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7.2.5 Care Planning Meetings

This chapter was introduced in July 2012.


Care Planning Procedure

Permanence Policy


  1. Attendance
  2. Agenda
  3. Timescales and Contingencies
  4. Notifications
  5. The Child's Permanence Report
  6. Plan for Long Term Fostering
  7. Plan for Adoption
  8. Plan for Residential Services

    Appendix 1: Permanence Options; Checklist of Considerations

    Appendix 2: Decisions on Permanence

1. Attendance

  • Social worker;
  • Education representative;
  • Health representative;
  • Fostering or adoption team representative, as appropriate;
  • Legal representative.

2. Agenda

  • The child's identified needs re:
    • Identity;
    • Education;
    • Health;
    • Long term impact of plan;
    • Contact;
    • When sibling/s involved; whether they should be placed together and if not - why not.
  • Views of the child and others;
  • Type of permanent placement (Child Plan):
    • Adoption;
    • Fostering;
    • Residential;
    • Kinship Care.

The Care Planning Meeting should be fully recorded, including:

  • Who was present at permanence planning or review meeting;
  • Whose views were taken in to account;
  • What options were considered;
  • The reasons for reaching a particular conclusion;
  • Any disagreements.

3. Timescales and Contingencies

These will include:

  • Whether Child's Permanence Report's (CPR), FORM E's and CoramBAAF documents are required and when they will be submitted;
  • Legal Status - progression of legal plan;
  • The date of the most appropriate Adoption/Fostering Panel. Please note that when the plan is for adoption, the plan should be presented to the adoption panel within two months of the Decision Making forum;
  • Timing of the referral meeting which will be arranged and chaired by the appropriate Team Manager for Fostering or Adoption;
  • How long to wait before considering an alternative plan;
  • What the alternative plan will be;
  • Whether it is appropriate to apply for a Placement Order at the same time as the Care Order;
  • Where the plan is adoption consideration should be given as to whether the Family Finding Plan will be in place for an agreed period of time. This is to avoid children being held in an "adoption only" plan for an inappropriate length of time.

4. Notifications

Following the Care Planning Meeting the social worker will send the appropriate Notification of Permanency to the Service Manager within 7 days of the Care Planning Meeting.

An acknowledgement will be forwarded by the relevant Service Team Manager to the child's Social Worker with confirmation of panel dates, and submission dates for CPRs, Form E's and CoramBAAF forms where appropriate.

(A telephone call made to the Adoption Services, Foster Care Service or Placements Services does not constitute a referral for any kind of permanency plan for a child. The appropriate forms must always be used).

5. The Child's Permanence Report

The reports about the child should be prepared by the social worker who knows the child best, where this is practicable. This would generally be the child's social worker.

6. Plan for Long Term Fostering

See Adoption Procedures

Fostering Service Referral Meeting

The Referral Meeting will consider the Form E or in the case of children over 14 years old, the Referral Form for Children Needing Long Term Foster Care (Over 14 years) and other relevant reports and agree a family finding plan.

A Foster Care Services Social Worker will be allocated the child's case for family finding purposes.

In the case of a child whose original plan was for Adoption, the referral will come from the relevant manager following a Care Planning Meeting.

If or when a suitable family is found for the child, the Fostering Panel will consider and approve the match.

Fostering Panel

The case will go to the fostering panel to consider a plan for long term fostering after the referral meeting to consider the CPRs, CoramBAAF Forms and any other relevant reports. (Please refer also to the Fostering Service policies, Procedures and Practice Guidance).

The child's social worker will attend the fostering panel and present the matching report.

7. Plan for Adoption

Adoption Service Referral Meeting

The referral meeting will be chaired by the Adoption Service Team manager/senior member of the Adoption Team and attended by:

  • The child's Social Worker;
  • The allocated family finder;
  • The current Foster Carer; and
  • The Foster Carer's Supervising Social Worker.

