South West Safeguarding and Child Protection Procedures
South West Safeguarding and Child Protection Procedures South West Safeguarding and Child Protection Procedures

5.1.17 Breakdown Prevention Meetings

This policy applies to in-house fostering placements, Independent Fostering Agency (IFA) Placements and Residential Placements.

This chapter was added to the manual in September 2017.


Contents

  1. Principles of Making a Placement
  2. The Breakdown Prevention Meeting

    Appendix 1: Breakdown Prevention Meeting Report Template

    Appendix 2: Breakdown Prevention Meeting


1. Principles of Making a Placement

  • Accurate, appropriately detailed and balanced information will be provided when requesting a placement using the Request for Placement form (2016 version) and the agreed internal referral process;
  • A Placement Planning Meeting will be held, at the outset of the placement, in order to establish the details of how the placement will be run and managed by all concerned. This should include discussion about the support and supervision that will be provided to the child and those caring for him or her;
  • The Placement Plan should be reviewed at each Looked After Review;
  • In the situation where an IFA or Residential placement is being provided, the placement contract should include contingency plans should the placement become fragile and an agreed notice period of 28 days minimum;
  • When there is concern that a placement may be breaking down, a telephone conversation to initially talk about what is happening is better than an email.


2. The Breakdown Prevention Meeting

If a child or young person's placement is becoming fragile, once they become aware the social worker should immediately convene a Team around the Child (TAC) meeting or placement planning meeting. Where there is a risk that the placement may breakdown, the social worker will notify the Team Leader, Children’s Service Buyers (CSB). If it is agreed that there is a risk of breakdown, the social worker will be asked to convene a Breakdown Prevention Meeting which should be held within 5 working days of the notification.

The child’s social worker will be asked to provide an updated request for placement for CSB and Fostering Duty.

Where the child is placed with an independent fostering agency or children’s home the provider should not serve notice on a child’s placement before the BPM is held. If the provider disputes this, the Team Leader, Children’s Services Buyers should be advised and in their absence the relevant Category Specialist should be informed (Tim Covington for Children’s Homes and Donna Jeffery for IFAs). The only exception is where the child must move immediately due to safeguarding concerns. This would be expected to happen only very rarely.

The purpose of this meeting will be to:

  • Reconsider the child's needs;
  • Identify what issues are leading to the risk of breakdown;
  • Plan what services if any, will be put in place to meet the child's needs and support the continued placement; or, when this is not possible;
  • Plan a change of placement in such a way that it minimises the level of distress to both child and carers. The child's welfare must be of paramount consideration when making any plans.

A Team Manager or supervising Assistant Team Manager, preferably from the relevant child care team, will chair the meeting. The social worker should present a revised assessment of the child or young person's needs using the most recent Single Assessment, updated by the Breakdown Prevention Meeting report template.

When the child/young person has been living in either residential care or a foster placement a representative of that service with management responsibility will be expected to attend the meeting and provide a revised assessment of the support needs of the carers and their capacity to care for that particular child.

If child has been living with a family member as a Connected Person foster placement, the supervising social worker shall provide a revised and updated assessment of their support needs as carers and capacity to meet the child's needs.

The meeting will consider and revise the day to day arrangements for the child as recorded in the Placement Plan, and where necessary, the overall Care Plan to meet the child or young person's needs should be amended, identifying additional support where required.

The following persons will be invited to attend the Breakdown Prevention Meeting:

  • The child or young person if appropriate;
  • Their parents if appropriate;
  • The current carer;
  • The child’s social worker;
  • Management representative of any other agency who may be able to support the child/young person and/or carers. In the case of a foster placement, this will include the fostering service supervising social worker;
  • The chairperson (Team Manager);
  • Children’s Services Buyers;
  • The child's Reviewing Officer (IRO) will be notified of the meeting and will contribute at their discretion.


Appendices

Appendix 1: Breakdown Prevention Meeting Report Template

Appendix 2: Breakdown Prevention Meeting

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