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

5.1.8 Matching and Placement

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

To provide procedural information on how to suitably place a child into foster care

References

  • The Children's Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations - Volume 4: Fostering Services;
  • Fostering national minimum standards 2011;
  • Regulation 28 of the fostering service regulations 2011;
  • Care Planning, Placement and Case Review.

AMENDMENT

This chapter was reviewed and updated in May 2016. Section 3.2, Placement Process to Section 3.5, Approval and Contract Signing have been amended to clarify that the Options Appraisal is no longer required and these sections should be read in their entirety.


Contents

1. Introduction
  1.1 Approval for a Placement
  1.2 Requests for Placements
2. In House Placements
  2.1 Placement Request
  2.2 Matching Considerations
3. Independent Agency Placements
  3.1 Placement Approval
  3.2 Placement Process
  3.3 Matching
  3.4 Additional Support where Identified
  3.5 Approval and Contract Signing
  3.6 Ongoing Placement Issues
  3.7 Ending Placements
4. Placing a Child with their Approved Carer
  4.1 Introduction Meeting
  4.2 Information Sharing
  4.3 Placement Planning Meeting
5. Matching and Placing Children into other Arrangements
  5.1 Respite/Short Breaks for Children in Care
  5.2 Matching Children to Permanent Foster Placements
  5.3 Supported Lodgings - Process for young people remaining in their Foster Placements
  Appendix 1: Matching and Placement Flowchart


1. Introduction

This procedure applies to all placements of children in to foster care, planned and unplanned, including placements with Independent Fostering Agencies.

This procedure aims to ensure that each child or young person for whom a placement is requested is matched with an appropriate carer who is capable of meeting his/her assessed needs. This procedure provides guidance about the way in which to identify essential and desirable elements for any proposed placements.

This procedure recognises that it is not always possible to achieve a perfect match and that as a result some children have been made to wait for too long for a placement. Delay can be harmful and this procedure sets out to ensure that all relevant factors are considered and balanced against one another when matching decisions are made.

1.1 Approval for a Placement

Children become looked after following an assessment of their needs or in an emergency situation i.e. by under police protection or via court with an Emergency Protection Order.

Requests for a child to become looked after will be presented to the Children's Resource Panel.

Following an emergency as a result of an assessment of need the decision to admit children into care can only be made by either a Head of Service or a Service Manager. Where a child is to become looked after following police protection or a court order the Head of Service or Service manager must be informed.

1.2 Requests for Placements

Following approval a placement request is to be made to the Fostering Service for in house Foster Carers. If approval has been given for an independent placement then the request is to be made to the Commissioning Team's Placement Officer.

The child's Social Worker is to record all relevant information on the Placement Request form. This identifies both the child's needs and any risks the child may present to carers.

The Placement Request form is to be kept 'open' for further inputting by the Fostering Service and Commissioning Team once an offer of a placement has been made.


2. In House Placements

2.1 Placement Request

As soon as the request for placement has been received the Fostering Service the Duty Social Worker will in all circumstances seek to match the child with an appropriately matched placement and will record this information on the Placement Request form.

The Fostering Supervising Social Worker is to establish the Foster Carer's willingness to take the child and where there is a child already in that placement, the viability of any potential new child's being introduced to that placement is to be discussed with the child already in placement's Social Worker.

The child's Social Worker is to establish the Child's wishes and feelings of any proposed match where possible.

All foster placements will have an up-to-date Safer Caring Family Agreement in place (Refer to the Safer Caring Agreements section of Safeguarding Children in Foster Care Procedure). The Fostering Supervising Social Worker will ensure that any identified risks can be managed within the potential placement offered. This information has to be shared with the child's Social Worker.

Following the offer of an in house placement the child's Social Worker in consultation with their Team Manager will make the decision whether to accept or reject the placement.

If it is considered that the placement is not a suitable match than discussions will take place as to whether the possibility of additional support services can be provided to support the placement offered or a further search of in house placement s is to be undertaken.

In circumstances where a placement is made where the need for additional support has been identified the Fostering Supervising Social Worker is to continue to monitor and discuss this with the Child and Foster Carer within supervision meetings. The Fostering Supervising Social Worker is to record this in the Supervision Record, and inform the child's Social Worker.

All Foster Carers who have been considered and all potential suitable placements are to be recorded on the Placement Request form by the Fostering Supervising Social Worker.

Once a match has been agreed then the child's Social Worker is to complete the Placement Request form which confirms acceptance of the placement.

