Essex Social Services and Children with Aspergers

Roedd y cais yn rhannol lwyddiannus.

Dear Essex County Council,

I have heard on good authority that Essex County Council Social Services teams are not allowed to help / support children with Aspergers, and that they have to apply rigid criteria to each child in order to exclude them from any help.

Please could you provide details of the structure of Essex Social Services. Who / which teams should in theory help children with autism / Aspergers?

Please would you supply ANY related documents / records / reports / pilicies / procedures / protocols / minutes etc. held / stored, in any form, that would reflect what appears to be a blanket gatekeeping policy???

Yours faithfully,

[P. Smith]

Ruth Byford Research & Analysis Officer, Essex County Council

3 Atodiad

Please find attached an acknowledgement of your Freedom of Information
request.

Ruth Byford
on behalf of ISIS
Internal Audit & Risk Management
Essex County Council | telephone: 01245 435944 | extension: 55944 | email:
[email address]
EssexWorks
For a better quality of life

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Your Right To Know, Essex County Council

5 Atodiad

Please find attached the response to your Freedom of Information request.
 
Ruth Byford
on behalf of ISIS
Internal Audit & Risk Management
Essex County Council | telephone: 08457 430430 |
email: [1][email address]  
 
EssexWorks
For a better quality of life

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Your Right To Know,

Many thanks for your response.

Yours sincerely,

[P. Smith]

Gadawodd P. Smith anodiad ()

Download original attachment
(PDF file) This is an HTML version of an attachment to the Freedom of Information request 'Essex Social Services and Children with Aspergers'.

Guidance for Threshold of Need and Intervention

January 2011

Purpose of document

This Guidance for Threshold of Need and Intervention is a vital tool underpinning the aspiration to provide support and early interventions in the lives of potentially vulnerable children and young people in Essex. Many agencies, organisations, parents, carers and other family members are involved with supporting children. Effective joint working through common understanding and use of the principles and processes in this document will help improve the way in which children’s needs are effectively met across the needs spectrum. Through clarifying the thresholds of service eligibility and provision, investment can be more clearly targeted to early intervention and prevention, supporting families to enable children and young people to remain at home and in the community. This, in turn, will lead to improved outcomes and life chances for our most disadvantaged children and young people, and help improve the quality of life and outcomes for all our children.

The aim of this guidance is to assist staff in making judgements about service thresholds in a fair and consistent manner, whilst at the same time ensuring
compliance with statutory duties. The tables of descriptors within the guidance provide examples that may indicate a certain level of need.

This document will inform the referral and assessment process for Essex County Council (ECC) services and should also complement other agencies’ processes
and assessment tools.

This guidance is produced with the intention of providing clarity around service eligibility and provision. It will be reviewed alongside the developments within children’s services, including the work of the Essex Safeguarding Children Board and the Essex Children’s Trust Partnership.

The purpose of this document is to ensure that all children and young people are able to access the most appropriate provision by the quickest and most effective route.

Like most public services from the Police to the Health Service, provision designed to support families can only work effectively if limited resources are
used wisely and targeted appropriately. This document is designed to help professionals with the dilemmas they face when they encounter children that they believe may be in need or at risk.

The overarching intention is to ensure that there is an effective ‘triage’ system in place to ensure that children get the right response from the right service at the time that they need it most. Everyone that works with children or vulnerable adults has a responsibility to make sure they are equipped with the appropriate
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level of knowledge and support to be able to judge when they need to seek further information about a child’s circumstances or need to seek advice from a
manager or other agency. Equally, as far as is possible and reasonable, ensuring that children and families are not escalated unnecessarily into the higher more resource intensive service areas is the responsibility of all referring agencies. Where this does happen, systems become overloaded and children are failed.

The information provided in this document is supported by the Assessment and Referral process map, attached as Appendix 2.

Background

For the purposes of this document, the term ‘children’ refers to children and young people under the age of 18 years. This document is based on recognised
good practice and influenced by current research and local experience. The procedures are underpinned by:
 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
 The Children Act 1989
 Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families 2000
 Messages from Research 1995
 Human Rights Act 2000
 Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2002
 Disability Discrimination Act 2002
 Every Child Matters 2004
 The Adoption and Children Act 2004
 The Children Act 2004
 Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
 Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002
 Essex SEN Code of Practice
 Crime and Disorder Act 1998
 Working Together 2010
 Southend, Essex and Thurrock Child Protection Procedures 2006
 Staying Safe Action Plan DCSF 2008
 What to do if you’re worried that your child is being abused 2006

This Guidance for Threshold of Need and Intervention is based on and complements the Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families 2000, to provide a consistent approach for those working with children.

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Our vision

The Essex Children’s Trust Children and Young People’s Plan 2009/11:

‘We want children and young people in Essex to be valued, inspired, loved, nurtured and encouraged, with opportunities to achieve their immediate and
long term ambitions. Our role is to improve the life chances of all and to provide extra support for those who need it.’

Development of these criteria

As inter-agency working continues to develop in Essex, this guidance clarifies referral routes into services provided by Essex Children’s Trust for all agencies
working with children and young people. It identifies the likely distribution of resources and services available to children and their families. It has been
produced in consultation with the partners that form the Essex Children’s Trust and the Essex Safeguarding Children Board utilising existing multi-agency work
undertaken across the county and incorporates examples of good practice from other local authorities. This approach has been aligned with the procedures applied in Adults, Health & Community Wellbeing Directorate to ensure consistency during periods of transition.

Its development was informed by a multi-agency group of practitioners via workshops exploring the descriptors and indicators of need and vulnerability.
An earlier draft was piloted in one locality. The feedback from this process has informed this document.

The guidance ensures clarity in relation to service provision at this time and will be amended and enhanced in line with the planned developments within the Schools, Children and Families Directorate and beyond, including developments within Essex Safeguarding Children Board and the Essex Children’s Trust Partnership.

Whilst this document will inform the referral and assessment process for ECC services, it should also complement other agencies’ processes and assessment
tools. It is anticipated that the Essex Children’s Trust will review this document at least annually and will make revisions as required in order to ensure it continues to reflect best practice.
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Integrated working

Essex Children’s Trust is committed to delivering frontline services that are integrated and focused on the needs of children by implementing the national
common processes and systems of Common Assessment Framework (CAF), Lead Professional and Information Sharing.

The CAF is a tool to enable early and effective assessment of children and young people with a number of additional needs. It is a holistic, consent-based needs assessment framework which records, in a single place, and in a structured and consistent way, the key factors in a child’s life that point to them having
additional needs. Undertaking an assessment using the CAF as soon as there is an indication of additional needs makes a significant and necessary contribution
to the early intervention and prevention agenda, particularly in terms of effective
‘triage’. The better the needs and the relationship between different factors in a child’s life are understood, the more appropriate and effective the service response will be.

Working Together 2010 makes clear the expectation that all Children’s Trusts should have arrangements in place for making sure that a CAF is completed by all
agencies that come into contact with vulnerable children.

The CAF is not a referral form, although it may be used to support an inter-agency referral or specialist assessment.

Essex County Council and the Essex Children’s Trust Board have agreed that all referrals except those for immediate significant harm, both single and multi-
agency, should be accompanied by a completed CAF. In the case of the risk of immediate significant harm, a CAF will not be required. This is because if a S.47
investigation is instigated as a result of the referral, Children’s Social Care will undertake a Core Assessment. However if there has already been a CAF
completed it should be forwarded to the relevant Assessment Team as it will make a useful contribution to the completion of the core assessment.

In the majority of circumstances, agencies working together with a child and their family, and with the consent of the child’s family, will already have the
information required to complete a CAF readily to hand. The CAF completion will enable agencies to pull all the information they hold together into one place, so it can be used effectively to inform decision making about the level of service required to address presenting needs and risks.

The Lead Professional role is to take the lead in co-ordinating provision and to act as a single point of contact for a child and their family when a range of services are involved and an integrated response is required.
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Integrated working will:-

 Support earlier intervention – by providing methods to help practitioners, who come into day to day contact with children and families, such as those providing ante-natal and post natal services, or those in early years settings and schools to identify and meet unmet need at an earlier stage.
 Improve multi-agency working – by Lead Professionals maintaining a
single record of the needs and progress of a child in contact with several agencies. The framework will facilitate the embedding of a common language of assessment of need and response, improving communication and information sharing between practitioners, thus enabling different agencies to work together to provide appropriate, coordinated services.
 Reduce bureaucracy for families – by providing practitioners (including Lead Professionals) with a complete overview of a child’s needs and responses; thereby reducing the number of inappropriate inter-agency referrals, separate assessments and different agencies working with a child, preventing children and families having to repeat their story.
Level Two
Level Three
Vulnerable
Complex
Children with
Children with
additional
complex
needs
needs
Level One
Level Four
Universal
Acute
Children with no
Children whose needs
additional needs
are complex, prolonged
or critical

Essex – Thresholds of need and service responses

The Tiered Model of Children’s Needs has been developed integrating the Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families and a number of initiatives introduced by the Government’s Every Child Matters:
Change for Children Programme. This model is consistent with the Southend,

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Essex and Thurrock (SET) Procedures and the national guidance “Working Together”. The model provides a framework to develop a common understanding
amongst professionals of children’s needs and vulnerabilities, shared assessment processes and a platform for inter-agency and multi-agency working.
It augments and updates the previous guidance and procedures relating to multi-agency working. Finally the model is entirely consistent with the Essex Children’s Trust Children and Young People’s Plan.

The model is underpinned by approaches that are:

 Child-centred
 Focussed on improving outcomes for children
 Holistic in understanding and delivery
 Involving children and their families
 Based on an acknowledgement that the child’s welfare and safety is
everyone’s responsibility
 Promotes agencies working together to reduce duplication and
unnecessary intrusion into family life
 Designed to build on strengths as well as identifying difficulties
 Intended to see assessment as a continuing process, not an event
 Non discriminatory and value difference
 Based on a commitment to build communities where all Essex children
and young people can thrive

This is a guide for practitioners and managers from across all agencies that work with, or are involved with, children, young people and their families. It is intended to assist practitioners and managers across all agencies in assessing and identifying a child’s level of need. It also describes what type of services / resources may meet those needs and what processes to follow in moving from an assessment to a provision of services. It describes needs in terms of ‘levels’which is essentially a schematic way of helping to understand children’s needs and how they could be met.

It does not provide a rigid or concrete set of procedures – it is important that all agencies understand the needs of each individual child within their own context and realise that each child’s situation is unique and specific to them.

The needs of children and young people will vary and change over time. They also may have different levels of need related to different issues at the same
time.

What follows is therefore a guide to offer clarification, not a rigid set of procedures.

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Four levels of vulnerability and need have been developed to support this guidance:

Level 1: Universal – Children with no additional needs

Those services provided to all families and children from health, education and other community services such as leisure, play and housing services. These are
the children/young people who make overall good progress in all areas of their development with no additional support. From time to time, these children may have some additional needs, which may require additional professional time (and expertise), but generally this time will be limited and lead to continued positive outcomes.

This level will include universal safeguarding as described within the Stay Safe action plan (DCSF 2008).

Level 2: Vulnerable – Children with additional needs

Level 2 needs are those where there are indications that without the provision of services needs may escalate or circumstances deteriorate to the detriment of the children or families concerned. This additional support may relate to health, social or educational issues. Services provided within level 2 will be designed so that they can be activated as early as possible, sometimes even where need is
predicted rather than presenting. For example, there may be services and interventions that could assist antenatal parents where there are known to be
specific vulnerabilities or risk factors. Within level 2, participation is most likely to
be on a voluntary basis where parents and children or young people, alongside supportive professionals, have identified a need and are willing and able to
access appropriate services. Many disabled children will have additional needs related to their specific impairment and will require access to packages of
support or short breaks from time to time.

Children in level 2 are likely to be best served by a multi-agency response and a Lead Professional identified to co-ordinate the support.

This level will include Targeted Safeguarding as described within the Stay Safe action plan (DCSF 2008)

In general children who require early intervention and preventative services are those with ‘additional needs’.

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Level 3: Complex – Children with complex needs

Level 3 needs are those that require more targeted and enhanced support that will on occasions include specialist provision. As far as possible all engagement with services will be sought on a voluntary basis; however it is likely that some children and families within the upper end of this level of need will be at risk of harm and statutory powers may be required to ensure participation.

For others where children have a range of highly complex needs the challenge will be to provide specific and enhanced support as and when it is required. A number of children who have a substantial and permanent disability or complex and permanent health needs will be described here.

All children who fall into this level are likely to benefit from a multi-agency response, including, in some cases from Children’s Social Care services, with a Lead Professional to co-ordinate intervention.

This level will include Targeted Safeguarding as described within the Stay Safe action plan (DCSF 2008).

Children requiring targeted and enhanced support have additional needs some of
which may be complex.

