Placement Outside England and Wales
SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER
This chapter concerns any situation which involves a Child Looked After living for more than 28 days outside England and Wales.
A separate chapter covers requirements in respect of stays of 28 days or less outside the UK (see Holidays and School/Organisational Trips Abroad/Outside the UK Procedure).
AMENDMENTA new link to LCS guidance was added to this chapter in April 2012.
1. Moving to Live Outside England or Wales (Care Order)
In the case of a child who is subject of a Care Order, the local authority must obtain the approval of the Court for her/him to live outside England or Wales (Sch.2 Para.19 Children Act 1989).
If (normally at a CLA review) it has been concluded that such a move is desirable the Social Worker must seek the written approval of the Operational Director Specialist services and draft a report for Court indicating:
- Why it would be in the child's interests;
- That suitable arrangements have been or will be made for the child's arrival and care;
- That (where of sufficient understanding) the child has agreed and that everyone who has parental responsibility (where they can be found) has also consented.
The Social Worker must notify the CLU and seek advice about the process and timing of an application.
If the child is to live with anyone who falls within the scope of the Placement with Parents Etc. Regulations, (see Placement with Parent(s) or Person who has, or has held Parental Responsibility Immediately Prior to Making of a Care Order or Interim Care Order Procedure) arrangements must be made so that, as far as is practical, a comparable level of supervision is made available.
It should be borne in mind that the Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations - Volume 3: Planning Transition to Adulthood for Care Leavers suggests that such a decision should not be made except where there are exceptional circumstances and adequate and realistic arrangements can be made to safeguard the child's welfare and meet the requirements of the regulations and the stay is only for a definite and limited period.
2. Moving to Live Outside England and Wales (Accommodated Child)
An accommodated child may only be assisted to live outside of England or Wales if all those who have parental responsibility for her/him consent (Sch.2 Para. 19 (2) Children Act 1989).
If, (normally at a CLA review) it is concluded that it would be in the child's interests to make such a move the Social Worker must:
- Write to all those known to have parental responsibility for the child (and whose location is known) seeking their written confirmation that they consent to the proposal;
- Determine, in consultation with the Team Manager whether the ongoing supervision of the child is to be provided by Hertfordshire County Council or whether the local authority within the area which the child is to live will be asked to undertake (and charge for) the work;
- Provide written confirmation to all those who have parental responsibility of any actual move and new address.