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Salford Children's Services Procedures Manual Salford City Council website

3.2.10 Approving the use of an Outside Placement (Independent Foster Agency or Residential)


This chapter was comprehensively updated in October 2015 to reflect updated Salford processes and arrangements.

Task Responsible Person
Outside placement is agreed at Families on Track Panel or Placement Tracking Panel. Chair of Panel

Emergency placements needed outside of panel require Tier 3 Manager authorisation before a placement search can commence. Cases must be presented at the next available panel for discussion.

Head of Child Protection & Children in Need should approve placements for children open to this area. Head of Integrated Looked After Services should approve placements for children open to this area.

Social Worker
Social worker completes CareFirst electronic referral with updated, relevant, and accurate information outlining the needs of the young person and presenting factors. Social Worker
Family Placement reassign referral on CareFirst to the Placement Finding Team. Need to clearly outline why needs cannot be met in house. Family Placement
Commissioning Manager from Placement Finding Team will screen the referral to ensure it includes information to enable providers to make a matching decision. Social workers will be contacted to offer more information where there are gaps. Commissioning Manager
Referrals are distributed electronically and securely through Greater Manchester Residential Framework or the Northwest Fostering Framework (depending on the placement request) using the agreed tier system. In an emergency, referrals are distributed to all tiers at the same time. Commissioning Manager
If a placement cannot be sourced through the framework an 'off framework' search will commence. Commissioning Manager
Responses from providers who think they can offer a placement are managed through the Placement Finding Team. Providers will have more in depth discussions with social workers if it looks like a potential placement. Commissioning Manager

Commissioning Managers quality assure responses and only offer placements which are of a high standard, or where there are no quality concerns, to social workers for consideration. For residential, Commissioning Managers consider Local Area Assessment documents, Statement of Purpose, latest Ofsted inspections and last 3 Regulation 44 documents.

For independent fostering placements, Commissioning Managers consider latest agency Ofsted, carer profile, carer Form F and latest foster carer review.

Commissioning Manager
Commissioning Manager will confirm placement fee, check accuracy of fee if a framework placement and obtain authorisation from Head of Partnerships to proceed with placement. Commissioning Manager
Social worker to visit home or foster carer as part of planned admission and advise Commissioning Manager that this is a suitable placement. Social Worker

If the young person has an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), or SEN and education is required as part of the placement, then Commissioning Manager will liaise with the SEN Team.

If the young person does not have EHCP or SEN in place, and education is required as part of the placement, the Commissioning Manager liaises with Virtual Schools to ensure they are aware of a planned move and can be involved in supporting an education placement.

Commissioning Manager
Placements requiring funding from health and education should be presented at Complex Needs Panel. Commissioning Manager/ Social Worker

Commissioning Manager will carry out a vetting visit on a children's home which has not been used before or not used in the last 6 months. This will include references from other LA's.

Vetting visit should take place before admission of young person. In the event of an emergency admission the vetting should be as soon as practicably possible.

Commissioning Manager
Any other relevant officers will visit and/ or be consulted on placement option- i.e. STARLAC, Education Psychologist. Commissioning Manager
Vetting form is authorised once completed by Commissioning Manager. This should be in place before placement start date. Senior Commissioning Manager
If not already on file, or in need of updating, provider will email Ofsted Registration, Insurance Certificate, Statement of Purpose, Young People's booklet and any other relevant documents not collected when making the initial enquiry /visit. Information and Monitoring Officer
Commissioning Manager will complete placement details on CareFirst placement referral. Commissioning Manager
Tier 3 Manager (or above) authorises placement fee on CareFirst. Appropriate Tier 3 Manager is Head of Partnerships, Head of Integrated LAC, Head of Child Protection & Children in Need. Tie 3 Manager
Information & Monitoring Officer will complete Individual Placement Agreement (IPA) and finance information on CareFirst to ensure provider is paid. Framework placements are covered by an overarching contract and only require an individual IPA. Information & Monitoring Officer
IPA checked and signed off by LA and provider. Senior Commissioning Manager/ Information & Monitoring Officer
If placement is 'off contract' with a previously unused provider the information & Monitoring Officer will complete a full contract. Information & Monitoring Officer