Level 4 – Acute – Children whose needs are prolonged, specialist and critical

Level 4 needs are those that can be described as acute either in terms of urgency,
complexity or in terms of the degree of risk to which a child or young person is
exposed. Although relatively speaking very few children and young people fall
into this category of need, services provided tend to be resource intensive, very
costly and children with these needs are often at risk of having the poorest
outcomes. Children subject to care proceedings or a child protection plan and
children with complex needs requiring residential or nursing care or in-patient
psychiatric treatment have Level 4 needs. There will be areas of commissioning
that relate to the securing of individual packages of care outside the family on a
child-by-child basis within this level of need.

This level will include Responsive Safeguarding as described within the Stay Safe
action plan (DCSF 2008).

Children requiring active and/or statutory intervention are likely to have acute or
complex needs.

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Strategic Intention

A theme that runs throughout this document and associated policies and
strategies, including the overarching Essex Children and Young People’s Plan, is a
strategic intention to keep children, young people and their families as low down
the levels as possible. This can only be achieved by agencies across all sectors
working together effectively engaging with families, including those hardest to
engage, in order to meet need which has been appropriately identified and
properly assessed. Agencies include those in the statutory, private, voluntary
and independent sector and those that represent children’s services and adult’s
services.

In any tiered approach, it is essential to ensure a range of service provision is
available to meet the continuum of needs of children in the community and to
ensure that the services are appropriately accessed in a timeframe
commensurate with the needs of individual children. It must therefore be
recognised and understood:
 that children can and do move from one level to another;
 that children in levels 2-4 also need and use universal services;
 that repeated assessments should not be necessary to move children from
one level to another and that children’s stories can follow them as they
progress through service provision;
 that there will be some children - for example, those with complex needs
or who are deemed to be at risk of significant harm – who should be
enabled to move quickly and effortlessly to the required service response
without necessarily going up through each level
 that for most children, the service aspiration is to secure them as low
down the level of need as possible, this is so that scarce and resource
intensive provision can be reserved for those children that need it most.

Those involved in commissioning and designing services will need to bear in
mind:
 that the aim is to ensure a seamlessness between each level so that
children whose needs do escalate can access a range of services that can
respond to their changing needs;
 that for many children involved in children’s services, the focus of the
work is to move them back down the levels so that their needs are met at
the lowest level possible required to secure their well being and ensure
their safety – seamlessness must apply equally to de-escalation of need
and children whose needs are reducing as a result of intervention may
require services to be changed or adapted but not necessarily withdrawn;

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 that in designing, commissioning and delivering services it is often at the
interface between levels that real change in outcomes for children can be
achieved.

Getting the right service at the right time

The following is a guide only. In particular, the examples of indicators can only
offer a sense of the threshold. Degrees of severity and combinations of indicators
for individual children need to be understood and assessed. The examples
cannot be a substitute for professional judgement.

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Level One – Universal – Children with no identified additional needs

These are children and young people who make good overall progress in all areas
of development. Broadly, these children receive appropriate universal services,
such as health and education. They may also use leisure facilities, housing or
voluntary services. The following table provides a useful summary of indicators
of children assessed as having no identified additional needs, based on the
Framework for the Assessment of Children and their Families.

Development Needs of Baby, Child or Young Person
with no identified additional needs
Health
Identity
 Physically well
 Development of self-
 Adequate
esteem/positive sense of self
diet/hygiene/clothing/exercise
and abilities
 Developmental
 Demonstrate feelings of
assessment/immunisations up to date
belonging and acceptance
 Regular dental and optical care
 A sense of self
 Health appointments are kept
 An ability to express needs
 Developmental milestones met

 Speech and language development

met

Education and Learning
Family and Social Relationships
 Skills/interests
 Stable and affectionate
 Success/achievement
relationships with caregivers
 Cognitive development
 Good relationships with siblings
 Access to toys and play/stimulation
 Positive relationships with peers

Emotional and Behavioural development
Social Presentation
 Feelings and actions demonstrate
 Appropriate dress for different
appropriate responses
settings
 Good quality early attachments
 Good level of personal hygiene
 Able to adapt to change

 Able to demonstrate empathy
Self-care Skills

 Growing level of competencies
in practical and emotional skills
such as feeding, dressing and
independent living skills

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2. Parents and Carers
3. Family & Environmental Factors

Basic Care
Family History and Functioning
 Provide for child’s physical needs, e.g.
 Good relationships within family
food, drink, appropriate clothing,
including when parents are
medical and dental care
separated

 Few significant changes in

family circumstances

Ensure Safety
Wider Family
 Protect from danger or significant
 Sense of larger familial network
harm, in the home and elsewhere
and good friendships outside of

the family unit

Ensure Warmth
Housing
 Show warm regard, praise and
 Accommodation has basic
encouragement
amenities and appropriate

facilities

Stimulation
Employment
 Facilitate cognitive development
 Parents are able to manage the
through interaction and play
working unemployment
 Enable child to experience success
arrangements and do not

perceive them as unduly

stressful

Guidance and Boundaries
Income
 Provide guidance so that the child can
 Reasonable income over time
develop an appropriate internal model
with resources used
of values and conscience
appropriately to meet individual

needs

Stability
Family’s Social Integration
 Ensure that secure attachments are not  Family feels integrated within
disrupted
the community
 Parent support and guidance when
 Good social and friendship
needed
networks exist

Community Resources
 Good universal services in
neighbourhood

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Assessment

Children’s needs are understood through single agency activity and processes
and whilst they might refer to other forms of universal services they will be held
within the universal provision.

Service Provision

Apart from the universal services themselves, there may be other support
services made available to children to ensure their needs are met. For example,
accessing a learning mentor or teaching assistant may be all that is required for
some individual children in this level.

Level Two - Vulnerable – Children with additional needs

This group of more vulnerable children require additional support either at
school, home or in the local community. This additional support can be provided
by one or several statutory or voluntary agencies. This group of children may
require additional support because they may have personal or physical or health
difficulties or they may be affected by family crisis. Some of the following factors
may be evident:

Development Needs of Baby, Child or Young Person
Children with additional needs

Health
 Some evidence of inappropriate
 Developmental
responses and behaviours
delay/neurodevelopmental
 Can find managing change difficult
disorders
 Starting to show difficulties
 Defaulting on
expressing sympathy
immunisations/check
 Finds it difficult to cope with anger,
 Is susceptible to minor health
frustration and upset
problems

 Slow in reaching developmental

milestones

 Minor concerns re

diet/hygiene/clothing

 Starting to default on health

appointments

 Concerns re diet, hygiene,

clothing/weight

 Smokes, substance use

 Some concerns around mental

health

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Education and Learning
Identity
 Have identified learning needs
 Poor sense of self and abilities/low
that places them on ‘school
self-esteem
action’ or ‘school action plus’
 Lack of belonging and acceptance
 Identified learning needs and may  An inability to express needs
have a Statement of Special

Educational Needs

 Poor punctuality

 Pattern of regular school absences
 Not always engaged in learning

e.g. poor concentration, low

motivation and interest

 Not thought to be reaching

educational potential

 Reduced access to books/toys

Emotional and Behavioural
Family and Social Relationships
development
 Limited support from family and
 Some difficulties with peer group
friends
relationships and with adults
 Has some difficulties sustaining

relationships
 Has lack of positive role models
 Involved in conflicts with
peers/siblings

Social Presentation
 Inappropriate dress for different
settings
 Poor level of personal hygiene
 Lack of social skills

Self-care Skills
 Not always adequate self-care
 Slow to develop age-appropriate
self-care skills

2. Parents and Carers
3. Family & Environmental Factors

Basic Care
Family History and Functioning
 Parental engagement with
 Parents have some conflict or
services is poor
difficulties that can involve the
 Parent requires advice on
children
parenting issues
 Has experienced loss of significant
 Professionals are beginning to
adult e.g. bereavement or

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have some concerns around
separation
child’s physical needs being met
 May be needed to look after
 Parent is struggling to provide
younger siblings
adequate care
 Parent has physical/mental health
 Previously looked after by Local
difficulties
Authority
 Child’s impairment or illness is

impacting on family emotional and

social well-being

Ensure Safety
Wider Family
 Some exposure to dangerous
 Family has poor relationship with
situations in the home and
extended family or little
community
communication
 Parental stresses starting to affect  Family is socially isolated
ability to ensure child’s safety

Ensure Warmth
Housing
 Inconsistent responses to child by  Some aspects of poor housing
parent(s)
 Family seeking asylum or refugees
 Unable to develop other positive

relationships

 Perceived to be a problem by

parents

 Child may be subject to neglect

Stimulation
Employment
 Child spends considerable time
 Periods of unemployment of the
alone e.g. watching TV
wage earning parent(s)
 Child is not often exposed to new
 Parents have limited formal
experiences
education

 Parents starting to feel stressed

around unemployment/work

Guidance and Boundaries
Income
 Can behave in an anti-social way
 Low income and debt
in the neighbourhood

 Parent/carer offers inconsistent

boundaries

 Parents struggling with

challenging behaviour of their

disabled child

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Stability
Family’s Social Integration
 Key relationships with family
 Family may be new to area
members not always kept up
 Some social exclusion experiences
 May have different carers
 Child’s disability isolates parent
 Starting to demonstrate

difficulties in attachments
Community Resources

 Poor quality universal resources but
family may have access issues

Assessment of children with additional needs

A practitioner who identifies a child with one or a number of additional needs
should undertake an assessment using the CAF, involving and consented to by
the parents, carers, child and/or young person in its completion. The outcome of
the assessment will identify if the child’s needs may be met through a referral to
a single statutory or voluntary agency. A child who presents with a number of
needs/vulnerabilities will indicate the need to refer to a Multi-Agency Allocation
Group (MAAG) to identify a package of services and allocate a Lead Professional.
The Lead Professional sets up a ‘Team Around the Child’ (TAC) meeting with the
family, child and/or young person to co-ordinate an effective action plan and
review process. This will identify how each partner will work in order to meet the
needs of the child. In cases of a higher degree of concern, an inter-agency referral
to Children’s Social Care via Social Care Direct and the Initial Response Team
(IRT) may be indicated to undertake a statutory Initial Assessment to determine if
a child is in need. (The CAF should follow in five working days if consented by the
child’s family.)

If in doubt professionals should consult with their agency, line manager, local
MAAG Manager or IRT so the appropriate method of intervention can be
discussed and agreed. (This should then be recorded within the child’s record.)

Service Provision for children with additional needs

The CAF is designed to be an assessment tool. It is designed to help
professionals to collate information that will then assist in determining what the
child’s needs are and whether a referral for additional services is required and, if
so, which level of service is most appropriate. All CAFs must be registered on
CAFPoint, the central database which records whether a CAF has been completed
for a child or young person (see process diagram shown in Appendix 1).
Completed CAFs identifying the need for two or more services are sent to the
MAAG Manager who carries out a ‘step’ approach to identify the needs of the

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cases submitted. Step one is the first stage of screening, checking and returning
inappropriate or single agency referrals to the assessor if required. Step two is
where the MAAG Manager can discuss with relevant agency(ies) and allocate a
service or service package without the need for a discussion at a MAAG meeting.
Step three is where the case is taken to a MAAG meeting for discussion and
allocation of a package of resources and a Lead Professional.

The Lead Professional

Evidence from practice suggests that appointing a Lead Professional is central to
the effective frontline delivery of integrated services for children with a range of
additional needs. Delivered in the context of multi-agency assessment and
planning underpinned by the CAF or relevant specialist assessments, it ensures
that professional involvement is rationalised, co-ordinated and communicated
effectively. More importantly, it helps to overcome some of the frustrations
traditionally experienced by service users with a range of needs, requiring input
from a range of practitioners.

For most children with additional needs requiring support from a number of
services, their Lead Professional will be drawn from the range of practitioners who
are currently delivering early intervention, support and preventative services in
their area. For children whose identified needs require more than one service, the
Lead Professional will co-ordinate services, providing the link between family and
professionals to drive the plan forward.

Deciding who is best placed to be the Lead Professional can be undertaken most
effectively when all parties, including the child and family, have discussed the
identified needs, agreed the intended outcomes and agreed the contribution that
each will make in achieving those intended outcomes.

The Lead Professional should be the practitioner who is most relevant to the
child’s plan and who has the skills to carry out the specified functions. This is not
necessarily the practitioner who first becomes involved with the child or family, or
carries out the CAF.

The Lead Professional Practitioner’s Guide can be downloaded from
www.ecm.gov.uk/leadprofessional

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Level Three - Targeted and Enhanced Support – Children with Additional and
Complex Needs

and/or

Level Four - Acute – Children with Complex and Acute Needs

This smaller group of children and young people require intensive help and
support to meet their needs. This group includes those children who require an
assessment to determine whether or not they are children in need, those that
have been assessed as children in need and those who have suffered or who are
at risk of suffering significant harm. The circumstances of children who clearly fall
into levels 3 and 4 tend to be so complex that it is hard to distinguish the level of
need without formal assessment. These children should be referred to Children’s
Social Care via Social Care Direct and the Initial Response Team (IRT) so that both
the required level of assessment can be determined as well as the most
appropriate intervention. Where there are clear child protection issues or a s.47
investigation is instigated there is no requirement for a CAF to be completed. This
is because all s.47 investigations are undertaken by completion of a Core
Assessment. However if a CAF has been completed previously it should be
forwarded to the relevant Assessment Team so the information in it can
contribute to the completion of the core assessment.

Children who are defined as being ‘in need’, under s.17 of the Children Act 1989,
are those whose vulnerability is such that they are unlikely to reach or maintain a
satisfactory level of health or development, or their health and development will
be significantly impaired, without the provision of services (s.17 (10) of the
Children Act 1989), plus those who are disabled. The critical factors to be taken
into account in deciding whether a child is in need under the Children Act 1989
are:

 What will happen to a child’s health or development without services
being provided;

and

 The likely effect the services will have on the child’s standard of health
and development.

Local Authorities have a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children
identified as in need. However, parents/carers need to be willing to undertake
assessments and accept offers of services. They should be encouraged to do so
as a means of avoiding needs escalating to a higher level which will likely lead to
compulsory intervention.

19

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Some children are in need because they are suffering, or likely to suffer,
significant harm. The Children Act 1989 introduced the concept of significant
harm as the threshold that justifies compulsory intervention in family life in the
best interest of children, giving Local Authorities a duty to make enquiries to
decide whether they should take action to safeguard or promote the welfare of a
child who is suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm.

It is only when the Local Authority has reasonable cause to suspect a child is
suffering or likely to suffer significant harm that compulsory intervention is
justified. That intervention may take the form of a s.47 investigation, a child
protection conference followed by a child protection plan or in more extreme
cases, legal intervention.

A court may only make a care order or supervision order in respect of a child if it is
satisfied that:

 The child is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm
and
 The harm or likelihood of harm is attributable to a lack of adequate care or
control (s.31).

The following list provides a sense of which children may have complex and/or
acute needs:

 Children who are unlikely to reach or maintain a satisfactory level of health or
development, or their health and development will be significantly impaired,
without the provision of services
 Where there is reasonable cause to suspect that a child may have suffered or
is likely to suffer significant harm
 Children with clearly identified additional needs and consent to a CAF has
been refused (identified risks suggest the child is in need)
 Children who are subject to a Child Protection Plan
 Children who have been previously subject to a Child Protection Plan
 Looked after children
 Children who have a substantial and permanent disability, including sensory
impairment or complex and permanent health needs
 Children diagnosed with significant mental health problems
 Serious and persistent young offenders.
 Children who persistently run away from home

This final table provides a summary of the vulnerabilities/indicators which may
be identified in children assessed as having complex and/or acute needs. This
table includes those children who may have suffered or are at risk of suffering
significant harm, these children would require an immediate referral to Children’s

20

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Social Care for a s.47 enquiry to be initiated. It would be expected that in most
cases where children fall into Level 4 there will be a combination of a number of
vulnerabilities and rarely just one presenting feature. (If in doubt consult).

Development Needs of Baby, Child or Young Person
Children with additional and complex needs and/or acute needs
Health
Identity
 Has severe/chronic health
 Experiences persistent
problems
discrimination e.g. on the basis
 Persistent substance
of ethnicity, sexual orientation or
misuse/smoking likely to affect
disability
child’s health and/or development  Is socially isolated and lacks
 Developmental milestones
appropriate role models, very low
unlikely to be met
self-esteem
 Early teenage pregnancy

 Serious mental health issues

 Learning disabilities

Education and Learning
Family and Social Relationships
 Is out of school
 Periods of being accommodated
 Permanently excluded from school
by the Local Authority
or at risk of permanent exclusion
 Family breakdown related in
 Has no access to leisure activities
some ways to the child’s

behavioural difficulties

 Subject to physical, emotional or

sexual abuse or neglect

 Is the main carer for a family

member

Emotional and Behavioural
Social Presentation
development
 Poor and inappropriate self-
 Regularly involved in anti-
presentation
social/criminal activities
 Poor social skills
 Puts self or others in danger e.g.

missing, absconding
Self-care Skills
 Suffers from periods of depression  Neglects to use self-care skills
 Self-harming or suicide attempts
due to alternative priorities e.g.
 Disability
substance misuse
 Preschool children with moderate
 Help required with personal care
hearing loss in the better ear
such as toileting or feeding
 School children, a hearing
impairment of 80db loss or more
in the better ear

21

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 Any child eligible for a certificate
of visual impairment
 Severe learning disability
 Significant mobility difficulties

2. Parents and Carers
3. Family & Environmental Factors

Basic Care
Wider Family
 Parents unable to provide ‘good
 No effective support from
enough’ parenting that is
extended family
adequate and safe
 Destructive/unhelpful
 Parents’ mental health problems
involvement from extended
or substance misuse significantly
family
affects care of the child

 Parents unable to care for previous
children

Ensure Safety
Housing
 There is instability and violence in
 Physical accommodation places
the home
the child in danger
 Parents involved in crime
 Repeated periods of
 Parents unable to keep the child
homelessness as a result of
safe
negligence
 Victim of crime

Ensure Warmth
Employment
 Parents inconsistent, highly critical  Chronic unemployment that has
or apathetic towards the child
severely affected parents’ own

identities

 Family unable to gain

employment due to significant

lack of basic skills or long-term

difficulties e.g. substance misuse

Stimulation
Income
 No constructive leisure time or
 Extreme poverty/debt impacting
guided play
on ability to care for the child

Guidance and Boundaries
Family’s Social Integration
 No effective boundaries set by
 Family chronically socially
parents
excluded
 Regularly behaves in an anti-social  No supportive network
way in the neighbourhood

22

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Stability
Community Resources
 Beyond parental control
 Poor quality services with long-
 Has no-one to care for him/her
term difficulties with accessing

target populations

Family History and Functioning
 Significant parental discord and
persistent domestic violence
 Poor relationships between
siblings
 History of involvement in child
sexual abuse

Children’s Social Care is the lead agency for undertaking s.17 and s.47 Enquiries.
If professionals are in any doubt or would like to discuss particular concerns they
are encouraged to do so by contacting the Duty Social Worker or Team Manager
for the county wide Initial Response Team.

Out of office hours, the Emergency Duty Team (EDT) should be contacted. (If in
doubt consult).

In particular complex cases or when there is a dispute between agencies about
whether thresholds are met, the decisions about appropriate responses should
always be escalated to more senior managers to resolve (see SET procedures).
This should be the case in all agencies so that children are not potentially left at
risk because of differences of professional opinion.

Sharing information

Knowing when and how to share information isn’t always easy – but it’s
important to get it right. Children, young people and their families need to feel
reassured that their confidentiality is respected. In most cases you will only share
information about them with their consent, but there may be circumstances when
you need to override this.

“No inquiry into a child’s death or serious injury has questioned why information
was shared. It has always asked the opposite”
G. Nunnery, Solicitor, Lewisham

‘Whilst the law rightly seeks to preserve individuals’ privacy and confidentiality,
it should not be used (and was never intended) as a barrier to appropriate
information sharing between professionals.

23

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The safety and welfare of children is of paramount importance, and agencies
may lawfully share confidential information about the child or the parent,
without consent, if doing so is in the public interest. A public interest can arise
in a wide range of circumstances, including the protection of a child from harm,
and the promotion of child welfare.’

Point 4.7 Laming - The Protection of Children in England - A Progress Report
2009

Seven Golden Rules (taken from Information Sharing Pocket Guide HM
Government):

1. Remember that the Data Protection Act is not a barrier to sharing
information but provides a framework to ensure that personal information
about living persons is shared appropriately.

2. Be open and honest with the person (and/or their family where
appropriate) from the outset about why, what, how and with whom
information will, or could be shared, and seek their agreement, unless it is
unsafe or inappropriate to do so.

3. Seek advice if you are in any doubt, without disclosing the identity of the
person where possible.

4. Share consent where appropriate and, where possible, respect the wishes
of those who do not consent to share confidential information. You may
still share information without consent if, in your judgement, that lack of
consent can be overridden in the public interest. You will need to base
your judgement on the facts of the case.

5. Consider safety and well-being: Base your information sharing decisions
on considerations of the safety and well-being of the person and others
who may be affected by their actions.

6. Necessary, proportionate, relevant, accurate, timely and secure: Ensure
that the information you share is necessary for the purpose for which you
are sharing it, is shared only with those people who need to have it, is
accurate and up-to-date, is shared in a timely fashion, and is shared
securely.

7. Keep a record of your decision and the reasons for it – whether it is to
share information or not. If you decide to share, then record what you have
shared, with whom and for what purpose.

8. Do you have consent to share?

24

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 You should seek consent where possible and respect the wishes of those
who do not consent to share confidential information. You may still share
information without consent if, in your judgement on the facts of the case,
that lack of consent can be overridden in the public interest.

 You do not always need consent to share personal information. There will
be some circumstances where you should not seek consent, for example,
where doing so would:

o place a child at increased risk of significant harm; or
o place an adult at increased risk of serious harm; or
o prejudice the prevention, detection or prosecution of a serious
crime; or
o lead to unjustified delay in making enquiries about allegations of
significant harm or serious harm

Children in need

Request for Service (Referrals) to Children’s Social Care

Other than in emergency situations, most children who require social care
intervention (levels 3 and 4) are likely to have been known to agencies for some
time. They will already have been indentified as children with additional needs
and as such are likely to have been causing concern and a CAF completed. A
referral to a Multi-Agency Allocation Group (MAAG) may have been considered
and in this event a CAF will already have been completed. As a first step, referrers
should always determine whether a CAF has been completed and a Lead
Professional allocated by checking CAFPoint (Appendix 1).

If a child is identified as being at risk of significant harm or a Child in Need of
Children’s Social Care services, the inter-agency referral should be submitted to
Essex Social Care Direct within Contact Essex, which is aligned with Children’s
Social Care Initial Response Team (IRT). In the case of a disabled child, referrals
should be made directly to the Children with Disabilities Team in the relevant
area. The CAF should follow within five working days where children are deemed
to be in need, but is not required where they are believed to be suffering
significant harm. The Initial Response Team will assess whether the case meets
the threshold for Initial Assessment and, if it does, will forward the case to the
Assessment and Family Support Service. The prior completion of a CAF by the
referring agency will greatly enhance the referral and aid speedy decision making.
The IRT or Children with Disabilities Team will decide and record the decision on

25

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future action within one working day. If the referrer has not received an
acknowledgement within three working days, they should contact Social Care
Direct /IRT again.

If you consider that the child may be at risk of immediate significant harm and a
CAF has not been completed, a referral can be made on the Interagency Referral
Form for Children and Young People to Social Care. (Appendix 5) The Southend,
Essex and Thurrock (SET) child protection procedures should be followed. If a
Section 47 investigation is instigated as a result of your referral, a Core
Assessment will be undertaken. On this basis there will not be a requirement or
expectation that a CAF will be completed. However if a CAF has been completed
previously it should be sent on in the usual way as the information will
contribute to the completion of the Core Assessment.

Where the Initial Response or CWD Team Manager decides to take no further
action, feedback will be provided in writing to the referrer about the decision and
the reason for making it. This will be undertaken by the relevant Duty Officer. If
referrers do not receive feedback within a reasonable timescale they should
contact the Duty Officer.

The relevant Assessment Team or CWDT will always inform referrers about the
outcome of initial assessments in terms of whether the case will remain open or
closed or transferred.

Children’s Social Care

Initial Assessment

A decision to gather more information in respect of a child constitutes an Initial
Assessment. It should involve all the agencies relevant to a child and be
undertaken within a maximum of seven working days from the date of the agency
decision to undertake the assessment. From 1 April 2011, the time of completion
of an initial assessment will be extended to a maximum of ten days.

The Initial Assessment is a brief assessment of each child referred to Children’s
Social Care where it is necessary to determine whether the child is in need, the
nature of any services or action required, and whether a further, more detailed
core assessment should be undertaken.

The analysis of information gathered is a crucial element of the process and will
inform recommendations for the provision of services.

26

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Core Assessment

A core assessment is an in-depth assessment that addresses the central or most
important needs of the child and the capacity of his or her parents or caregivers
to respond to those needs within the wider family and community context. The
Core Assessment is also the tool that is used when Children’s Social Care
undertake s.47 Enquiries to assess whether the child is suffering or likely to suffer
significant harm.

The assessment is led by Children’s Social Care but it is essential that key
agencies contribute information they have about family members, specialist
knowledge or advice and potential and ongoing support to the family.

The timescale for completion of a core assessment is a maximum of 35 working
days. A Core Assessment commences at the conclusion of the Initial Assessment
where it is indicated that a more detailed understanding of the child and family is
required, or when a strategy discussion decides to initiate enquiries under s.47 of
the Children Act 1989, or when new information on an open case indicates that a
Core Assessment should be undertaken.