If additional support to compensate for any gaps in the match is identified and relates to a risk to the child, the Safer Caring Individual Agreement and Family Agreement will be updated by the Fostering Supervising Social Worker and the Risk Assessment and child's Care Plan is to be updated by the child's Social Worker.

2.2 Matching Considerations

Standard 15 of the National Minimum Standards for Fostering Service requires that the Local Authority has information and support which it needs to facilitate an appropriate match between the carer and child, capable of meeting the child's needs and consistent with the wishes and feelings of the child, so maximising the likelihood of a stable placement.

Matches of children into foster placements are to be achieved by means of information sharing and consideration between:

  • The child and their family;
  • Potential Foster Carers and their families;
  • Other children in placement;
  • The child's Social Worker;
  • The Supervising Social Worker for the Foster Carer;
  • Team Managers for both the childcare team and Fostering Service;
  • Health and Education staff as appropriate;
  • Placement Officer (independent placements).

The following must be taken into account when placing a child:

Education

  • The child's Social Worker and the Fostering Supervising Social Worker must ensure that appropriate education is available for the child whilst considering a placement (ref: Section 52 of Children's Act 2004);
  • A Personal Education Plan is to be finalised within 20 days of the commencement of the foster placement and suitable appropriate provision is to be made until this is available (see Section 2.2, Matching Considerations and the Personal Education Plan (PEP) policy);
  • Wherever possible, the Fostering Supervising Social Worker is to identify placements that ensure continuity of any stable education placement, unless there are other overriding considerations that outweigh this, such as the child's safety;
  • For younger children, the Fostering Supervising Social Worker is to identify the Foster Carer's ability to take the child to school and if this is not possible, whether anyone else can transport the child or if the use of taxis is appropriate and safe;
  • For older children, the child's Social Worker is to assess the child's ability to get to school themselves. The length and complexity of the journey will need to be considered, as will the safety of the child and whether they have a record of non-attendance that could be made worse by a long journey.

Race, Culture and Language

  • The Fostering Supervising Social Worker is to seek placement with a Foster Carer that reflects the child's racial, cultural and language background;
  • Where a placement is made in an emergency and a placement which reflects the child's racial, cultural and language background is not possible, steps must be taken by the Fostering Supervising Social Worker to achieve this within six weeks;
  • If a more appropriate match cannot be found the Fostering Supervising Social Worker is to create a plan with the Foster Carers to ensure the child's identity relating to racial, cultural and language needs are addressed. This plan can contain:
    • Maintain contact with family and friends;
    • Regular visits to cultural centre / places;
    • Use of books and toys;
    • Access to additional training / learning material for the Foster Carers.
  • The child's Social Worker is to ensure that the search for an appropriate placement continues and is reviewed at the first childcare review. This review should also consider what further steps will be taken if an appropriate placement cannot be found within six weeks;
  • When a potential placement is found that reflects the child's racial, cultural and language background, the child's Social Worker will need to consider the stability of this placement and the need to avoid placement further moves and whether the placement move is in the child's best interest;
  • The child's long term welfare is to be the paramount consideration. Any decision to keep the child in a placement that does not fully meet their racial, cultural or language needs will be made on this basis;
  • Where trans-racial or trans-community placements are made, the child's Social Worker and the Fostering Supervising Social Worker are to be responsible for identifying and providing training, support and information for the Foster Carer, to enable the child to be provided with the best possible care and to develop a positive understanding of their heritage. The input of birth family, friends and other carers may help to achieve this;
  • Where a child's first language is different from their Foster Carers, the child's Social Worker is to ensure that the child has access to interpreters on a frequent and regular basis, not just at formal occasions such as meetings.

Faith and Religion 

  • The child's Social Worker is to seek placement with a Foster Carer that reflects the child's faith background within six weeks. If this is not possible initially, the procedure outlined in section 5.3 is to be followed;
  • Where a child does practice a faith, the child's Social Worker and the Fostering Supervising Social Worker is to assess the Foster Carer's own ability to facilitate and promote the child's faith practice;
  • Faith does not play a significant role in the lives of some Foster Carers and while this may suggest that a proposed placement does not present a conflict for the child's, the lack of any faith in itself may be an issue. The child's Social Worker is to be satisfied that the Foster Carer is able and willing to respect the child's views. This may mean the Foster Carer needs to be willing to transport the child to a place of worship or respect the child's views in terms of diet and dress.

