Nottingham City Safeguarding Children’s Board Procedures Manual
Nottingham City Safeguarding Children’s Board Procedures Manual Nottingham City Safeguarding Children’s Board Procedures Manual

6.1.18 Fostering Disruption Meeting

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

To provide a framework for the management of fostering placements which have been identified as likely to disrupt, or have disrupted.

RELATED GUIDANCE

Disruption Meeting Agenda

Disruption Meeting - Head of Service Guidance Notes

This chapter was added to the manual in February 2012.


Contents

  1. Definition of Disruption
  2. Purpose of Disruption Meetings
  3. When Disruption Meetings Should be Held
  4. Participants in Disruption Meetings
  5. Preparing for the Disruption Meeting
  6. Format of Disruption Meetings 
  7. Recording of Disruption Meetings
  8. Disruption Meeting Process


1. Definition of Disruption

A ‘disruption’ is the premature ending of a foster placement of a Looked After Child that has been in a placement for a minimum of three years. A Disruption Meeting must take place in this instance.

A disruption can be at the request of the foster carer, the placing authority or the foster child / young person.


2. Purpose of Disruption Meetings

The purpose of the Disruption Meeting is not to attribute blame, it is important that all participants are aware of this. The purpose of Disruption Meetings are instead to;

  • Provide all participants with an opportunity to share information, feelings and views about the causes of disruption;
  • Agree the factors that have led to the disruption;
  • Reassess the needs of Looked After Children and carers involved. Information gained can be used to inform future levels of support;
  • Seek to identify learning opportunities, actions and areas of policy development for all agencies involved.


3. When Disruption Meetings Should be Held

A Disruption Meeting must take place:

  • If a placement breakdown occurs after a Looked After Child has been in placement for at least three years;
  • If a Looked After Child has experienced a number of disruptions within a short space of time. A request for a Disruption Meeting in this instance will be at the discretion of the child’s social worker and will be held once agreement to do so has been reached by the relevant Fieldwork and Fostering Service Managers. If an agreement cannot be reached, the final decision will be made of the Head of Service.

Disruption Meeting are not appropriate when dealing with;

  • Bridging placements;
  • Short-term placements, unless there as been a breakdown in more than one of these placements and a pattern is emerging.

The timing of the Disruption Meeting may vary. It is important that the meeting is not held too soon after the placement breakdown when participants may be defensive, or too long after when participants may be less able to recall the contributing factors.

In order to allow sufficient time for analysis and reflection a Disruption Meeting should be held no earlier than 28 days and no later than 42 days after the disruption, unless a complaint is in process. In this instance, a Disruption Meeting should be held within 4-6 weeks of complaint resolution.


4. Participants in Disruption Meetings

Participants required to attend the Disruption Meeting will vary depending on the nature of the disruption. Careful consideration must be made by the Head of Service in regards to who should be invited (and ultimately, attend).

In addition to the Head of Service, the current Childcare Social Worker and Supervising Social Worker, consideration will be given to inviting the following participants;

  • Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO);
  • Carers involved in the disruption and their Supervising Social Worker at the time of disruption;
  • Previous carers and their Supervising Social Workers for the duration of the Look After Child’s placement;
  • Present carers;
  • Relevant Fostering Support Team Managers and Service Manager;
  • Fostering agency representative;
  • Looked After Child;
  • Child’s advocate / representative;
  • Previous Childcare Social Workers, including child’s social worker at the time of disruption;
  • Fieldwork Team Manager of current and previous Childcare Social Workers, including child’s social worker at the time of disruption;
  • Fieldwork Service Manager of current and previous and childcare Social Workers, including child’s social worker at the time of disruption;
  • Designated Teacher from school currently attended, previously attended and at the point of disruption;
  • Health representatives e.g. Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, or Health Visitor;
  • Birth parents / family.

Participants who decline an invitation or are unable to attend will be required to present their views in writing.

If a Looked After Child is unable to attend the Disruption Meeting, It is the responsibility of their current social worker to obtain their views and opinion.

It is the responsibility of the fostering service to obtain the views and opinion of current or previous carer who are unable to attend the meeting.


5. Preparing for the Disruption Meeting

It is imperative that as much information is made available to the Head of Service (Chair) in advance of the meeting to allow time for analysis. At the time of invitation to the Disruption Meeting a written report will be requested from the following:

  • Child’s Social Work Team;
  • Carers’ Adoption & Fostering Service;
  • 15+ Team;
  • Agency Adoption Fostering Service;
  • Education Service;
  • Other significant agencies.

The child’s Social Worker will also provide the Independent Reviewing Manager with access to the file in order to inspect the following documents:

  • Child’s Care Plan(s);
  • Carers’ Form F;
  • Matching documents;
  • Placement Support Plan(s);
  • Children In Care Reviews.


6. Format of Disruption Meetings

Disruption Meetings will cover the following areas;

  • Introductions;
  • Apologies;
  • Rules and Purpose of the meeting;
  • The reasons why the child came into care i.e. details of the child’s early life experiences and the circumstances why the child came into care;
  • Child’s history since being in care;
  • Selection process;
  • Child and carer introduction process;
  • Child’s placement experience;
  • Carer’s placement experience;
  • The plan for the child’s future;
  • Vetting and Barring;
  • Learning points, recommendations and follow up actions.


7. Recording of Disruption Meetings

It is the responsibility of the Head of Service (Chair) to ensure that an accurate account of the Disruption Meeting is recorded.

Minutes of the meeting should include a clear summary of the future needs of child and carers involved, as well as recommendations and follow up actions for agencies involved.


8. Disruption Meeting Process

Within two days of the placement disruption, the Childcare and Supervising Social Workers must complete a referral form and send it to the Fostering Service Manager (or nominated representative).

Following the Disruption Meeting, the Head of Service (or nominated representative) will ensure minutes are distributed to participants and relevant Managers of services concerned within fifteen days.

End