27

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Integrated Children’s System

The Integrated Children’s System has been introduced to provide a consistent
framework for practice and case recording within Children’s Social Care.

The Integrated Children’s System comprises of:

 A system that is a conceptual framework for assessment, planning,
intervention and review which builds on the Assessment Framework and the
Looked After Children System. This framework is underpinned by the domains
and dimensions set out in the Assessment Framework.

 A set of data requirements for Children’s Social Care, derived from individual
children’s records which could also provide the basis for identifying how
common information could be held about children across different agencies.
This data forms part of the overall information required to plan and deliver
children’s services; and
 Records which demonstrate how information gathered by Children’s Social
Care practitioners from first contact to closure can be organised and used to
generate particular records or reports which are required in the course of the
work. These records form the basis of an electronic social care record for
children.

The system provides common terms for understanding and describing the
developmental needs of children, which can be used by all those who work with
children in need and their families. It enables information gathered during
assessments to be used more effectively in making plans and deciding on the

28

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most effective interventions. It also provides the basis for reviewing whether a
child is making progress in important areas of their development, such as health
and education.

Common use of this conceptual framework by local agencies and programmes
enables them to work better together, share information more easily and
facilitates referrals between organisations. It benefits children and families by
enabling them to understand what information agencies are seeing and why, and
helps them to judge whether they are getting the services they require.

Conclusion

This summary guide provides an overview of the continuum of needs of all
children in Essex. It provides guidance on the key concepts, thresholds and
processes in working with children, young people and their families according to
their needs.

Detailed guidance can be obtained by accessing the procedures and guidance
reference at the end of this document.

It is acknowledged that thresholds are based on individual judgements and
involves professional and personal values. Professionals are encouraged to
discuss concerns openly with their own agency line manager or with Children’s
Social Care. (If in doubt consult).

29

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Appendix 1: CAFpoint process

You want to

check if a
You want to
CAF has
register a

been
CAF
completed

previously

Phone CAF point

number
0845 6037639

Provide password details as

requested by Contact Essex

Staff

Practitioner explains

Practitioner explains
Contact Essex

that he/she wishes to
Register CAF
that he/she wishes
check system to see

register a completed
to check if a CAF
if CAF is in
CAF
already exists for a
existence ?

specific child

CAF is recorded on
Contact Essex will
Caller to complete
Contact Essex
the system by
then record that a
CAF. Caller should
check system and

Contact Essex
CAF has been
phone and register
provide Lead

completed on the
when complete
Professional details

CAF point system

End Call
End Call

End Call

30

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Appendix 2: Assessment and Referral Process

31

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Appendix 3: Glossary

Terminology and the use of acronyms is both complex and are subject to change.
This glossary provides a description of the terms and acronyms used within this
document.

Term/Acronym
Description

Abuse and neglect
Forms of maltreatment of a child

ASSET
Asset provides a common, structured framework
for assessment of all young people involved in
the criminal justice system. It is a standard
assessment of the factors contributing to a
young person’s offending. Asset should be
completed at the beginning and end of all
interventions, and at the mid-point of Detention
and Training Orders

CAF
Common Assessment Framework

Child
Anyone who has not yet reached their 18th
birthday (in Health this is up to 19)

Child
Protection
Process of protecting individual children
identified as either suffering, or at risk of
suffering, significant harm as a result of abuse
or neglect

Children’s Social Care
The work of Local Authorities exercising their
social services functions with regard to children

ICS
Integrated Children’s System

Lead Professional
Person responsible for ensuring services are
co-ordinated, coherent and achieve intended
outcomes for children with additional needs
being supported by one or more practitioner. If
the child has complex needs this role should be
carried out by the key worker, social worker or
YOT Supervising Officer. However in less
complex situations the Lead Professional can be
anyone in a position to oversee effective

co-ordination

32

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Term/Acronym
Description

Local Authorities
In this guidance this generally means Local
Authorities that are Children’s Services
Authorities – effectively, Local Authorities that
are responsible for social services and
education

MAAG
Multi-Agency Allocation Group

Term/Acronym
Description

Safeguarding and
The process of protecting children from abuse or
promoting the welfare of
neglect, preventing impairment of their health
children
and development, and ensuring they are
growing up in circumstances consistent with the
provision of safe and effective care which is
undertaken so as to enable children to have
optimum life chances and enter adulthood
successfully

Team around the Child A plan which specifies action to be taken and
Action Plan
the outcomes expected from the actions

Team around the Child A meeting convened following the completion of
Meeting
CAF when 1 or more agency is involved

Universal Services
Services available to the whole child population
e.g. Health Visitor, School, School Nurse etc

Wellbeing
The term wellbeing is used to encapsulate the
five outcomes for all children

33

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Appendix 4: References

Local County Contacts

You can contact us in the following ways:

Essex Children’s Joint Working Arrangements

Schools, Children and Families
Essex County Council
PO Box 11, County Hall
Chelmsford
Essex CM1 1LX

By telephone: 01245 438848

By email: [email address]
Visit our website: www.essexpartnershipportal.org

Multi Agency Allocation Groups

 Quadrant Key Contacts
Link to the Essex Partnership Portal to download the latest contact
information.
 Local Services guide Essex Children Parents Families
Link to the Essex Partnership Portal to download the document.

Useful Links

Essex Safeguarding Children Board
Contains relevant information related to safeguarding and promoting the welfare
of children. It will also provide details of training and development and useful
links to support you in your work.
Integrated Working Website
E-learning and information portal for practitioners.
Essex Schools Infolink
Information, news and training for education professionals.

34

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Essex Council for Voluntary Youth Services
ECVYS is a member led umbrella organisation, providing development, support
and representation for Voluntary Youth Organisations, children and their families’
throughout Essex, Southend and Thurrock.
Essex County Council
The Local Authority public facing website.

National Guidance and Procedures

Children Act 1989. London: HMSO

Children Act 2004. London: HMSO

Cm 5730 (2003). The Victoria Climbié Inquiry
Report of an inquiry by Lord Laming.
London. The Stationery Office.
Website: www.victoria-climbié-inquiry.org.uk/finreport.htm

Cm 5860 (2003).
Every Child Matters.
London. The Stationery Office

Cm5861 (2003)
Keeping Children Safe – the Government’s response to the Victoria Climbié
Inquiry Report and Joint Chief Inspectors’ Report: Safeguarding Children.
London. The Stationery Office

Department of Health (2000)
Assessing Children in Need and their Families: Practice Guidance.
London. The Stationery Office

Department of Health (2002)
The Integrated Children’s System
Website: www.everychildmatters.gov.uk/ics

Department of Health and Department for Education and Skills (2004)
National Service Framework for Children, Young People and Maternity Services
London. Department of Health
Website: www.dh.gov.uk/policy andguidance/healthandsocialcaretopics/
childrensservices/chilrenservicesinformation/fx/en

35

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Department of Health and Employment and Home Office (2000)
Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and Their Families
London. The Stationery Office
Website: www.dh.gov.uk/policy andguidance/healthandsocialcaretopics/
childrensservices/chilrenservicesinformation/index

HM Government (2004)
Every Child Matters: Change for Children Programme
Nottingham. Department for Education and Skills
Website: www.everychildmatters.gov.uk

HM Government (2006a)
The Common Assessment Framework for Children and Young People:
Practitioners’ Guide
London: Department for Education and Skills
Website: www.everychildmatters.gov.uk/caf

HM Government (2006b)
Information Sharing: Practitioners’ Guide
London: Department for Education and Skills
Website: www.everychildmatters.gov.uk/information

HM Government (2006c)
What to Do If You Are Worried a Child is Being Abused
London: Department for Education and Skills
Website: www.everychildmatters.gov.uk/safeguarding

HM Government (2006d)
Working Together to Safeguard Children guide to inter-agency working to
safeguard and promote the welfare of children
London: Department for Education and Skills
Website: www.everychildmatters.gov.uk/safeguarding

HM Government (2006e)
Lead Professional Practitioners guide: Integrated working to improve outcomes
for children and young people
London: Department for Education and Skills
Website: www.everychildmatters.gov.uk/leadprofess...

Appendix 5 – see form on next pages

36

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ECC999
Inter Agency Referral Form (Children & Young People)
Page 1 of 7

Rev. 01/06

This form is to assist agencies to either make a referral about a child or young person to children’s social care services
or confirm a referral in writing already made by telephone (all professionals making telephone referrals to social
services must confirm this in writing within 48 hours). This form may be posted, transmitted by fax, or sent as an email
attachment (see below). The form should be completed, with reference to the Guidance Notes (separately available).
Making a referral/inquiry by telephone
Normal telephone inquiries/referrals: 0845 603 7627
Out of hours (5.30pm - 9.00am Mon - Thurs, 4.30pm Fri - 9.00am Mon and Bank holidays): 0845 606 1212
and Fax 01245 434700
Where there are concerns about the immediate welfare or safety of a child/young person: 0845 603
7634 (all callers) OR 0845 606 1212 (Office hours number for professionals only).

Sending this form to social services
By email to: [email address] as an attachment (must be password protected – see
guidance notes)
By post to: Essex Social Care Direct, Essex House, 200, The Crescent, Colchester, Essex CO4 9YQ
By fax to: 0845 601 6230

This is a new referral
OR
This is confirmation of a referral I made by telephone on
(date), Reference

PART 1 CHILD/YOUNG PERSON’S DETAILS
Family Name: Given
names:

Date of Birth or expected date of delivery:

Gender:
Male
Female

Unborn

Usual or home address:
Post code:
Tel no.:

Child or young person’s first language or preferred means of communication:
Is an interpreter required?: Yes
No

Current address if different: (e.g. staying with relative or friend)
Post code:
Tel no.:

Responsible local authority (if child/young person is known to

be in the care of another authority but living in Essex):
Child/young person’s main carers:
Name Relationship
to
Ethnicity First
language
Parental
child/young person
Responsibility

Yes
No

Yes
No

Is an interpreter/signer required?
Mother:
Yes
No
Father:
Yes
No

Other main carers (please specify name):

Are any of the main carers disabled?
Mother:
Yes
No
Father:
Yes
No

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ECC999
Page 2 of 7
The child/young person or the child’s parents should be asked which ethnic group the child belongs to. This
information on ethnicity will help us to assess fair access to services by all communities, better plan services
and complete statistical returns required by Government (these categories are supplied by Government)
Black or
Asian or
White Mixed
Other
Ethnic
Black British
Asian British
groups
Indian

White & Black
Chinese

Caribbean
Caribbean
Pakistani

White British

White & Black
Any other
African
ethnic group

African
Bangladeshi

White Irish

White & Asian
Not
given

Any other

Any other

Any other

Any other mixed
If other, please
Black background
Asian background
White background
background
specify:
Further details regarding child/young person’s ethnicity:
Child/young person’s religion:

Child/young person’s nationality (if not British and if known):
Nationality:
Home Office registration number:
Immigration status:
Asylum seeking

Refugee status

Exceptional leave to remain

Child/young person’s Unique Pupil Number (if school age and if known):
Other Unique identifier (if used – please give identifier and describe what this is):

Parent’s details if not main carers (and if known):
Mother’s name: Mother’s
address:

Postcode:
Tel:
Mother’s first language: Mother’s
ethnicity:

Father’s name:
Father’s address:
Does father have parental responsibility?
Yes
No

Mother Yes

No

Is either parent disabled?
Father Yes

No

Mother Yes

No

Is an interpreter/signer required?
Father Yes

No

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ECC999
Page 3 of 7

Other household members (including non-family members – if known):
Family name
Given name
DoB
UPN
Other
Relationship to child
Tick if you are
identifier
unique
also referring
(If
identifier (if
to Social
known)
known)
Services at
same time as
child

As far as you know has the child/young person, or another child of the family been: (please give details)
Yes
No

on the disability record

Name:

Date(s):

on a child protection

Name:

register

Date on:

Date off:

Category:
-
looked after by a local

Name:

authority

Date(s):

Any other family members who are not living in the child/young person’s household but who has significant
involvement (e.g. sibling, relative)
Surname Forename
Relationship
Address
Phone
No.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ECC999
Page 4 of 7

Agencies involved with the child. Please complete if currently involved with family. You do not need to
contact other agencies, social services will do so if necessary.
Agency Name Phone
No.
If a common
assessment has
been completed &
permission has
been given for it to
be shared please
tick
GP

Health Visitor

Nursery

School

Education Welfare Officer

School Nurse

Community Paediatrician

Dentist

Child and Family Consultation

Service
Police

Youth Offending Team

Other

PART 2 REASON FOR REFERRAL
Please give your reasons for referral/request for services (please continue on separate sheet as necessary)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ECC999
Page 5 of 7

Awareness of referral (The child/young person and parents/carers should be made aware of your intention to
make a referral to Social Services, unless there is a specific reason for this being inappropriate, e.g. risk of
significant harm)
Is the parent/carer aware of the
Yes
No
Is child/young person
Yes
No
referral?
aware?
Has the parent, carer (or
Parent/carer Yes
No If No consent please give reason for
young person if competent)
this being inappropriate
given consent to the
Young person
Yes
No
referral?