The social worker will:

  • Present the CPR's, Form E's, CoramBAAF documents or other appropriate reports concerning the child's welfare to the referral meeting.

Adoption Panel

The Adoption Panel will consider the CPR's, CoramBAAF Forms and any other relevant reports. 

The social worker will forward CPR's, CoramBAAF Forms and requested documentation to the Adoption Service approx. 4 weeks prior to the Adoption Panel date (see circulated list of panel dates and deadlines, available within area team offices and the adoption service).

If the Adoption Family Finding Plan is agreed by the panel but not achieved within a specified timescale a further Care Planning Meeting should be arranged by the child's Social Worker. An alternative plan may then be formulated.

A decision to refer a child's case from the Adoption Service to the Foster Care Services does not necessarily mean that all attempts to find an adoptive carer will cease immediately. If it is appropriate, the family finding work of the Adoption Service will continue with the child on referral for permanent foster care for an agreed period of time based upon a realistic assessment of the likelihood of achieving an adoption placement.

In the case of an adoption placement, if or when a suitable family is found for the child, the Adoption Panel will consider and approve the match (See Adoption Services Policies and Practice Guidance).

Where a child is already accommodated in a short-term placement with either a foster carer or in the children's home, a change made to the Child Plan to seek permanency must still follow the procedures described in the Permanency Policy.

8. Plan for Residential Services

Placements of a young person within Newcastle's residential provision will be agreed by the Head of Corporate Parenting and Head of Children's Social Care.

Appendix 1: Permanence Options; Checklist of Considerations

Child Arrangements/Special Guardianship Order Adoption Long term fostering
Child needs the security of a legally defined placement with alternative Carers, but does not require a lifelong commitment involving a change of identity Child's primary need is to belong to a family who will make a lifelong commitment Primary need is for a stable, loving family environment whilst there is still a significant level of continued involvement with the birth family
Child's relation, foster or other Carer needs to exercise day to day Parental responsibility and is prepared to do so as a lifelong commitment Child's birth Parents are not able or not willing to share Parental responsibility in order to meet their child's needs, even though there may be contact Child has a clear sense of identity with the birth family, whilst needing to be looked after away from Home
There is no need for continuing monitoring and review by the Local Authority, although support services may still need to be arranged Child needs an opportunity to develop a new sense of identity whilst being supported to maintain or develop a healthy understanding of their past There is need for continuing oversight and monitoring of the child's developmental progress
Child has a strong attachment to the alternative Carers and legally defined permanence is assessed as a positive contribution to their sense of belonging and security Child expresses a wish to be adopted Birth Parents are able and willing to exercise a degree of Parental responsibility

Appendix 2: Decisions on Permanence

Impact on carers of court orders and support arrangements

Status Impact Support arrangements
No legal order and child not looked after by local authority None Services for children in need, their families and others under section 17 of the Children Act 1989
Placement with approved foster carers (including family and friends) Requirement to comply with fostering regulations Fostering allowances and support provided under section 23 of the Children Act 1989
Child Arrangements Order Gives the holder parental responsibility and allows the child to live with them. Order can be varied or discharged by the Court. Adoption and Children Act 2002 allows the routine extension of orders to the age of 18 Under paragraph 15 of Schedule 1 to Children Act 1989, a local authority may make contributions to the child's maintenance. Support under section17 of the Children Act1989 if child in need
Special Guardianship Order Gives the holder parental responsibility without severing legal ties to the child's parents. Order can be varied or discharged by the Court and will cease to apply at 18 Special Guardianship support services, including financial support, will be available in accordance with regulations to be made under section 14F of the Children Act 1989(inserted by Adoption and Children Act 2002)
Adoption Order Severs all legal ties between a child and his/her birth family. Adopted person is treated in law as if born to the adoptive parent(s) Adoption support services, including financial support, will be available in accordance with regulations that came into effect on 31 October 2003