Salford Children's Services Procedures Manual Salford City Council website
Greater Manchester SCB Procedures
Greater Manchester SCB Procedures Greater Manchester SCB Procedures

1.5.1 Transfer Protocol for Child Protection and Child in Need Service

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

This protocol is provided to give a clear and consistent approach to case transfer between DAT, CPP, CIN and Salford Families.

This protocol should be read in conjunction with Looked After Children Transfer Protocol.

RELATED CHAPTER

Transfer of Cases for Looked After Children from Child Protection/Child in Need Services to Looked After children Service

AMENDMENT

This chapter was amended in October 2015 to update the Flowchart which now shows more specific information throughout the process. An updated ‘Points to remember’ checklist has also been provided. (See Section 7, Transfer to TAC (Updated)).


Contents

  1. Principles of the Protocol
  2. Entry Points to Child Protection and Child in Need
  3. Transfer from DAT to CIN
  4. Transfer from DAT to CP
  5. Transfer from CIN to CP
  6. Transfer from CP to CIN
  7. Transfer to TAC (Updated)
  8. Referrals from Salford Families


1. Principles of the Protocol

Salford City Council is committed to ensuring positive outcomes for children involved with the service. This will include children with disabilities, children who have a Child in Need Plan or a Child Protection Plan. The protocol will also include cases where they are managed using a Team Around the Child (TAC) approach.

Children involved in our service need to have safe transfer processes in order that there is no gap in provision when a case moves between teams. Oftentimes a transfer between teams can leave children and their families vulnerable, information can be lost and as such a smooth and seamless transfer is essential.

It is good practice to ensure that children and families are introduced to new social workers from previous social workers in order that the relationship can be transferred.

This protocol will provide clearer guidance to social workers about case transfer points and the expectations of those staff to ensure that a case is fit for transfer. No team acquiring a case should be left with no information or given additional work which should already have been completed by the sending team.


2. Entry Points to Child Protection and Child In Need

The OFSTED inspection published 21st June 2010 highlighted significant problems with regards to referral points within the service area. Essentially and in summary there were too many ‘front doors’ to the service which led to drift and lack of tracking cases. Therefore it is essential that all referral to the service are done through the DAT team. This can be done through the worried about a child email referral option or through direct contact with a CAF. Urgent and immediate referrals should be telephoned directly to the team and should then be followed up in writing within 24 hours.


3. Transfer from DAT to CIN

The Team Manager will make the decision about whether a case should be transferred to CIN or another team in discussion with the social worker.

It is the responsibility of the social worker to ensure that the transfer request is placed in the allocations book with sufficient detail to allow the meeting to make an informed decision about the appropriateness of the transfer to the CIN team.

After the transfer meeting the CIN Team Manager will notify the social worker and Team Manager of the DAT team of the social worker who will be taking the case.

The DAT social worker is responsible for booking the CIN meeting in consultation with the DAT social worker and this meeting should take place within two weeks.

This meeting will be jointly attended and a joint visit to the child should take place within a similar timescale. The point of transfer will be immediately following the CIN meeting and from this point the responsibility rests with the CIN team.

Carefirst should be up-to-date which should include (as a minimum) a robust and analytical Children and Families Assessment and the Chronology; observations should be completed and up-to-date. There should be an ICS transfer summary completed in detail. It is the responsibility of the DAT Team Manager to ensure that these are completed and a timescale negotiated with the CIN manager where there are deficits.

The CIN Team Manager will alter the allocations on the Carefirst system.


4. Transfer from DAT to CP

The DAT Team Manager is responsible for making a decision about whether a case should progress to an Initial Child Protection Conference (ICPC) in discussion with the social worker, and if appropriate with the duty Conference Coordinator.

The DAT social worker is responsible for making arrangements for the ICPC and should have completed a Strategy Discussion/Meeting, Section 47 and Initial Conference report. The case should be placed in the allocations book at the earliest opportunity to allow sufficient time for the Child Protection team to attend.

From the allocations meeting the Child Protection Team Managers should identify the social worker to whom the case will transfer if a child protection plan is put into place. That social worker or their manager should attend the ICPC for information and to contribute to decision making.

The point of transfer will be the first core group which must take place within 10 working days of the ICPC. This meeting should be jointly attended and arrangements should be made for a joint visit between the DAT social worker and the CP social worker where the child should be introduced to the new worker.

A transfer summary should be completed on ICS and an up-to-date chronology should be on file. Any deficits need to be negotiated between the Team Manager’s from each team with agreed timescales for completion.

Where a decision has been made to issue Proceedings the transfer point will become the First Appointment where the ICO is made. It is a requirement however that the above should still occur and a period of joint working should take place.

Where a legal planning meeting has recommended PLO it is the DAT team’s responsibility to prepare the Letter before Proceedings and they should attend the first PLO meeting which will be chaired by a Team Manager from the Child Protection team.


5. Transfer from CIN to CP

See Section 4, Transfer from DAT to CP


6. Transfer from CP to CIN

See Section 3, Transfer from DAT to CIN


7. Transfer to TAC (Updated)

Where cases have come down from Children's Social Care and an assessment has taken place by a Social Worker a de-escalation process should happen. This is where the Social Worker closes the case at their level as the level of risk has been deemed lower and can be managed and monitored outside of Social Care at a lower threshold. The Social Worker has to follow a step by step process to transfer the case down. The flow chart that is attached shows this step by step process and the Social Workers responsibilities in transferring the case down. It is important that this is followed correctly to allow for a smooth and safe transition from Children's Social Care to enable the child/young person and family's needs to still be supported and monitored by a variety of the CU.

Where a Social worker has closed the case and handed over to the lead professional  at Level 2, this will either be transferred down to one additional agency e.g. a family support worker or to a multi agency Team around the child meeting (T.A.C.). It is essential that the case continues to be reviewed every 4-6 weeks on the CAF Review and Closure form until the case can be closed under a particular outcome.

See Points to remember when the case is transferred from Children’s Social care to ‘Team around the Child’ (TAC).

**The CAF Review and Closure form can be downloaded and needs to be sent in to http://www.salford.gov.uk/secureupload.htm.

Click here to view Transfer Protocol for all Level 4 and 3 Cases moving down to Level 2 Flowchart.

Key for flowchart:

  • SW - Social Worker;
  • LP - Lead Professional;
  • TAC - Team around the Child;
  • CP - Child Protection;
  • CDT - Children’s Disability Team;
  • CIN - Child in Need;
  • CAF Coordinator - Common Assessment Framework Coordinator;
  • EIP - Early Intervention and Prevention.


8. Referrals from Salford Families

Should Salford Families wish to refer a case due to additional Needs under S17 Children Act 1989 or where there are safeguarding concerns this should always be referred through the DAT team in order that the principle of one ‘front door’ is adhered to. The decision about case progression within this service will lie with the DAT Team Manager in consultation with Salford Families Team Manager.

End