PART 3: REFERRER’S DETAILS

Referred by
Agency: Name:

Address:

Post

Phone No.
Email address

Code
Date of any previous referral to Social Services if relevant
What services are you or your organisation are already providing to the child/young person or family?

Have you completed a Common Assessment concerning this child/young person? Yes
No
(if
yes please attach)
Any safety issues to be aware of? Yes
No
unknown

If yes please specify

Completed by:
Name …………………………………….Signature ...................................... …………… Date: …………..…..

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ECC999
Page 6 of 7
PART 4: TO BE COMPLETED BY ECC STAFF ONLY

Action by Social Care Direct
Date Received by Social Care Direct
SWIFT Record number:
Date sent to children’s operational team:

Action by Children’s operational team
Date Received by Children’s operational team
Decision by Team Manager on referral:
NFA
Initial
Assessment

Date referral acknowledged
Date outcome of referral notified to referrer (if different)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ECC999
Page 7 of 7
PART 5: TO BE COMPLETED BY ECC OPERATIONAL TEAM, DETACHED AND SENT TO THE
REFERRER

Date:

Referrers Name:
Referrer’s Address:

Dear Colleague

Concerning: (Child’s/young person’s name)
Address:
(Child’s/young person’s address)
Referred on
(Referral date)
Thank you for your referral. I am writing to confirm the outcome of your referral.
Decision on referral:
NFA

Reason for NFA:
OR
Initial Assessment

Date of decision

Contacts for further inquiries about this referral:
The social worker who should be contacted about this matter is
OR
There is no allocated social worker in this case. Any further inquiries should be directed to (name and
contact details)

Signed .........................................................................................
Team Manager Name
Team Manager Contact Details

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This booklet is issued by
Essex County Council, Schools, Children and Families
You can contact us in the following ways:

By post:
Schools, Children & Families,
Essex County Council,
PO Box 11,
Chelmsford,
Essex CM1 1LX

By telephone:
01245 438848

By fax:
01245 431889

By email:
[email address]

Visit our website:
www.essexpartnershipportal.org

The information contained in this document can be translated, and/or
made available in alternative formats, on request.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Gadawodd P. Smith anodiad ()

Download original attachment
(PDF file) This is an HTML version of an attachment to the Freedom of Information request 'Essex Social Services and Children with Aspergers'.

Guidance for
Threshold of Need and Intervention
Criteria for Children’s Services

(Supplementary Guidance for Children
with Disabilities)

VERSION 1.0

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Introduction

This guidance document supplements School’s Children and Families Guidance
for Threshold of Need and Intervention document to provide additional
information and guidance about the Children with Disabilities (CWD) service and
should be read in conjunction with it.

This supplementary guidance is provided, because disabled children are children
in need in law and this document sets out which children are eligible for an
assessment to establish whether additional support and services should be
provided through the Children with Disabilities service. Each case is treated on
its own individual circumstances and this guidance is intended to help
practitioners and families arrive at a decision about fair and consistent packages
of support for families in similar circumstances.

The Children with Disabilities service, sits within the Vulnerable Children and
Young People’s Service and the Head of Local Delivery with responsibility for it,
is a member of its management team. The service comprises of five social work
teams: the countywide Children’s Sensory Team; and five geographically based
‘Quadrant’ teams covering, North East Essex, based in Colchester, South Essex,
based in both Basildon and Rayleigh, Mid Essex, based in Chelmsford and West
Essex based in Harlow. In addition, there are four quadrant-based Family Care
Service managers, co-located with the social work teams; and three children’s
homes, two of which provide overnight residential short breaks.

The CWD service works in conjunction with the Commissioning Service and,
where appropriate, partner agencies in the health and education fields, to provide
complex packages of support and/or care.

Those disabled children not deemed eligible for a service from the CWD Service,
may be entitled to access other services provided by the Schools Children and
Families Directorate or through ‘tier two’ support and/or short breaks available to
all disabled children through the Aiming High for Disabled Children programme.

This guidance also covers the legal status of children who are provided with
overnight short breaks. The approach is consistent with that suggested in the
Statutory Guidance issued in March 2010 (Short Breaks: Statutory Guidance on
how to promote and safeguard the welfare of disabled children using short
breaks).

Finally, there is a section describing how we aim to ensure fair access to short
breaks for disabled children and their carers. This part of the guidance outlines
how we aim to determine the package of support needed to meet the needs
identified in assessments of the child’s and carer’s needs. This will be introduced
over the course of 2011/12 to ensure that there has been appropriate
consultation and validation of the assessment tools that are to be used. This
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--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
remains an assessment tool only, which will be revised as necessary, and the
individual child’s assessed needs will be the determining factor in providing
resources to meet those needs.

Specialist Transition Workers from Adult Services work alongside the Children
with Disabilities Social Workers, to provide additional support to young people at
such a significant time in their lives. The assessments made when the young
person is moving on to adulthood and adult services, will endeavour to take
account of the young person’s developing capabilities, wishes and feelings, so
that there will be a smooth transition.

Throughout this document the term Children with Disabilities service, or CWD
service, refers to the social work and family care services provided by the
Vulnerable Children’s Service, Essex County Council.
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--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Contents

Page
Introduction 2
Contents 4
Which children are eligible for the Children with Disabilities Service?
5
Assessment and Support Packages
9
Decision-Making Process and CWD Panel
11
Transitional Arrangements
13
The Legal Status of Short Breaks
14
Mental Capacity Act
16
Advocacy 18
Related Essex County Council Guidance
19
Appendix 1: Level of Need
20
Appendix 2: Questionnaire
23
Appendix 3: Services
36
Appendix 4: Indicative Budget
37
Appendix 5: Short Breaks: Assessment Tool for the Legal Basis
38
(s17 or s20 CA89)
Appendix 6: Extract from Statutory Guidance on Short Breaks
41
Appendix 7: Flowchart
42
Appendix 8: CWD Panel Guidance
43
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Which children are eligible for the Children with Disabilities Service?

The starting point for determining eligibility is the definition of disability set out in
section 17(11) of the Children Act 1989. This states:

‘a child is disabled if he is blind, deaf or dumb, or suffers from mental disorder of
any kind or is substantially and permanently handicapped by illness, injury or
congenital deformity or such other disability as may be prescribed’.

The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 used a wider definition of disability:

‘1 Meaning of “disability” and “disabled person”.
(1)Subject to the provisions of Schedule 1, a person has a disability for the
purposes of this Act if he has a physical or mental impairment which has a
substantial and long-term adverse effect on his ability to carry out normal day-to-
day activities.’
The Disability Discrimination Act 2005 and Equality Act 2010 further clarified the
definition of disability to include conditions such as HIV or cancers.
As a result the Essex Multi-Agency Strategy Group, which represents parents
support groups and professionals who are involved in developing services for
disabled children and their families, uses the following definition of disability:

‘A child or young person who has substantial difficulty, either permanent or
temporary, in achieving his or her full potential in areas of personal or social
development, emotional or physical health, family life, education or employment
due to:

 Sensory impairments
 Learning disabilities
 Communication difficulties
 Physical impairment
 Chronic or life limiting health condition or complex health care needs

This definition is not intended to be used as criteria. Its purpose is to
promote positive outcomes for children by facilitating multi-agency,
partnership working.’

(ESSEX MULTI - AGENCY STRATEGY FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES 2010 – 2012)

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Disabled children, whose needs are likely to meet the eligibility criteria for a
service from CWD social care teams are, by type of disability:

Sensory Impairment and Communication Difficulties

 Deafness

For pre-school children, those with a moderate hearing loss in the better
ear
For school-age children, those with a hearing impairment of 80db loss or
more in the better ear

 Visual
impairment

Any child who is eligible for a certificate of visual impairment (CVI) issued
by an ophthalmologist

 Deafness and visual impairment

The separate criteria for deafness and visual impairment, set out above,
may be adjusted down, depending on the social worker’s assessment of
the complexity of the impairment and the impact it has on the individual
child.

 Children with communication difficulties requiring the use of technological
solutions or other communication systems, e.g. Makaton, Picture
Exchange Communication System (PECS); or do not use or have limited
use of verbal means communication.

Learning Disability

 Learning
disability

Children with a moderate learning disability and an associated specific
condition, e.g. Downs Syndrome.
Children who have a severe learning disability.

 Autism and Autistic Spectrum Disorder

Children diagnosed with autism or autistic spectrum disorder who also
have a moderate or more severe learning disability.

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Physical Impairment

 Physical
disability

Children with significant mobility difficulties, who require walking aids or a
wheelchair
Children who have significant difficulty in moving and transfers, such as
getting in and out of bed or a bath.
Children who require help with personal care and feeding

Chronic or life limiting health condition or complex health care needs

 Complex
health
needs

Children who have chronic or life-limiting conditions, which cannot be
controlled by medication e.g. uncontrolled epilepsy.

 Mental
health
needs

Children with a diagnosis of a recognised mental illness.
Children with emotional and behavioural difficulties, including diagnosed
conditions such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) who
also have a moderate or severe learning disability.

 Children
with
HIV

Children with other conditions are less likely to meet the eligibility criteria for the
Children with Disabilities service, but may still be entitled to other social work
services. These include, by type of impairment:

 Emotional and behavioural difficulties

Children with emotional and behavioural difficulties, such as ADHD, but do
not have a moderate or greater learning disability.

 Mental
illness

Children with a mental illness, who do not have a moderate or greater
learning disability.

 Moderate
learning
disability

Children with a moderate learning disability without an associated specific
disability.

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--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Learning
difficulties

Children with learning difficulties such as dyslexia or dyspraxia.

It is anticipated that, while these children are not eligible for a CWD social work
service, their needs are likely to be met, either by accessing services without
specialist social care support or by using the support and services (including
social work services) available to other children without a disability or with
additional needs.

Where children who receive a social care service and in other circumstances
could meet the eligibility criteria for a CWD service (e.g. where a ‘mainstream’
social work team is working with the siblings of a disabled child), the Children
with Disabilities service provides consultation to social care professionals
working with that child on request. In such cases it might still be appropriate for
the young person and the family to have the same access to short breaks and
services as other disabled children. These children’s needs may, therefore, still
be considered at CWD Panel (see below).

Where children are referred to a Children with Disabilities Team, a social worker
from the CWD Service will usually conduct an Initial Assessment of need. For
more about the assessment process see the main Threshold document and the
next section. Should the outcome of the assessment be that the child does not
meet the criteria for the Children with Disabilities social work service, but that
ongoing support is required, the case will be transferred to another social work
team, and that team will be responsible for planning to meet identified needs and
the provision of suitable services.

In some cases children will not have needs which require social care service
intervention and they will be referred for tier 2 support to the Multi-Agency
Allocation Group Panel (MAAG) and/or for short breaks available to all disabled
children through Aiming High for Disabled Children services.

NB the priority children for AHDC services are:

‘Children and young people with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (who have severe
learning difficulties or behaviour which is challenging) OR those children and
young people whose challenging behaviour is associated with other impairments
such as severe learning difficulties.

‘Children and young people with complex health needs including those with
disability and life limiting conditions, and/or those who require palliative care
and/or those with associated impairments such as cognitive or sensory
impairments and/or have moving/handling needs and/or require special
equipment/adaptations.’

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Assessment and Support Packages

Disabled children are regarded as children in need and as such are entitled to an
Initial Assessment of need, by a social worker. More details of the assessment
can be found in the Guidance for Threshold of Need and Intervention.

Depending on the level of need there will be a range of services and support that
can be provided. For those children with minimal additional needs, that can be
met through community-based services (see Appendix 1), it is likely that the
CWD Service will provide advice and refer the case to an appropriate provider,
Aiming High for Disabled Children short break services and/or the Multi-Agency
Allocation Group (MAAG). The case will then be closed to the Vulnerable
Children & Young People’s Service.

For those with significant additional, complex and acute needs, further
assessments may be undertaken to identify appropriate resources and the
amount of support required. The purpose of the resources is to meet these
additional difficulties and not to provide or replace either something the family
would normally do, e.g. clean the home; or where a service in the community e.g.
an after-school club, is already available.

There will be some personal preferences about how the resources are designed
and delivered, to meet the child’s assessed needs. For example: children may
not want to stay overnight for a short break in a children’s home, but would enjoy
going out to access activities in the community with a support worker; or the child
and his parents might like one or two nights overnight care for their child a month
while others prefer a week away once a year to spend quality time with the other
children in the family.

There are two main ways service can be provided to those children and their
families who have assessed needs:

 direct provision of services by or on behalf of the local authority;

 through a Direct Payment, where the family decides the best way to use
the budget available to them and directly employs people to provide those
services or buys them from an existing provider.

