Who must agree to the plan for contact, for a child in care under a court order?
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There is a legal duty on children’s services to ‘as far as is reasonably practicable’, agree the arrangements for contact with the person who is agreeing to the care plan.
A person can only agree the care plan for a looked after child if they are:
- A person who has parental responsibility for them
- The last person caring for the child immediately before they became looked after
- The child and are 16 of 17 and the plan is being agreed directly with them.
Once the arrangements have been agreed the next step are that:
- Children’s services must record the contact arrangements in the child’s care plan and placement plan
- These plans should be prepared before a placement begins
- If it is not possible for the plans to be made in advance, then the placement plan should be made within five working days (see regulation 9 of the Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) Regulations 2010). And the full care plan within 10 working days of the placement starting (see regulation 4 of the Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) Regulations 2010)
- Copies of these plans must be given to the parents, the child, anyone else with parental responsibility and other relevant people.