Disability

  • Placement decisions are to reflect the child's needs arising from a disability and where this in not possible in an emergency, the Supervising Social Worker is to identify an appropriate placement within six weeks;
  • Where it is not possible to make such a placement, either initially or within six weeks, the Fostering Supervising Social Worker and the child's Social Worker are to ensure that support is in place to meet needs arising from the child's disability. This is to include access to required medical care and specialist education where needed. The Foster Carer may need practical support by way of equipment or access to specialist advice or training;
  • The use of respite care / Short Breaks is to also be considered by the Fostering Supervising Social Worker and the child's Social Worker.

Health

  • Consideration will need to be given to a child who has medical conditions, for example, diabetes, asthma, communication problems;
  • Particular consideration will need to be given to placing a child with emotional and behavioural conditions.

Bedrooms

  • The matching process is to take account of the proposed sleeping arrangements for the child. No child will share a room with another unless they are siblings;
  • The child's Social Worker is to consider the age and gender of the sibling who it is proposed will share a bedroom. No child over the age of three will share a bedroom unless it is in the child's best interest. This must be record on the placement plan as to this.


3. Independent Agency Placements

3.1 Placement Approval

Independent Foster Agency and Residential placements can only to be used where there are no suitable in house Foster Carers. No child is to be placed in the Independent Sector without prior approval of the Children's Resource Panel or the Head of Service / Assistant Director for Children Services (Social Care).

The Commissioning Team's Placement Officer will only proceed with a search once the appropriate approval has been received from a Head of Service or a Service Manager. This needs to be sent, via e-mail, to the Commissioning Team at plymplacements@plymouth.gov.uk

3.2 Placement Process

Plymouth has signed up to the Peninsula Purchasing Body and as such uses a structured process to commission Independent Sector Placements.

The child's Social Worker is to complete a Placement Request form which set out clear outcomes that the placement will aim to achieve for the child. These will be used by the Commissioning Team to performance manage each individual placement.

For independent sector placements the Placement Request form will be quality assured by the child's Team Manager.

On receipt of the e-mail from their Team Manager to approve the Placement Request form, the child's Social Worker is to contact a member of the Commissioning Team by e-mail Plymplacements@plymouth.gov.uk or on 307327 to discuss the timescales/deadlines involved.

The Commissioning Team will use access the Placement Request form directly from CareFirst and use a Fibonacci tool to convert this into a Peninsula Needs and Outcomes form. This will then be forwarded to the Cost and Volume Providers. The Commissioning Team will apply the following timescales:

  1. Where the child's Social Worker requires five days for an Expression of Interest to be returned, Cost and Volume Providers are to respond to the Commissioning Team within 48 Hours;
  2. Where the child's Social Worker requires three days for an Expression of Interest to be returned, Cost and Volume Providers are to respond to the Commissioning Team within 24 hours;
  3. Where the child's Social Worker requires one working day for an Expression of Interest, the Cost and Volume Providers are to respond within two hours.

During this process the Commissioning Team is to:

  • Collate the Expressions of Interest from any potential agencies.

The Commissioning Team is to forward the Expressions of Interest to the child's Social Worker, Team Manager and Service Manager within 24 hours of the pre-agreed deadline.

The child's Social Worker is to provide feedback to the Commissioning Team on any unsuitable placements offered by Cost and Volume Providers. This feedback must be sent to the relevant Cost and Volume Provider before the request can be sent on to the South West Peninsula approved agencies.

If a suitable placement is found, please go to Section 3.6, Approval and Contract Signing.

If no suitable placement is found from the Cost and Volume Providers, the Placement Request form will then be sent to the South West Peninsula Pre-Qualified List with a deadline. This is a wider list of Fostering and Residential providers and Special Schools, all of which have completed and passed a quality assurance process.

During this process, the Commissioning Team is to:

  • Collate the Expressions of Interest from any potential agencies.

The Commissioning Team is to forward all Expressions of Interest to the child's Social Worker within 24 hours of the pre-agreed deadline. 

The child's Social Worker can expect the Commissioning Team to check relevant inspection reports and also establish whether any education provision is Department for Education (DfE) registered for the correct age group.

When a provider is not on the Peninsula Pre-Qualified List, the Commissioning Team will undertake an extensive quality assessment process to ensure the provider is fit for purpose. This process takes a reasonable amount of time and is not suitable for emergency placements.

The Commissioning Team will update the Placement Request form to show the placements offered to the social worker.

3.3 Matching

The child's Social Worker is to liaise directly with the providers to match the child(ren) into Foster or Residential placements.