At present there is also a national pilot of the Individual Budget scheme in Essex,
which has been extended by the Government. In these cases an Individual
Budget is at the disposal of the family to meet assessed needs. However, unlike
a Direct Payment, the local authority purchases the service on behalf of the child
and family. During the pilot period, there is a separate Individual Budget Panel.

The process is set out in the next section and in Appendix 7.

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The Aiming High for Disabled Children website, newsletter and Short Break
Statement (after 1st October 2011) give details of a wide range of opportunities
and activities and how to access them (see p.19 for details).
-10-

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Decision-Making Process and CWD Panel and Individual Budget Panel

A Core Assessment is the tool social workers use to capture the needs of a child.
During the Core Assessment process, the social worker will also conduct a
carer’s assessment, which details the needs of the parents/carers.These
assessments are completed with the child, family and other appropriate
professionals, family or friends, where it is considered this would be of value in
providing an holistic assessment of need. The child and family will have a copy of
the final assessments and will be able to comment on the analysis of need
derived from the assessment and give a view on how they would want those
needs to be met..

If the child and/or family’s preference is for directly provided services or a Direct
Payment, the child and family are asked to complete a Questionnaire with the
social worker (see Appendix 2) this will assist the CWD Service and any potential
provider ensure that the health, safety and wellbeing of the child and family are
fully understood, following the completion of the Core Assessment. The types of
service and budget that a child and his family might typically be provided with
depends on the outcome of the Core Assessment and the Questionnaire are set
out in Appendix 3 (service provision for each level of need) and Appendix 4 sets
out the Indicative Budget to meet the need. Overnight support in a children’s
home or with a foster carer, will not be available via a Direct Payment.

If the family prefer an Individual Budget, the Resource Allocation System (RAS)
paperwork is completed and the Indicative Budget is set out according to the
score obtained.

On completion of either the Questionnaire or the RAS the social worker will draft
a Child in Need Plan which will identify how the assessed needs will be met, in
consultation with the child, his/her family and subsequently the Team Manager.

Once the consultation is complete, the social worker and Team Manager will
present the draft Child in Need Plan to the CWD Panel or Individual Budget
Panel, as appropriate, which have the authority to vary the Plan on the basis of
the panel members’ collective professional experience and knowledge of a wide
range of resources available. This may result in an increase or a reduction in any
element of the proposed package and/or consider alternative ways to meet the
assessed needs contained in the draft Child in Need Plan, but will ensure that the
agreed resources are able to meet the assessed needs of the child and family.

Appeals against the Panel decision should be referred to the Panel
Administrator, who will arrange for any appeal to be heard at the next Panel
meeting.

A flowchart of the process is set out in Appendix 7.

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The CWD Panel process is set out in a separate document, which also describes
the appeals process (Appendix 8).

NB The needs of disabled children identified during the assessment, which come
under the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act are funded separately, so
are not considered within the scope of the Indicative Budget.

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Transitional Arrangements

First Quarter 2011/12

We will consult with our partner agencies and parent representatives who are
members of the CWD Multi Agency Strategy Group on this process.

Second Quarter 2011/12

Social workers will complete the ‘RAS paperwork’ for all requests to Access to
Resources Team, Joint Agency Panel, Children with Disabilities Panel as well as
the Individual Budget Panel.

However, during this quarter, the Indicative Budget will only be applied in cases
where there is going to be an Individual Budget and will not be used as a means
of identifying fair access to services provided via the other panels. The outcomes
of these RAS assessments, will be used to ensure that the RAS provides an
accurate reflection of need and would provide fair access to the services
provided.

At the end of the quarter the analysis of the outcomes of the RAS assessments
will be presented to the Schools, Children & Families Directorate Leadership
Team (DLT), which will make a decision about whether to implement this part of
the guidance in full.

Written guidance on completion of the RAS has been provided in Appendix 2 and
will be applied consistently whether the case is presented at the Individual
Budget Panel or another Panel. We will audit assessments and care packages
provided via both the CWD and Individual Budget Panels to ensure that there is a
consistency in outcome.

Draft 3 of the RAS is forthcoming and will replace Draft 2 once it has been
agreed nationally (expected June 2011)

Third Quarter 2011/12

If DLT approves use of the RAS or an amended version, Appendix 2 will be used
in the way described above to determine the indicative budget (Appendix 4).

At the end of this and each subsequent quarter a brief report will be provided to
the Schools, Children & Families Directorate Leadership Team (DLT) on the
progress being made.

DLT may review this part of the document at any time during the course of the
year, should it see fit, but will review it in full in March 2012.
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The Legal Status of Short Breaks

In March 2010, the Government issued Statutory Guidance (Short Breaks:
Statutory Guidance on how to safeguard and promote the welfare of disabled
children using short breaks – DCFS – March 2010) to help local authorities to
decide whether short breaks should be provided under s17 or s20 of the Children
Act 1989.

Previously, some local authorities accommodated almost all children under s20
and as such they became ‘looked after’ by the local authority, while they received
short breaks. Some parents and young people saw this as an intrusion into family
life and many felt stigmatised as a result. Others treated almost all as s17 and as
a result some important safeguards for the child, such as the case being
reviewed independently, were lost.

The Guidance set out factors to be taken into account when making the s17/s20
decision (paragraph 2.8) and these are reproduced here:

 particular vulnerabilities of the child, including communication method;

 parenting capacity of the parents within their family and environmental
context;

 wider family and environmental factors;

 the length of time away from home and the frequency of such stays
– the less time the child spends away from home the more likely it is
to be appropriate to provide accommodation under section 17(6);

 whether short breaks are to be provided in more than one place
– where the child spends short breaks in different settings, including
residential schools, hospices and social care placements, it is more
likely to be appropriate to provide accommodation under section
20(4)…;

 potential impact on the child’s place in the family and on primary
attachments;

 observation of the child (especially children who do not communicate
verbally) during or immediately after the break by a person familiar with
the mood and behaviour of the child (for example the parent or school
staff);

 views of the child and views of parents
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--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
– some children and parents may be reassured by, and in favour of,
the status of a looked after child, while others may resent the
implications and associations of looked after status;

 extent of contact between short break carers and family and between the
child and family during the placement;

 distance from home; and

 the need for an independent reviewing officer (IRO) to monitor the child’s
case and to chair reviews.

To help inform the decision we have adopted an assessment tool attached as
Appendix 5. This assessment tool enables social workers to apply the criteria
fairly to each young person, individual circumstances will be considered
alongside the assessment tool, recognising that each child and family are unique.
The higher the score the more likely that the child will become looked after under
s.20; the lower the score that the greater the likelihood that the child will be
provided with accommodation under s.17. The final decision will be made by the
CWD Panel, when the short breaks package is agreed, and signed off by the
Service Manager chairing the meeting.

Of course, over time the circumstances of the child and family may change. For
example a child whose family found it very difficult to cope with challenging
behaviour, might receive short breaks under s20, because they need the local
authority to help them look after their child, when they are at the short break
provision; but if the challenging behaviour subsides over time and the family’s
capacity to cope increases, they may then be able to retain responsibility for their
child while they are receiving a short break. Under this circumstance a review
might decide to recommend a change in the legal status to s17.

The effect of the different legal status is set out in Appendix 6, which is
reproduced from the Statutory Guidance.

Where the short break is provided under s.17, the suitability of the provision of
short breaks or the amount or type of short break provided will still be reviewed,
as part of the regular reviews of the Child in Need Plan. The legal status of the
placement will be considered at each review and should a decision be made to
alter the legal status to s20 an Independent Reviewing Officer will be appointed
and a first review held by the Independent Reviewing Officer within three months
of that decision being made (reg.48(d)(i)).
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Mental Capacity Act

Application of the Mental Capacity Act

The Act does not generally apply to people under the age of 16 save for the
following two exceptions:

1. The Court of Protection can make decisions about a child’s property or
finances (or appointed deputy to do so). If a child lacks capacity to make
such decisions within section 2(1) of the Act and is likely to still lack
capacity to make financial decisions when they reach the age of 18
(section 18(3))

2. Offences of illegal treatment or wilful neglect of a person who lacks
capacity within section 2(1) can also apply to victims younger than 16
(section 44).

Young people aged 16-17

For the Mental Capacity Act to apply to a young person they must lack capacity
to make a particular decision as defined by the Act. In such situations either the
Mental Capacity Act or the Children Act may apply.

(NB There may also be situations where neither of these Acts provides an
appropriate solution. In such cases it may be necessary to look to the powers
available under the Mental Health Act 1983 or the High Courts inherent powers
to deal with cases involving young people.)

Most of the Act applies to young people aged 16 to 17 years who may lack
capacity within section 2(1) to make specific decisions. It is important to
remember the principles of the Mental Capacity Act which are as follows:

1. A person must be assumed to have capacity unless it is established that
he lacks capacity.
2. A person is not treated as unable to make a decision unless all practicable
steps to help him do so have been taken without success.
3. A person is not to be treated as unable to make a decision merely
because he makes an unwise decision.
4. An act or decision made under this Act for and on behalf of a person who
lacks capacity must be done or made in his best interests.
5. Before the act is done or the decision is made regard must be had as to
whether the purpose for which it is needed can be as effectively achieved
in a way that is less restrictive of a person’s rights and freedom of action.

It is important to note that the starting assumption of the Act is that a person has
capacity to make a specific decision. If however it is thought that a person lacks
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capacity then an assessment will be needed of the person’s capacity to make the
decision that needs to be made.

Resources for Professionals undertaking MCA assessments are available at:

http://www.essex.gov.uk/Business-Partner...
providers/Pages/Mental-Capacity-Act-for-professionals.aspx#mca

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Advocacy

During the assessment process, young people will be provided with an
opportunity to access to the advocacy service.

The advocacy service works with the young person to help them convey their
views, about their assessment and any care package that is proposed.

At present the Advocacy Service is provided by Barnardos and a link to their
leaflet is at:
http://eccsap02051797/vip8/INet_edit/INe...
2c_Children_and_Families_/Email_Links/Essex_Advocacy_Service.pdf

-18-

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Related Essex County Council Guidance and Information

Schools, Children & Families Financial Guidance Area Field Care Teams Section
17 Spend (Agreed DLT 29/7/10 Review due November 2010)

Essex Access to Resources Guidance: Access to Resources Team and Joint
Agency Panel.

CWD Panel Guidance

Direct Payments Guidance

Mental Capacity Act http://www.essex.gov.uk/Business-Partner...
Social-Care-providers/Pages/Mental-Capacity-Act-for-professionals.aspx#mca

Advocacy Service
http://eccsap02051797/vip8/INet_edit/INe...
2c_Children_and_Families_/Email_Links/Essex_Advocacy_Service.pdf

Essex Multi-Agency Strategy for Children and Young People with Disabilities
2010 – 2012

Resource Allocation Individual Budgets Pilot Final Version (Draft): Every Child
Matters Resource Allocation Guidance October 2009

Aiming High for Disabled Children Quarterly Newsletter

Essex Transition Protocol

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Appendix 1: Level of Need

Level 1: Universal
Level 2: Vulnerable
Level 3: Complex
Level 4: Acute
No or Minimal Additional Needs
Additional Needs
Complex Needs
Complex Prolonged, and Critical Needs
Child leading life as
Child requires support to
Child requires services to
Child very vulnerable to
Services required to prevent immediate risk
normally as possible and
access services to broaden
prevent impairment of
risk of significant
of significant impairment which might directly
additional care needs
experiences and/or prevent
health or development
impairment of health or
affect child’s growth, development, physical
easily met by family.
build up of stress in family.
and / or alleviate stress in
development OR need
or mental well being. OR to prevent the
the family which may lead
for long-term
need for long term accommodation.
to risk in Level 3 or 4
accommodation.
As above
As above, and/or child’s level
As above, and/or child’s
As above, and/or child’s
As above, and/or child’s essential care or
of care needs limit their
level of care needs result
level of care needs
medical needs or need for emotional
participation in community
in them being unable to
result in likely
development and stimulation cannot be met
activities and their
participate in community
impairment of their
and/or result in need for long term
development would benefit
activities which leads to
health or development
accommodation
from additional social and
an impairment of their
leisure activities
social or emotional
development
Disability diagnosis which
Some developmental
• General developmental
• Challenging
Autistic child likely to require regular
does not impact on
delay/behavioural problems
delay – SLD
behaviour, self injurious
physical restraint, behaviour regularly
functioning of child and
• child has developmental
behaviour arising from
injurious to self or others, requires night-time
Sensory impairment or
family
delay, hyperactivity limited
the disability requiring
supervision
learning disability which does
sleep pattern
supervision
not impact significantly on
Child with physical impairment (eg cerebral
• Other communication
• Limited self help skills,
child’s care needs
palsy) requiring handling or hoist for all
and behavioural problems
needs assistance with
transfers, and unable to dress, toilet, bathe
• Autistic spectrum with
toileting, feeding,
or feed themselves
obsessive features
transferring etc.
• Limited mobility but
• Wheelchair user, but
Child with complex medical needs requiring
developed self-care skills
can weight bear
frequent night-time attention e.g. medication,

turning and/or intubation
Child’s care needs do not
Childs’ care needs are
Child’s care needs
Parents cannot meet all
Siblings essential needs1 cannot be met
significantly impact on
restricting siblings
significantly restrict
of the siblings essential
because of disabled child's special care
siblings opportunities
opportunities
siblings personal or social
needs
needs etc
lives
NB Start Core
NB Start Core Assessment on sibling.
Assessment on sibling.

