Children in Care Service
The Service has Children in Care and Care Leaver's Teams to provide a specialist social work service for children and young people who are:
Accommodated with agreement of their parent(s) as part of a voluntary arrangement (under section 20 of the Children Act 1989)
In Care and subject to a legal care order granted by the court (under section 31 of the Children Act)
Leaving Care - young people from age 16 who are looked after and young people who having been looked after by the local authority are care leavers. The services provided vary according to the legal status of the young people involved but include the following services:
- a needs assessment
- a Pathway Plan
- a Personal Advisor
- help with accommodation, education goals, employment and training and life skills
- Financial support for those in higher and further education, employment, training
- support to live independently as a young adult
a) One of the four Children in Care Teams provides a specialist permanency service for children who require legal protection and permanent alternative care for children who cannot remain in the care of their birth parents.
b) All looked after children and young people (including those who are accommodated and those subject to a care order) require a high standard of care and support that provides stability, care and nurturing in order to help them achieve their full potential. Allocated social workers are required to:
- Formulate and implement child focussed Care Plans that support the young person to permanence
- Visit looked after children and young people regularly to build a rapport and develop a relationship to ascertain their views, wishes and feelings
- Continually assess and support the child and young person's holistic needs to ensure that they experience positive life chances and improved outcomes in respect of their social, emotional, health and educational needs
- Where it is in the child / young person's best interest, facilitate contact between them and their birth family, siblings and relevant other important people in their life
- Support the child / young person's placement which for looked after children and young people could be with an in-house / independent fostering agency foster carer or in-house / private and voluntary residential unit and for care leavers could be a semi-independent / independent living with various levels of support
- Undertake statutory reviews of arrangements including reviews of the child / young person's personal educational plan and health assessments including immunisations, dental and optician checks
c) The Children in Care Service also includes Fostering, Adoption and Residential Care Teams.
The Fostering Team is responsible for assessing and supervising in-house foster carers who care for looked after children. The Fostering Panel is an independently chaired statutory panel established to approve and review Rotherham's foster carers
The Adoption Team is responsible for assessing matching prospective adopters with children who need adopting. The Team also provides post-adoptive support for adoptive parents and children who have been adopted. The Adoption Panel is an independently chaired statutory panel established to make recommendations about approval and matching prospective adoptive parents with children in need of adoption
We currently run an outstanding children's home which provides short breaks for disabled children and have recently commenced a plan to open other children's home within the borough.
In addition to in-house fostering, adoption and residential care services the Placement Commissioning Team undertakes searches to identify independent fostering agencies and private and voluntary sector residential units whenever there are insufficient in-house services, or a more specialist service is required.