The following must be taken into account when placing a child:

  • Education;
  • Race, Culture and Language;
  • Faith and Religion;
  • Disability; and
  • Bedrooms.

See Section 2.2, Matching Considerations of this document for more information on the matching criteria.

3.4 Additional Support where Identified

In discussion with a support provider, the child's Social Worker is to identify any additional services required, such as:

  • Additional contact;
  • Therapy;
  • Travel.

The child's Social Worker is to contact the Commissioning Team for advice, as many additional costs are already covered by the Individual Placement Agreement. The Commissioning Team will undertake any negotiation to identify the cost of any additional services.

Any additional costs agreed as being outside the remit of the Individual Placement Agreement are to be stated clearly in writing by the child's Social Worker and presented to the relevant Service Manager for approval. When approved these are to be paid from the additional costs budget. If the agreed additional costs are to be ongoing these may be written into the Individual Placement Agreement.

If any additional need is identified and relates to a risk to the child, the Safer Caring Individual Agreement and Family Agreement will be updated by the Fostering Supervising Social Worker and the Risk Assessment and child's Care Plan is to be updated by the child's Social Worker.

The child's Social Worker is to return to the Children's Resource Panel to agree the preferred option before the contract is made.

3.5 Approval and Contract Signing

When approval is received for the placement, the child's Social Worker is to raise an SS117 Form and obtain signed approval from their Service Manager within 24 hours of the placement being agreed by Children's Resource Panel;

The child's Social Worker must email the SS117 Form to the Placement Officer who is to ensure that an Individual Placement Agreement (IPA) is in place. The Placement Officer is to then send the contract to the selected provider. The provider must sign and return the contract to the Commissioning Team within 48 hours of the contract being sent out;

The Assistant Director or delegate is to sign the IPC. Copies of the contract are to be sent by the Commissioning Team to the Provider, Finance (CIP Team) and the child's Social Worker to store on the child's electronic file in the Finance folder;

The Commissioning Team is to provide final feedback to all providers who have submitted Expressions of Interest.

3.6 Ongoing Placement Issues

All placement changes require Service Manager authorisation. When the authorisation is received the child's Social Worker is to inform the Commissioning Team of any of the following and they will negotiate with the Provider, where appropriate, on behalf of the child's Social Worker:

  • Proposed changes to the cost of a placement;
  • Termination of a placement for any reason. To end a placement 28 days written notice is normally contractually required;
  • Where there is a complaint about an independent provider or carer.

In the event of any safeguarding concerns, the Commissioning Team will liaise with any safeguarding officers / teams across the Peninsula and undertake a contractual investigation to ensure compliance with regulations and contract terms.

Any changes or events which require a variation to the contract will require a new SS117 form to be completed.

Performance management of independent placements is the responsibility of the Commissioning Team and Social Workers will be asked for ongoing information to support this process.

3.7 Ending Placements

When it has been decided to end a placement, the child's Social Worker is to notify the Finance and Commissioning Team by completing a SS117 form within 24 hours.

In exceptional circumstances 28 days notice may not apply and the child's Social Worker must seek advice from the Commissioning Team.

The Commissioning Team will e-mail the notice of termination to the provider and confirm by letter.


4. Placing a Child with their Approved Carer

4.1 Introduction Meeting

Where possible, the Fostering Supervising Social Worker and the child's Social Worker are to ensure that there is an opportunity for a period of introduction between the child and proposed Foster Carer so that both child and Foster Carer can express an informed view about the proposed placement.

Where the need for an immediate placement makes this impractical, the child's Social Worker must provide both child and Foster Carer with as much information as possible and their views are to be considered before the match is confirmed. In these circumstances, the provision of Foster Carer profiles or books about their household will be helpful for the child.

4.2 Information Sharing

The child's Social Worker must provide the Foster Carer, no later than the end of the next working day, with:

  • The CareFirst consent for medical treatment document;
  • The CareFirst consent for a child to be accommodated document, if the child is accommodated under Section 20 of the Children Act 1989;
  • The Placement Request Record and a copy of the Care Plan.

The child's Social Worker must ensure that a copy of the Child's Guide "Foster Care for Me" is given to the child when they come into care.

A Safer Caring Individual Agreement is to be completed by the Fostering Supervising Social Worker for the child at the Placement Planning meeting held within five days of the placement being made.

A Safer Caring section can be found in the Safeguarding Children in Foster Care Procedure.

