How should the care plan for a child in care under a court order be reviewed?
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Once a child is looked after in the care system, children’s services must prepare a care plan for them. This is required by Regulation 4 of the Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) Regulations 2010.
The care plan must be kept under regular review. These reviews will happen at a looked after child review meeting. Sometimes this is shortened to just ‘LAC’ review. This process will happen when a child is in care under a court order. It will also happen where child is looked after under a voluntary arrangement.
Reviews must take place at regular intervals. These are:
- No later than four weeks after the child becomes looked after
- Then within a further three months
- Then every six months (see section 26 of the Children Act 1989, and regulation 33 of the Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) Regulations 2010
- And whenever a substantial change to the plan is needed (see government statutory guidance called The children Act 1989 guidance and regulations: Volume 2: care planning, placement and case review at paragraphs 4.6 to 4.8).
Reviews must be held if it is being suggested that:
- The child should leave care before they reach 18
- The child should to live independently
- If the child is subject to a care order and is going to be discharged from custody
- If the child’s placement is going to change in a way which could disrupt their education. This is particularly if they are in Key Stage 4 or if they have been settled in their placement for a long time.
See government statutory guidance called the IRO Handbook, at paragraph 3.77.