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Louisa Gothard
Louisa Gothard
Senior Solicitor, Head of Family Law
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DfE issues updated guidance on care planning, placement and case review under Children Act 1989
Date:1 AUG 2014
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Senior Editor
The Department for Education (DfE) has issued updated statutory guidance on care planning, placement and case review under the Children Act 1989.

Children Act 1989: Care Planning, Placement and Case Review sets out the functions and responsibilities of local authorities and partner agencies under Part 3 of the Act, which concerns the provision of local authority support for children and families. In particular it describes how local authorities should carry out their responsibilities in relation to care planning, placement and case review for looked-after children.

These responsibilities are designed to support the local authority in its primary duty set out in section 22(3) of the Act to safeguard and promote the welfare of the looked-after child and to act as good corporate parents to enable each looked-after child to achieve his/her full potential in life.

This statutory guidance applies to:
  • local authorities;
  • children’s services social workers;
  • front-line managers who have particular responsibilities in relation to looked-after children;
  • lead members in local authorities;
  • directors of children’s services;
  • managers of services for looked-after children; and
  • commissioners of services for looked-after children.
The guidance will also be relevant to Children’s Trust partner agencies and to providers of services to looked-after children, including private, voluntary and public sector providers.

An addition to the guidance, ‘Temporary approval of prospective adopters as foster carers’ covers amendments made to the Care Planning Placement and Case Review England Regulations 2010.

Another addition to this guidance, ‘Looked-after children: contact with siblings’ updates and supersedes the information on sibling contact.

Paragraphs 3.139 to 3.146 of this guidance, concerning delegation of authority to looked-after children’s carers, has been replaced with ‘Delegation of authority to foster carers’.

The DfE has also added a fourth supplement following regulation updates: Out-of-authority placement of looked-after children.

Further resources:

Looked after children and youth justice

Early permanence placements and approval of prospective adopters as foster carers

The original review is available below:

Children Act 1989: Care Planning, Placement and Case Review