4.3 Placement Planning Meeting

The child's Social Worker must arrange a Placement Planning Meeting within five working days of the placement being made. The child's Social Worker is to invite the Foster Carer and Fostering Supervising Social Worker. Birth parents and children of an appropriate age should be invited unless there are clear reason why they should not. Consideration should also be given to inviting other professionals e.g. teachers and guardians.

Placement Planning Meetings for in house placements are chaired by the Supervising Social Worker and recorded onto the CareFirst Placement Plan by the child's Social Worker who will message the Supervising Social Worker so that a copy can be given to the Foster Carer.

Placement planning meetings for independent placements are chaired by the child's allocated Social Worker who will record on to CareFirst the Placement Plan. The child's allocated Social Worker will ensure that the Foster Carer, the Fostering Agency and the Residential provider if appropriate will receive a copy of the Placement Plan.

Delegated Authority

Decisions regarding delegated authority must be clearly decided at this meeting. Where parents are not able to attend delegated authority decisions, wherever possible, should be discussed before the meeting.

The Fostering Supervising Social Worker is to complete and Safer Caring Individual Agreement at the Placement Planning Meeting. A copy is to be saved in the SAN on both the Foster Carer and the child records.


5. Matching and Placing Children into other Arrangements

5.1 Respite/Short Breaks for Children in Care

For respite or a short break from an existing Foster Placement, the Fostering Supervising Social Worker is to refer to the existing Placement Request Record to inform the respite/short break provider of the needs of the child. Together with the child identified changed needs.

For a new referral for respite from the child's residence, the child's Social Worker is to complete a Placement Request Record using CareFirst 6. The child's Social Worker is to notify the Fostering Supervising Social Worker that the record has been completed.

The Fostering Supervising Social Worker is to undertake a search for suitable respite placement. Only one Placement Request Record needs to be completed for a series of ongoing respites. Approval for respite must be sought by the child's Social Worker through Resource Panel.

5.2 Matching Children to Permanent Foster Placements

When it has been decided that the Permanence Plan for a child is long term fostering and this has been ratified at the Statutory Review, the process of matching the child to a foster placement should be started.

A Matching meeting chaired by a Fostering Manager is to be held to consider a child's needs and for the Foster Carers who can best meet the needs to be identified. If the current Foster Carers are included in this meeting then it must be identified as to whether they can meet the child's long term needs and also what support may be required. This will apply to both in house and Independent Sector Placements. However, with Independent Sector Placements, approval will also need to be sought from the Children’s Resource Panel (details to follow) to agree continued funding.

The matching meeting is to be attended by the child's Social Worker, the Supervising Social Worker and the Fostering Team Manager. If the match is proposed with the Foster Carers that the child is already placed with, they will also be involved in the meeting.

Prior to the meeting the Matching Meeting form should be completed by the child’s social worker regarding the child’s needs and the supervising social worker on the prospective foster carers ability to meet the child’s needs. The form will then be used as a discussion document and will be fully completed at the meeting.

If it is agreed that the match is suitable then a date will be booked for the match to be presented to the Fostering Panel (see Fostering Panel Procedure).

If the Foster Carers are not already approved as long term carers the Fostering Panel is to be requested to consider a change of category alongside the match. The Supervising Social Worker's updated BAAF Form F must address this matter and consider the Foster Carers' skills, experience and knowledge that would enable them to carry out the task of long term fostering and the views of everyone in the household.

The Fostering Panel will require the following reports on the child to be provided by the child's Social Worker and the Supervising Social Worker

Paperwork for Foster Carers Received
Form F (if less than five years old) / or Profile Report  
Report from Foster Carer  
Latest Foster Carer Review Paperwork  
Chronology of concerns and Allegations  
Matching Meeting Notes (SSFM 386)  
Paperwork for the Child Received
Completed/updated Form E or CPR  
Profile Report (Social Worker) which should also include a Genogram, contact plan and CAMHS Report if they have been involved  
Up to date School Report  
Child(ren)’s Views  
Child’s Life Story book/work  

After the Fostering panel meeting the Agency Decision Maker will consider the Fostering Panel's recommendation before reaching a decision on the approval of prospective Foster Carers and the proposed match.

Following approval, and if the child was not already in placement, introductions will be planned.

5.3 Supported Lodgings - Process for young people remaining in their Foster Placements

When a young person reaches the age of 18 their placement is no longer considered to be a fostering placement. Any arrangement agreed through formal processes will be known as 'Staying Put' arrangements and the existing 'Foster' Carer will be providing supported lodgings.

