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

1.3.4 Allocation of Work and Transfer between Teams


This chapter sets the principles and processes by which cases are allocated and transferred from one Social Work Team to another.


This chapter was updated April 2014, Initial and Core Assessments were replaced with one title: Social Work Assessments; as set out in Working Together to Safeguard Children.


  1. Introduction
  2. Allocation of Work
  3. Point of Transfer
  4. Transfer between Teams
  5. Inward Transfer of children subject to Child Protection Plans from another Authority

1. Introduction

The transfer of cases should be viewed as a process and not a single event. The young person, their family and, where applicable, their carers should be kept fully informed and involved throughout this process.

The key principles for case transfer are:

  • Cases are not to drift;
  • Cases are to be held in the area of service where the case belongs;
  • It is the responsibility of the transferring Team Manager to ensure that the child/young person and family continue to receive the service and planned work as laid out in the Child's Plan up until the point of transfer;
  • Cases are to have the least number of moves so that the child or young person does not experience unnecessary change of Social Workers.

2. Allocation of Work

All new work accepted by Children's Social Care will be recorded as a Referral. All referrals are processed within the Duty Team in the Advice and Assessment Service, with the exception of the inward transfer of cases from another Authority, unborn babies who have siblings already open within another Service area, requests for Section 7 or 37 Reports to the Court, Adoption Support and Private Fostering.

3. Point of Transfer

When the Advice and Assessment Service are completing a Social Work Assessment and it becomes clear that the case will require a Social Worker from another Service area the Team Managers of the current and proposed Social Workers will consult in the latter stages of the Assessment, particularly in the analysis summary and the identification of objectives and plans. The joint arrangements will apply to complex Child in Need and all Child Protection cases.

When the Social Work Assessment involves Section 47 Enquiries and an Initial Child Protection Conference is called, a Social Worker from the proposed team should attend this meeting. They will be responsible for the implementation of the Child Protection or Child in Need Plan if this is agreed, the Social Worker from the Advice and Assessment Service will have responsibility for completion of the Social Work Assessment.

In the event of a child being made subject to Care Proceedings and becomes looked after, the relevant Child in Care Team will take responsibility for the Care Plan at the first Interim Hearing (after the Emergency Protection Order if applicable) which will usually be before the first Looked After Child Review. The Advice and Assessment Service will maintain responsibility for completing the Social Work Assessment.

In the event of a child being placed In Care and there are no legal proceedings, the case will transfer at the first review, but the Advice and Assessment worker will continue to complete the Social Work Assessment and Care Plan which may occur before the first Child in Care Review.

4. Transfer between Teams

A weekly transfer meeting will be held to enable Team Managers to discuss and track cases ready to be transferred. The transferring and receiving named social workers are to arrange a face-to-face meeting prior to a joint visit(s) to the child or young person and their family.

All transferred cases are to be audited by the transferring Team Manager; this is to be recorded on the Client Record in CareFirst, to ensure casework is up to date. The receiving Team Manager is to check cases prior to acceptance to ensure all the relevant documentation is present. To avoid drift, any anomalies must be addressed with the transferring Team Manager immediately. Only after this process has been agreed will the case be transferred and the administration and electronic database records amended. Until this point the case is still the responsibility of the transferring team.

5. Inward Transfer of children subject to Child Protection Plans from another Authority

When a child's case is open to another Local Authority who have assessed a child's needs and have established a Child Protection Plan and the family move to or intend to move to Plymouth, including emergency situations, then the case should be referred directly to the Childcare Service Manager for allocation. The CP Co-ordinator from the Safeguarding Service will process the temporary CP registration which will remain in place until an inward transfer CP Review is held within 15 days of notification. The duty social worker will input a referral with all relevant details of the child within 24 hours; and a review document will be completed to inform the process and decision making.