Authorisation for a Child to be Looked After and Funding Agreements Outside H.A.R.P.

Please also read in conjunction with the PGN entitled Response to Emergency Referrals into Brokerage and Out of Hours Teams - HCC (


This chapter was revised in September 2021 to include a Practice Guidance Note entitled Response to Emergency Referrals into Brokerage and Out of Hours Teams Practice Guidance Notes - HCC (

1. Introduction

In all cases where there is a request to accommodate a child, the request should be through the Hertfordshire Access to Resources Panel (HARP).

2. Decision in an Emergency

If, however, the request is to accommodate a child in an emergency, the request should be discussed initially with the relevant Services Manager or Services for Young People Manager. If s/he supports accommodation, the request should then be made to either a Safeguarding Head of Service or Head of Disabled Children and CLA Support.

If authorisation is given it will be for up to 2 weeks, or the next appropriate HARP meeting.

3. Communication of Decision by Decision Maker

Once agreed, the Head of Service should email authorisation to the worker and manager, copying in the Brokerage Accommodation Team ( Authorisation by the Head of Service Safeguarding will normally outline how long the accommodation is agreed for and any actions the worker is required to undertake. The placement should always be in house provision where possible.

4. Actions Required by the Social Worker

The worker for the child/ren or young person will contact:

Brokerage Accommodation Team (BAT) a telephone call must be made to BAT with as much detail as possible about the child's needs and requirements. A completed Placement Request Form (PRF) must be completed the next working day with all outcomes sections fully completed. This must include the outcomes you expect from the provider, be it foster carer or residential unit.

If it is a planned placement request, the Placement Request Form must be fully completed and sent to BAT prior to any placement being agreed.

5. Actions of the Brokerage Accommodation Team

Brokerage Accommodation Team will source the most appropriate in house placement. If they are unable to identify an in house resource, they will inform the social worker about what independent placements are available.

If agreement is required in an emergency for the funding of an:

  • Independent fostering placement - authorisation must be sought from Marion Ingram, Operations Director Specialist Services. This request must come from the relevant Services Manager and needs to include the Head of Services views;
  • Semi independent placements - as above (Marion Ingram);
  • Independent residential placement - as above (Marion Ingram).

If Marion is not available, then the Operations Director Safeguarding (Sue Williams) should be contacted.

Any Out of Hours requests should be channelled through the Emergency Duty Team, as they will know the relevant Senior Manager on call that night.