Should the young person's pathway plan identify the need to continue the 'Staying Put' arrangement beyond the young persons 19th birthday the young person's Personal Advisor must seek authorisation from Resource Panel. The Personal Advisor will be required to provide an update to Resource Panel at pre-agreed intervals.

As a young person transitions towards adulthood the Children in Care Service will ascertain the wishes and feelings of the young person about their future accommodation options, including staying with their current Foster Carer if appropriate. This is to be completed by the time the young person is 17 1/2 years old.

Where a young person expresses a wish to remain within their current foster care household the young person's Social Worker must convene a meeting with:

  • The Young person;
  • The Foster Carer;
  • The supervising Social Worker;
  • Other interested parties e.g. young person's advocate.

If agreement can be reached the pathway plan which includes details of the 'Staying Put' arrangement has to be ratified at the young person's next statutory review. The young persons Social Worker is to then obtain agreement from Resource Panel and report back to Resource Panel at requested at pre-agreed intervals.

Upon agreement from Resource Panel a Fostering Team Supervising Social Worker is to undertake a supported lodgings assessment.

This assessment will include an update on the Foster Carers original Form F, and the assessment of a set of competencies for providing supported lodgings. Supervising Social Works are to use the Assessment Tool located in the Fostering SAN in the Supported Lodgings folder.

The Foster Carer is required to complete an assessment of their own abilities and what they will provide.

The young person will be asked to complete a short statement regarding their wishes and feelings in relation to remaining with their current Foster Carer in a 'Supported Lodgings' arrangement.

The Assessment Tool contains all of the forms for the above requirements.

The Supervising Social work is to ensure that the following are included in the pack to be presented to the Fostering Panel:

  • Panel front sheet;
  • Supported Lodgings form for carers to complete;
  • Supported lodgings form for young person to complete;
  • List of placements since approval;
  • Brief background history since approval, including comment on any allegations;
  • Report from Supervising Social Worker commenting on competencies required of the carer as a supported lodgings provider;
  • Ensure that there is current Enhanced DBS disclosure and ISA child and Adult Barred list checks. If other children are in the house the same checks must be completed on the Young Person if over 16;
  • Annual Review (current) also carers/young person's comments for review;
  • Consult one referee if deemed appropriate;
  • Signature page.

This is to be presentation by the Supervising Social Worker who will accompany the Foster Carer to the Fostering Panel within three months for recommendation.

The Agency Decision Maker must consider the Fostering Panel's recommendation before reaching a decision on the approval of the Supported Lodgings arrangement.

Where the Agency Decision Maker has agreed to approve the arrangement, the Fostering Team Manager is to inform the Children in Care Manager who must then set up funding at either 18 or end of academic year. As part of this transitions process ongoing responsibility for the young person will be transferred to a Personal Advisor.

Whilst the Foster Carer continues Fostering alongside their Supported Lodgings provision, the Supervising Social Worker will provide ongoing supervision.

The Personal Advisor is required to review the pathway plan not less than six monthly intervals to ensure that the 'Staying Put' arrangement is still suitable and in the young person's best interest, and where necessary ensure alternative accommodation options are explored and delivered. Where the review of the pathway plan identifies the need to continue the 'Staying Put' arrangement beyond the young persons 19th birthday resource panel must ratify the continuation of the pathway plan. The Personal Advisor will be required to update Resource Panel at pre-agreed intervals.

Financial arrangements

If the young person remains in education the equivalent of the Fostering Allowance will continue until the end of the academic year up until 31st August. The Supported Lodgings financial package will then be set up.

If the young person is not in education at age 18, the Supported Lodgings financial package will commence from the young persons 18th birthday.

For more detail on payments to be made under the supported lodgings scheme refer to the Finance Handbook for Foster Carers.

It is expected that the young person will claim any benefit he/she is entitled to including Housing Benefit or Local Housing Allowance and in addition will make a contribution from their personal income.

The Local Authority will make additional payments to the supported lodging provider in recognition of the support being provided.

Different financial arrangements may need to be developed which is dependent upon the young person's circumstances or the circumstances of the supported lodging provider. For example:

  1. Where the young person is in employment and not drawing benefit;
  2. Where the young person is on approved apprenticeship scheme; or
  3. Where the young person is in receipt of DLA or other 'top allowances'.
In the above cases an income assessment would be undertaken and this may effect the contribution from the young person.


Appendix 1: Matching and Placement Flowchart

Click here to view Appendix 1: Matching and Placement Flowchart

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