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7.1.5 Care Team for Looked After Children

Every Looked After child should have an identified Care Team. The Team will be identified at the 28 working days review and will comprise:

  • The child/young person;
  • The child’s parents;
  • The foster carer or residential key worker;
  • The child’s social worker;
  • The foster carers supervising social worker;
  • School teacher;
  • Health visitor or school nurse;
  • Any other person working with the child.

It is the role of the Care Team to ensure that the Child Plan is appropriate and that agencies are working together to ensure that the child is gaining maximum benefit from their placement, contact with their family, their education and that their health needs are being met.

Care Team Meetings should be held on all Looked after Children between all their Reviews and after the Initial Placement Meeting. A Care Team is where all professionals and the parent/s involved with a Looked After Child are invited to discuss the progress of the Child Plan and the welfare of the child. Those invited should include parent/carer, foster carer/residential worker, school/education, CAMHS, health visitor/school health advisor, ASPIRE, and any other professional involved.

The Care Team hold responsibility for monitoring a Looked After Child’s welfare through the monitoring of their individual progress in these areas:

  • Health;
  • Education;
  • Emotional/behavioural;
  • Identity;
  • Family and social relationships (including contact, quality and frequency);
  • Presentation/self-care;
  • Placement;
  • Enjoy and achieve - access to suitable activities.

It is essential that all these areas are discussed and recorded within the Care Team Meeting format and that the Child Plan is referred to inline with what actions are still outstanding and what further actions are necessary to progress the Child Plan. This should be recorded on ICS/CareFirst.

All Child Plans need to be clear and outcome focused and looks at how the care team can be proactive in supporting the placement, especially where there is presenting or anticipated difficulties.

Frequency of Care Team Meetings

The frequency of Care Team meetings depends on the needs of the child and the stability and long term plan around the child. In all cases however a Care Team meeting should be held up to 10 days prior to the next LAC Review, in order to agree the plan prior to the Review.

Long Term Stable Placement

The Care Team should meet twice between the LAC reviews, one being 10 days before the next LAC review to determine the plan.

Short Term Placement

Where there is a current assessment ongoing and the case is in Court, the Care Team should meet every month to review its progress.

Long Term where Placement is Less Stable

Care Team Meetings should occur monthly

Independent Fostering Agencies

Where a child placed with an IFA, Care Team meetings should be held monthly.

Distribution of Meeting Notes

The social worker/team manager should chair the Care Team Meeting and ensure the notes from the meeting are taken and distributed as soon as possible after the meeting. A copy of the meeting notes (on the care team meeting format) should go to the child if appropriate, and a copy sent to the allocated Independent Reviewing Officer.

Meeting should remain focused and involve contributions from all agencies.