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Social workers

Children who are taken into care will probably have had a social worker for some time who will know them well. Once a decision is made to take the child into care, the social worker has a long list of tasks that need completing urgently. It may even include buying luggage for the child to carry their belongings.

A care review will be held within three months of the child going into care, to make sure that all requirements have been complied with and that the placement is going well. These care review meetings are chaired by Independent Reviewing Officers (IROs) who are experienced social workers. They will carry out reviews on the same child as long as they remain in care. The care review will include the Personal Education Plan.

Social worker involvement in Personal Education Plans (PEP)

  • Social workers will ensure that carers, parents, and health workers are aware of, and invited to, any PEP meetings.
  • Social workers play an important role in the PEP, by completing pages of the document that relate to the child/young person's legal status and safeguarding requirements.
  • Social workers are also charged with discussing the PEP and any education-related issues with the young person in social worker visits.
  • Social workers share the joint reasonability (with the child/young person's school and the Virtual School) for the overall quality and implementation of the PEP.

The social worker will keep in regular contact with the child to provide them with support and will also arrange contact meetings between the child and their parents. They may be helped in this by a social worker assistant.

Once a placement has become permanent, the child will transfer to the Looked After/Pathway Team, and they'll get a new social worker. A 'Pathway Plan' will be written around the child’s sixteenth birthday which will include planning the next steps in their education and training.