-20-

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Level 1: Universal
Level 2: Vulnerable
Level 3: Complex
Level 4: Acute
No or Minimal Additional Needs
Additional Needs
Complex Needs
Complex Prolonged, and Critical Needs

• Sibling unable to access leisure
• Sibling also has disability at

• Family unaware of services available to non-
facilities clubs etc. due to care
Level 1
• Essential care needs of the disabled
disabled child or how to access them
needs of disabled child

child prevent parents from attending to

• Care needs of disabled child
any of sibling’s essential needs for
• Family unable to spend quality/individual time
• Young carers responsibilities in
are such that for long periods
extended periods of time
with non-disabled child
relation to disabled child
of time sibling does not receive

• Family in receipt of assistance

care and attention
in respect of sibling’s care needs at Band
• Social isolation due to siblings
NB Start Core Assessment on
A or B
behaviours
sibling.
NB Start Core Assessment on sibling.

Child’s care needs do not
Child’s care needs
Parents need to provide
Can only meet their child’s
Parents mental or physical health
significantly impact on
are impacting on
significant care to other
essential needs at significant
prevents them meeting their child’s
parents’ personal or social
parents personal or
dependants who would otherwise
cost to their physical or mental
essential needs OR substantial risk of
lives
social lives
be at risk OR child’s care needs
health OR serious risk of
family breakdown
Parents can provide
Parents can
are significantly impacting on
family breakdown
Parents cannot provide adequate parental
reasonable care within
provide reasonable
parents personal or social lives.
Parents cannot provide care to
care without provision of services
existing support networks
care but may
Parents can provide reasonable
meet child’s needs
benefit from
care but need support to provide
advice/information
more specialist parenting/caring

Parenting capacity seriously affected by
• Parents who need information and advice who

• Families where there

• Families where main
• severe mental health needs
either cannot read or speak English or who
are competing demands of all the
caring falls on one partner who
• physical/learning disability
cannot read
children in the family
has difficulty coping because
• alcohol/drug problems
• Families who have other caring roles

• Some single parents
of their mental health,
• serious medical problems
• Families where there are marital/relationship
who have individual needs due
isolation, medical condition
• Serious stress factors which impact on
problems
their earlier deprivation and or
etc.
parenting capacity

socio-economic isolation

• Other major care responsibilities e.g.

another member of the household who
has significant disabilities
No factors or barriers
Advice and/or
Some factors or barriers hinders
A number of factors or barriers
A number of factors or barriers
impact on family
information needed to
family’s social integration
seriously hinder family
significantly hinder family functioning e.g.
functioning
overcome barriers
functioning
more than one disabled child, income,
experienced by family
housing, ethnic background
-21-

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Level 1: Universal
Level 2: Vulnerable
Level 3: Complex
Level 4: Acute
No or Minimal Additional Needs
Additional Needs
Complex Needs
Complex Prolonged, and Critical Needs

• Debt, new area, little or no
• Debts, neighbour/bullying

• Families who are isolated in their communities
other family support
problems
• Homeless, poor housing, living in

• Social isolation
• Major structural alterations
bed/breakfast
• Health needs
required to property

• Rural isolation and poverty
• No external sources of
• Acute domestic violence

support

• Destitution

-22-

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Appendix 2

Every Child Matters Resource Allocation
Draft 2

Support for children and young people

This Assessment tool is a simple way of assessing the amount of support a child
or young person needs to move towards the 5 Every Child Matters Outcomes.
When completing this questionnaire you should read the Newcastle guidance
notes for this questionnaire.

Notes:

 It is detailed but it is a way of allocating an indicative budget which can
then be used to deliver personalised support.

 This assessment should be filled in with the child, young person and those
closest to them. Parents should also receive a copy of the guidance notes.
The completed RAS is then passed to the Team manager for
authorisation.

 To complete accurately the assessment should be completed ‘as if there
was no paid support’ already involved in supporting the child or young
person.

 The language used has been written to be open to older children and
young people, it is important to view this as a pilot process that will inform
the development of a set of questions that can be answered either by a
child, a young person or an appropriate adult on their behalf.

 Each question starts with a positive outcome as a statement of what
support should focus on. The intention is to indicate how much support is
needed to enable this positive statement to be as ‘true’ as possible for the
child or young person. This is followed by a box where the questions
score should be placed. If No support is true for the child then there is a
zero score.

 Where there is some overlap and you feel that it could be one or another
always pick the higher of the two; it is easier to pull back support rather
than under support and deal with the implications of this.
-23-

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 Where you are clear that a statement does not relate to the individual in
any way i.e. the statement about secondary education where the child is
attending primary school simply score ‘0’. Similarly with a statement about
‘knowing about illegal drugs’ and filling the form in for a 1 year old child the
same is done i.e. filling in ‘0’.

 Enjoy and achieve; Question B applies to Primary School and Question C
to secondary school – only complete the appropriate question for the child
based on their age. Score ‘0’ for the inappropriate question.

Important: There is no expectation that a child or young person will score in
every question, or that every question will be appropriate for every child or young
person.

1. Stay Safe

A. To be safe and enjoy the company of the people I know and who
support me
each day.
What level of support does the child need to achieve this?

0
1-3
4-7
8-11
12-15
No
Small
Some
Lots of
Exceptional
support
Support
Support
Support
Support

B. To enjoy taking some risks; support from people close to me means I
am safe taking those risks. What level of support does the
child need to achieve this?

0
1-3
4-7
8-11
12-15
No
Small
Some
Lots of
Exceptional
support
Support
Support
Support
Support

-24-

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C. To be safe with the people I know and not to be called names, upset or
bullied by anyone. What level of support does the child need to
achieve this?

0
1-2
3-6
7-9
10-12
No
Small
Some
Lots of
Exceptional
support
Support
Support
Support
Support

D. To be safe and not to worry about crime or people shouting or being,
aggressive
or violent. What level of support does the child need to achieve this?

0
1-2
3-4
5-6
7-8
No
Small
Some
Lots of
Exceptional
support
Support
Support
Support
Support

E. To be safe where I live, with the people who live with me and care for
me.
What level of support does the child need to achieve this?

0
1-2
3-6
7-9
10-12
No
Small
Some
Lots of
Exceptional
support
Support
Support
Support
Support

-25-

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2. Be Healthy

A. To be as fit and healthy as I can be.
What level of support does the child need to achieve this?

0
1-2
3-6
7-9
10-12
No
Small
Some
Lots of
Exceptional
support
Support
Support
support
Support

B. To be a relaxed and happy person who doesn’t get easily stressed or
worried.
What level of support does your child need to achieve this?

0
1-2
3-6
7-9
10-12
No
Small
Some
Lots of
Exceptional
support
Support
Support
support
Support

C. To know about close and loving relationships and about safe sex.
What level of support does the child need to achieve this?

0
1-2
3-6
7-9
10-12
No
Small
Some
Lots of
Exceptional
support
Support
Support
Support
Support

-26-

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D. To go out a lot; to enjoy being active and taking part in activities. I
enjoy being
active and taking part in activities
What level of support does the child need to achieve this?

0
1-2
3-6
7-9
10-12
No
Small
Some
Lots of
Exceptional
support
Support
Support
Support
Support

E. To know all about illegal drugs. To have no contact with illegal drugs. I
know
about the effects illegal drugs and alcohol can have on my health
What level of support does the child need to achieve this?

0
1
2-3
4-5-6
7-8
No
Small
Some
Lots of
Exceptional
support
Support
Support
Support
Support

3. Achieve Economic Well-being

A. To be excited about going to new places and to look forward to
meeting new
people. What level of support does the child need to achieve this?

0
1-2
3-5
6-7-8
9-10
No
Small
Some
Lots of
Exceptional
support
Support
Support
Support
Support

-27-

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B. To learn the skills I will need to get myself a job and to live
independently.
What level of support does the child need to achieve this?

0
1
2-3-4
5-6-7
8-9-10
No
Small
Some
Lots of
Exceptional
support
Support
Support
Support
Support

C. To live in a house I like, for me and my family to feel safe within our
local
Community. What level of support does the child need to achieve this?

0
1
2-3-4
5-6-7
8-9-10
No
Small
Some
Lots of
Exceptional
support
Support
Support
Support
Support

D. To go out in our car and sometimes to use the bus or train to visit
people or go
shopping. What level of support does the child need to achieve this?

0
1
2-3-4
5-6
7-8
No
Small
Some
Lots of
Exceptional
support
Support
Support
Support
Support

E. I don’t think we have too many money problems at home, at least no
more than
anyone else. What level of support does the child need to achieve this?

0
1
2-3-4
5-6
7-8
No
Small
Some
Lots of
Exceptional
support
Support
Support
Support
Support
-28-

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4. Making a Positive Contribution

A. To do lots of things with other children and young people who live
near me.
What level of support does the child need to achieve this?

0
1
2-5
6-7-8
9-10
No
Small
Some
Lots of
Exceptional
support
Support
Support
support
Support

B. I do my best not to get in to trouble.
What level of support does the child need to achieve this?

0
1
2-3-4
5-6
7-8
No
Small
Some
Lots of
Exceptional
support
Support
Support
Support
Support

C. To know about good and bad relationships. I do my best to get on
with the
people around me. What level of support does the child need to
achieve this?

0
1-3
4-6
7-10
11-18
No
Small
Some
Lots of
Exceptional
support
Support
Support
Support
Support

-29-

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D. To enjoy new challenges and am confident that I can succeed to the
best of my
abilities. What level of support does the child need to achieve this?

0
1-2
3-6
7-9
10-12
No
Small
Some
Lots of
Exceptional
support
Support
Support
Support
Support

E.
My teacher tells me and my family / carers that I am really good at
thinking
about new ideas. What level of support does the child need to
achieve this?

0
1
2-3-4
5-6
7-8
No
Small
Some
Lots of
Exceptional
support
Support
Support
Support
Support

5. Enjoy and Achieve

A. To look forward to going out with people I know and to get involved in
activities
in my community.
What level of support does the child need to achieve this?

0
1
2-3-4
5-6
7-8
No
Small
Some
Lots of
Exceptional
support
Support
Support
Support
support

-30-

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B. To enjoy taking part in new activities and learning new skills( Primary
School
Children Only) What level of support does the child need to achieve
this?

0
1
2-3-4
5-6
7-8
No
Small
Some
Lots of
Exceptional
support
Support
Support
Support
support

C. To be relaxed and able to enjoy being away from home with people I
know.
(Secondary School Children Only)
What level of support does your child need to achieve this?

0
1
2-3-4
5-6
7-8
No
Small
Some
Lots of
Exceptional
support
Support
Support
Support
support

D. To have a circle of friends and people who care about me at home,
school and at
places I visit.
What level of support does the child need to achieve this?

0
1
2-3-4
5-6
7-8
No
Small
Some
Lots of
Exceptional
support
Support Support
Support
support

-31-

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E. To visit different places with people I know, to be able to participate in a
variety of activities.
What level of support does the child need to achieve this?

0
1
2-5
6-7-8
9-10
No
Small
Some
Lots of
Exceptional
support
Support
Support
Support
support

6. The Family

A. Stay Safe – staying safe in everyday life at home and out about

0
1-3
4-7
8-11
12-15
No
Small
Some
Lots of
Exceptional
support
Support Support
Support
support

B. Be Healthy – Be fit and healthy, able to manage without specific health
or other
supports

0
1-3
4-7
8-11
12-15
No
Small
Some
Lots of
Exceptional
support
Support Support
Support
support

C. Achieve Economic Well-being – Supporting a child’s learning and
social
development

0
1-2
3-6
7-9
10-12
No
Small
Some
Lots of
Exceptional
support
Support
Support
Support
support

-32-

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D. Make a Positive Contribution – Being and active member of the family,
the local community

0
1
2-3-4
5-6
7-8
No
Small
Some
Lots of
Exceptional
support
Support
Support
Support
support

E. Enjoy and Achieve – attending school, supporting learning and
friendships
outside school

0
1-2
3-6
7-9
10-12
No
Small
Some
Lots of
Exceptional
support
Support
Support
Support
support

-33-

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Individual Record Sheet
(Taking Control programme)

Name:
Initial / ID:
Age:
Stay Safe
A. B. C. D. E. Total
Be Healthy
A. B. C. D. E. Total
Achieve Economic Well Being
A. B. C. D. E. Total
Make a Positive Contribution
A. B. C. D. E. Total
Enjoy and Achieve
A. B. C. D. E. Total
Family
A. B. C. D. E. Total
Total points scored

-34-

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Who from the family helped the social worker/lead professional complete
this form?

