Procedure for the Transfer of Cases between Social Work and Early Help Teams within the Children and Young People's Service
SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER
This chapter provides guidance about the process of transferring and closing cases. We are committed to providing a consistent service to children and families in Haringey and it is key to this that when issues that arise on open cases they are, wherever possible, dealt with by the existing team. This Protocol should be read alongside the London Borough of Haringey Child in Need Plans and Reviews Procedure and the London Child Protection Procedures Manual, Children and Families moving across Local Authority boundaries Procedure that, together, set out the context for much of our work.
Cases regularly move between teams and it is the purpose of this procedure to try and ensure that there is a clear understanding of how a case should move from one team to another. The objective is to ensure that there is both continuity of care and clarity of responsibility at each stage of the process.
This chapter was updated in October 2017 to add additional detail with regard to the transfer process and emphasise the role of the Service Manager, particularly in regard to conflict resolution in this area.
1. General Principles of Case Transfer
- Cases for transfer must be sent via e-mail to the case transfer panel administrator by 12pm every Thursday for discussion at the weekly Transfer Meeting held on Tuesdays. Late submissions will not be accepted;
- Transfer will be discussed and agreed at the transfer panel. All cases will transfer with an Assessment and/or Looked After Children (LAC) documents, Child Protection (CP) documents, Child in Need (CIN) documents or Team Around the Family (TAF);
- A date for transfer will be agreed at the transfer meeting and all cases should have a summary and a clear plan based on Signs of Safety risk assessment with clear supervision records;
- If Service Managers cannot attend, then the respective Team Manager should deputise for them;
- The Transfer Meeting will be chaired by the Head of Service for CIN and in their absence, a nominated Manager;
- Transfer information will be manually recorded in a transfer and allocations folder held on the shared drive. However access is limited to Managers only and will be password protected;
- All teams across the service will operate a duty system for cases that cannot be immediately allocated and to take urgent action on cases where the allocated worker is absent on annual or sick leave, or due to issues of capacity;
- Cases held on duty in each team will be reviewed and prioritised 3-weekly by the Team Manager or, in their absence, the Senior Practitioner;
- The purpose of the reviews will be to ensure known risks are being managed and service provision is still relevant, duty action planned, and that statutory visits are being maintained;
- Capacity issues need to be raised by the receiving Team Manager with the Service Manager. A lack of workload capacity in the receiving team will not prevent the transfer of any case according to these procedures;
- Preventing transfer is not part of Workload Management. Similarly, case stability is not a legitimate reason to prevent case transfer and reference to team criteria is not a block;
- The originating team decides which team is to receive the case. If that manager disagrees, then the Head of Service for CIN will review the case and make a decision as to the appropriate team;
- If there are any disputes in respect of threshold, then this needs to be raised immediately with the Head of Service for CIN who will then review the case and make a threshold decision.
2. Transferring Requirements
Before a case can be transferred from one team to another, certain requirements must be met.
The Mosaic entry for all family members must be up to date. This should include:
- All personal details, i.e. name, date of birth, ethnicity, gender, religion, disability, address including postcode, all professional contacts known, i.e. health visitor, GP, name of school, school nurse, teacher;
- All family composition, appropriately cross referenced, in involvements;
- When re-allocated, a new worker must be created between the social worker/service user and the old one closed;
- All old activities must be closed.
Consent to information sharing should be confirmed if the case is with Early Help or CIN or the decision to override consent recorded by the Team Manager.
The reason for the case transfer and the date of transfer is to be recorded in the case notes on Mosaic and must reflect the discussion with the receiving Team Manager.
Cases will be audited by the Team Manager (or Senior Practitioner in their absence) the day prior to the transfer meeting. Each file should have:
- An up-to-date chronology in line with the procedure (see Chronology Guidance);
- A transfer summary, an up-to-date and complete Assessment and completed Section 47 (see Child Protection Enquiries (Section 47) Procedure) if appropriate. Full LAC documents updated if appropriate;
- The file must be in good order, (see Case Records and Retention Procedure) and Using Mosaic Guidance with all existing papers appropriately electronically scanned onto the electronic file.
3. Transfer Pathway
Once a child or young person is placed on the transfer list the transfer pathway is as follows: