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7.1.5 Placement Planning and Disruption Meetings


  1. Placement Planning Meetings
  2. Disruption Meetings

    Appendix 1: Placement Planning Process in Respect of Placements with Foster Carers

1. Placement Planning Meetings

Placement Planning meetings should be convened as part of the process of identifying and placing a child - as set out in the Placements in Foster Care Procedure and the Placements in Residential Care Procedure. The first Placement Planning Meeting in relation to a placement should be held before the placement or, where this is not possible because of the urgency of the situation, it should be held in order that the Placement Plan is completed within 5 working days of the start of the placement.

Further Placement Planning Meetings should be held in exceptional circumstances, as agreed with the manager of the residential home or the foster carers and their supervising social worker for example where there are issues to be resolved in relation to the day to day arrangements for the placement, which can not be resolved in a less formal manner.

The social worker and home manager/foster carer's supervising social worker will agree the best format and venue for the meeting and who will chair the meeting. The Chair is likely to be either the residential home manager or team leader, the social worker or manager or the supervising fostering social worker or the fostering manager.

The people listed below should contribute to the meetings:

  1. The child’s social worker and/or other professional associated with the child e.g. Personal Adviser or advocate;
  2. The child;
  3. The child’s parents;
  4. For children in residential care, the child’s link worker/keyworker and, where appropriate the home manager;
  5. For children in foster care, the foster carers and their supervising social worker.
Before any meeting, the chairperson should obtain or be updated on the following, if available:

The purpose of the meeting will be to ensure that:

  • All parties have the information and documentation that they need in order to ensure the placement meets the needs of the child or young person;
  • Any questions or concerns the child or their family have about the placement can be addressed;
  • Any questions or concerns the carers have can be addressed;
  • Everyone concerned is clear about what to expect from the placement, and from each other.

Where the proposed placement has the effect of disrupting the arrangements made for the child’s education and training please see Education of Children with a Social Worker, Children in Care and Previously Looked After Children Procedure.

Where the proposed placement is out of area, see Out of Authority Placements: Approval, Consultation and Notification Process.

The chairperson should also ensure that the child, parent(s) and others who have been asked to contribute understand the purpose of the meeting, how it will be conducted and are given the opportunity to put their views and suggestions.

If there are concerns about the suitability of the placement, consideration should be given to the following:

  • Whether it is possible to sustain the placement until the next Children and Young People in Care Review by, for example, providing additional support to the placement;
  • Bringing forward the date of the next Children and Young People in Care Review;
  • Ending the placement.

2. Disruption Meetings

Consideration should always be given to convening a Disruption Meeting in relation to children whose placement has ended abruptly or on an unplanned basis.

For children whose adoptive placement disrupts, a Disruption Meeting must take place - see Disruption of Adoptive Placements Procedure.

The allocated Independent Reviewing Officer will usually chair the meeting.

Those invited, or asked to contribute, should be:

  1. The child;
  2. The parents;
  3. The child's social worker and manager;
  4. The link worker/keyworker (for residential care) and home manager;
  5. The foster carer(s) and supervising social worker;
  6. The child's current carers;
  7. Other relevant staff/professionals.

The meeting will ensure the child (depending on his or her age and level of understanding) is given the opportunity to understand the reasons and be supported with transition - including return home and independence.

Foster carers must be supported to maintain links with children who leave their care.

The precise agenda will depend on the child/circumstances, but the chairperson should ensure the circumstances leading to the disruption are properly reviewed, and that all concerned are provided with opportunities to express their views freely with a view to establishing:

  • How and why the emergency/disruption occurred;
  • To learn from what happened and avoid the same thing happening again - for the child or others in the placement;
  • To contribute to the future planning for the child;
  • To identify work to be done and to ensure it is completed;
  • To ensure that appropriate notifications and other post placement arrangements have been undertaken.

The chairperson should keep minutes, which must be circulated to all concerned.

In relation to the disruption of an external residential placement, consideration needs to be given to further use of the resource by the authority.

Appendix 1: Placement Planning Process in Respect of Placements with Foster Carers

Click here to view Placement planning process in respect of placements with foster carers.