Are there any concerns about specific questions or scores?

Are there any disagreements between the social worker/lead professional
and the family?

The lead professional / social worker who completed with the family / child /
young person

Name:

Date:

Agreement to base an indicative allocation for £………………………….. *

Signed…………………………………………………….. (Team Manager)

Print name:………………………………………………..Date………………….

* NB Panel has the final decision on the package to be provided to meet the
young person’s needs.

-35-

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Appendix 3: Services

Level 1: Universal
Level 2: Vulnerable
Level 3: Complex
Level 4: Acute

No or Minimal Additional Needs which can be
Additional Needs which can be
Complex Needs which can be
Complex Prolonged, and Critical Needs
met Through Universal Services
met through Aiming High for
met through the Provision of
which require a Highe Level of
Disabled Children short breaks
Ongoing Intervention and
Intervention to Ensure the Child’s Welfare
and/or additional
Support
is Safeguarded
support/provision in the
community.
Advice;
After school, weekend and
Direct payments 0 - 12 hours
Direct payments 0-24 hours per week (as
Community activities;
school holiday clubs;
per week (as an alternative to
an alternative to directly provided
Early years setting;
Access to universal services
directly provided services);
services);
Children’s centres and extended schools;
with some additional support;
Access to more frequent
Overnight short breaks 0 – 75 nights per
Connexions;
Access to a individual day care
individual day care;
year;
Recreation;
(approximately fortnightly)
Access to targeted, outcome
Accommodation in a children’s home or
Leisure community and youth services;
specialist input as required);
focused time limited, individual
foster care placement over 75 nights up
Voluntary organisations
Access to some holiday
day care support;
to 365 nights per year.
After school clubs.
overnight stays
Access to pilot outreach
Child protection investigation (were
access to children’s centres and
service (Hamelin Trust)
appropriate);
extended school services with
Social work support;
Legal proceedings (where appropriate);
additional support;
Overnight short breaks 0 -24
and
School based services with
nights per year;
Services in the three columns to the left.
additional support; and
Multi-agency placements;
Universal services.
Specialist education provision;

Specialist CAMHS and/or
health services;
and/or a combination of
above;
Continuing Care Assessment
(Health); and
Services in both columns to
the left.

-36-

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Appendix 4: Indicative Budget

The current rate at which the indicative budget is set is £65.00 per point scored in
the RAS.

-37-

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Appendix 5
Short Breaks: Assessment Tool for Legal Basis s17/s20 Children Act 1989
Name…………………………………………………Protocol i/d………………………
Element
Score

1. Is it provided in the child’s own home

Yes = s17 (2.10), otherwise score 0.

2. The particular vulnerabilities of the child, including communication

method:
No vulnerability/communication difficulty: score 0
Some vulnerability/communication difficulty: score 1
Severe vulnerability/communication difficulty: score 2

3. Parenting capacity of the parents within their family and

environmental context
No issues: score 0
Some issues: score 1
Significant number of issues: score 2
If there is a Child Protection Plan consider s20, carefully.

4. Wider family and environmental factors

No issues: score 0
Some issues: score 1
Significant number of issues: score 2

5. The length of time away from home and the frequency of such

stays (2.12).

Nights Score
17+ nights in one period
s.20
1-25 0
26-50 1
51-75 2
75+ nights
s.20
6. Whether the short breaks are provided in more than one setting

(2.12).

Placements Score
One 0
Two (same kind)
2
Two or more (different kinds)
s.20

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

7. Potential impact on the child’s place in the family and on primary

attachments
No issues: score 0
Some issues: score 1
Significant number of issues: score 2

8. Observation of the child during or immediately after the break by a

person familiar with the mood and behaviour of the child (also look at
arrival)
Departure Happy
Neither
Unhappy
Arrival

Happy
Score 0
Score 1
Score 2
Neither
Score 1
Score 2
s20
Unhappy Score
2
s20
s20

9. Views of the child and views of the parents re s17/s20 status

Parents and child do not wish for s.20: score 0
Parents or child wishes for s.20: score 1
Parents and child wish for s.20: score 2

10. Extent of contact between short break carers and family and

between the child and family during the placement
Twice daily: score 0
Daily/every other day: score 1
Every 3 days or less frequent: score 2
NB: parents may delegate this to a connected person, e.g. while abroad on holiday.
11. Distance from home

0-5 miles: score 0
6-20 miles: score 1
20+ miles or out of Essex: score 2

12. The need for an IRO to monitor the child’s case and to chair

reviews
IRO assesses s17: score 0
IRO assesses possible s20: score 2
IRO assesses s20: is s20

Total
/22

The elements in this Assessment Tool are taken from the statutory guidance: chapter 2, Short Breaks: Statutory guidance
on how to safeguard and promote the welfare of disabled children using short breaks (DCFS March 2010).

It is important to remember that each case must be judged on its own merits, but this tool is aimed at informing the
decision-making process. If there is no clear decision on s17/s20 in elements 1, 3, 5, 6, 8 and/or 12, then lower scores (0
to 10) are more likely to be regarded as s17, higher scores (11-20) as s20.

NB It is important that the decision is not affected by the amount of money in the s17 budget. Whether the placement is
funded from s17 or s20 budget makes no difference to the expenditure on the placement; but it does on the cost of
providing social work and reviewing services.
-39-

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My recommendation is that this short break agreement should be arranged under

s.17
s.20

If the score is below 11 and s.20 is recommended; or the score is over 10 and
s.17 is recommended, please give reasons below.

Signed
Date

Team Manager Authorisation

s.17
s.20

Signed
Date

Service Manager Decision

s.17
s.20

Signed
Date

-40-

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Appendix 6: Extract from Statutory Guidance on Short Breaks

Table 1: Providing short break accommodation under the different legal
provisions
(a) Child is provided with
(b) Child is provided with
(c) Child is provided with
accommodation under
accommodation under
accommodation under
section 17(6)
section 20(4) for a
section 20(4) for a
continuous period of more
continuous period of more
than 24 hours; short breaks
than 24 hours; breaks may
care pre-planned and in the
be with a range of providers
same place; no break lasts
or exceed timescales in
more than 17 days and the
column (b) >> regulation 48
total does not exceed 75
does not apply
days in one year >>
regulation 48 applies
The child is not looked after.
The child is looked after for
The child is looked after for

the period that s/he is provided the period that s/he is provided
The 2010 Regulations do not
with accommodation.
with accommodation.
apply.

The 2010 Regulations apply
The 2010 Regulations apply
Consequently, there is no
with modifications in respect of without modifications in
requirement to appoint an
planning arrangements:
respect of planning
IRO.

arrangements:

 the authority must

A child in need plan is required
make a short break
 the authority must
in accordance with the
care plan addressing
make a care plan;
Assessment Framework.
issues key to the safe

care of the child; and
 an IRO must be
As good practice, reviews

appointed; and
should be carried out at least
 an
IRO
must
be

every six months, and more
appointed.
 the child’s case must
often if required.

be reviewed regularly.
The first visit must take place

within three months of the first
Visits must take place in
placement day or as soon as
accordance with regulation 28.
practicable thereafter.

Subsequent visits must be at
The first review must be within
intervals of no more than six
twenty days of the start of the
months.
first placement, the second no

more than three months after
The child’s case must be
the first and subsequent
reviewed within three months
reviews no more than six
of the start of the first
months after the previous
placement and then at
review.
intervals of no more than six
months.
The provision of accommodation under section 17(6) or section 20(4) does not affect parental
responsibility.
(p.16 Short Breaks: Statutory Guidance on how to safeguard and promote the welfare of disabled children using short
breaks – DCFS – March 2010)
-41-

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Appendix 7: Flowchart
Referral to CWD Team
Initial Assessment
Consultation with
Core Assessment
Parents
Inc. carers assessment.
Questionnaire / RAS
Calculation of Indicative
Budget
Short Break
Draft Child in Need Plan
Assessment Tool
(See appendix 5)
CWD or IB Panel
Finalises Child in Need
Plan
CLA Statutory
Service Package
Review (s20 Only)
Delivered
Child in Need Plan
Review (s17 Only)
Review Decisions Recommend Changes to the
Plan.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Children with Disabilities Panel Guidance

The Children with Disabilities Panel

The Children with Disabilities Panel meets weekly and is responsible for agreeing
small to medium packages of social care support for children whose cases are open
to a social worker, based on assessed needs of the child and his/her carers. The
Panel also ensures that all allocations of service provision including direct payments
are reviewed on a regular basis to ensure desired outcomes are being met. Figure 1
identifies the appropriate Panel for resource allocation.

Figure 1, which Panel is responsible?

Children with
Joint Agen
cy Panel
Disabilities

Panel

Cases requiring:
More complex Cases with Joint
Direct payments
Packages.
up to 20 hours
Over 40 nights short break.
per week
Over 20 hours per week direct
Section 17
payments
payments in
PCT Commissioner and SENCAN
excess of £50
manager present.
and any ongoing

s.17 payments.
Out of county placements.
Overnight short
Children becoming looked after.
break up to 40
High level crisis intervention.
nights.
Educational issues.

SENCAN manager present.

43

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Team Managers can agree up to £50.00 as a one-off payment under their section 17
budgets for children and young people in need, without referring it to the CWD
Panel.

The CWD Panel can deal with:

 All proposals for section 17 payments in excess of £50.00 or requiring
ongoing section 17 payments, and within the limits set out below.

 Packages of up to 20 hours of home support per week, but not exceeding a
cost of £200 per week.

 Packages of up to 40 overnight short breaks per year, whether provided under
section 17 or Section 20 of the Children Act 1989. The accommodation may
be provided in foster care, residential care, whether provided directly or
through another agency.

The CWD Panel will ensure that the resources are appropriately and fairly allocated,
in accordance with the County Council’s Threshold of Need guidance, based on the
Core Assessment of the child and his/her carers’ needs.

Children with Disabilities Panel Meetings

CWD Resource Allocation Panel will meet weekly on Thursday between 9.30 and
17.30, except on Public Holidays.

Normally 10 minutes will be set aside to discuss each case presented to the panel.

Panel agendas will be centrally managed by the Panel Administrator. Panels will be
held centrally to ensure the most urgent cases heard quickly. Minutes are taken by
the Panel Administrator.

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The membership of the CWD Panel is:

 Service Manager CWD (Chair)
 Commissioning Service Manager
 Senior Team Manager Children with Disabilities
 Home or Deputy Manager Lavender House/The Maples (rota)
 Team Manager or Senior Practitioner Fostering Service (rota)

Advisors to the CWD Panel include:

 the Family Care Manager/Assistant Family Care Manager (rota);

 the CWD Team Manager will attend with or in lieu of the social worker in order
to support the social worker and advise the Panel; and
 any other professional who the Panel considers should be consulted.

Unless notified to the contrary by the CWD Panel Administrator, the social worker is
expected to present the case at CWD Panel. In the event of the social worker being
unavailable e.g. to attend Court, the Duty Social Worker or Team Manager will
present the case on behalf of the social worker. It is expected that the social worker
will have briefed the person covering for them properly.

Booking a Slot at Children with Disabilities Panel

To book a time slot at a CWD Panel the social worker completes a Panel Application
Form and this is then e-mailed to the CWD Panel Administrator. An appointment will
be sent back, also via e-mail. At this point any queries regarding the appointment
should be directed to the CWD Panel Administrator.

The Panel Application Forms must be signed by the Social Worker and Team
Manager and submitted to the Senior Team Manager for approval on the Tuesday
(or at least 9 calendar days prior to the CWD Panel date, when there is a Bank
Holiday).

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Papers required by the Senior Team Manager are:

Panel Application Form
Core Assessment
Child Protection Plan (if applicable)
Draft Child in Need Plan
Any relevant reports from other professionals
Short Break Application Form, if required.

The social worker must identify all efforts made by the Team Around the Child and
the CWD Team to enable the family to access activities in the community.

Once the paperwork is approved by the Senior Team Manager it is submitted to the
CWD Panel Administrator, by the Thursday prior to CWD Panel (or 7 calendar days
prior to the CWD Panel date).

The date of any review of the funding will be notified at the CWD Panel. The review
of funding will usually be at around 6 or no later than 12 months from the date of the
Panel. However, this period should reflect any identified change of need, e.g. a child
who will be starting school in 4 months has parents who need to have a short break
occasionally, until the child starts school.

The CWD Panel’s decision will be sent out within five working days of the CWD
Panel meeting. The Decision Sheet should be copied and pasted into a case note on
the child’s ICS record. The Child in Need Plan should be updated where necessary
and finalised on ICS and the young person and the family notified accordingly.

Appeals

Appeals against the CWD Panel’s decision should be referred to the CWD Panel
Administrator, who will arrange for any appeal to be heard at the next CWD Panel
meeting. This does not affect the family’s right to complain via the Council’s
complaints procedures.