeting cultural or religious needs, likes and dislikes It also describes any contact arrangements with parents or others and how these will be managed, including travel.

Like the Care Plan, the Placement Agreement should be completed within ten days of the child becoming looked after. The Department for Education has regulations and guidelines for care planning.

All looked after children will have a health assessment when they first become looked after. This means they will meet a children’s doctor who is an expert in supporting looked after children who will make a plan with them and their carers how their health needs will be met. Wherever possible information will be gathered from the child’s parents about the family health history.

Review health assessments take place every year for looked after children who are aged 5 and over, and every six months for children aged 0-4 years. This review might be conducted by a looked after children’s doctor or a nurse
Carers of looked after children will make sure they are registered with a GP, and attend the dentist and optician regularly.

All looked after children will have an Independent Reviewing Officer whose job it is to make sure that plans are in place and being followed for looked after children. They do this by talking to children, their carers and people involved in their care, and also chairing regular review meetings. Review meetings take place at least every 6 months, and more often when children first become looked after.

The Department for Education has regulations and guidelines for care planning.

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