Guidance on procedures and good practice is listed here. Some has been issued by government but is not statutory guidance.
Placing looked-after children
National Minimum Standards for Children Homes 2002 – These are the minimum standards against which children’s homes are inspected. They support the Children’s Homes (Wales) Regulations 2000.
Fostering services and foster carers
UK Joint Working Party on Foster Care: National Standards for Foster Carers, NFCA (now The Fostering Network) 1999 –
The 25 Standards were launched in June 1999 to provide a blueprint on how to deliver the highest standards of foster care. They are intended as a daily reference document for anyone working with fostered children and young people. The standards are in three sections:
- ensuring that the specific needs and rights of each child or young person in foster care are met and respected
- ensuring that each foster carer provides effective and appropriate care
- ensuring that each authority responsible for the provision of public care for children and young people offers a high quality foster care service for all who could benefit from it.
Delegated Authority for Foster Carers – This guidance issued by Welsh Government sets out best practice regarding day to day aspects of caring for looked-after children, for example holidays; permission for school activities; haircuts; etc.
Other non-statutory guidance about looked-after children
Care Forum Wales (Special Interest Forum Residential Child Care) Good Practice Guide to Placement Planning 2011 – In recognition that residential child care staff have a key role to play in the process of placement planning for the children and young people in their care, this guidance is intended to support and provide best practice for residential staff in placement planning, alongside the roles and responsibilities of the local authority.
Use of section 20/section 76 ‘voluntary accommodation’ – in early 2016, a number of guides were issued on the use of voluntary accommodation. These are listed here.
Helpful information is available on this website – ‘Someone Else’s Child’
Adoption and special guardianship
National Minimum Standards for Local Authority Adoption Services for Wales – These are minimum standards to be followed by adoption support agencies in Wales.
Guidance on the use of para 19(1) in Schedule 2 Children Act 1989 in placing a child with relatives abroad prior to adoption under s 84(1) ACA 2002 – This guidance is to support a local authority planning to place a child who is subject to an interim care order or a final care order with relatives – or, in certain circumstances, other persons who are closely connected to the child who are being considered as potential adopters, but where no decision has been made by the authority to place the child for adoption with those relatives. The guidance deals specifically with applications to the court under paragraph 19(1) of Schedule 2 to the 1989 Act (‘a paragraph 19(1) application’) for approval to place a child in care with relatives abroad under a fostering arrangement prior to a possible adoption. It outlines the steps and issues local authorities need to consider before making such an application.
Mental Health Act 1983 Code of Practice for Wales This guidance to health professionals was amended in 2008. It includes guidance relating to children, young people and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.
Policy Implementation Guidance: Addressing Mental Health Problems of Children and Young People in the Youth Justice System 2014 – Further to the Mental Health Wales Measure 2010: This guidance concerns children and young people aged 10 to 17 years who may have mental health problems, and who offend or who are at risk of offending. This includes looked-after children. The guidance is for planners and other key stakeholders responsible for children and young people, principally within Local Health Boards, Welsh police forces and local authorities. It aims to support improvements in mental health provision for this vulnerable and often marginalised group of children and young people.
Children and young people continuing care guidance 2012 – In some cirumstances, a person’s health needs are such that the NHS takes responsibility for funding their care. ‘Continuing care’ is defined as care provided over an extended period of time to a person to meet physical or mental health needs which have arisen as a result of illness (any disorder or disability of the mind and any injury or disability requiring medical or dental treatment or nursing). This guidance is designed for use by all practitioners involved in planning and providing children’s continuing care services in Local Health Boards (LHBs) and local authorities and their partners. It describes the interagency process, led by LHBs, that all organisations should implement in assessing needs and putting in place individually designed packages of continuing care for those children and young people who require it because their needs cannot be met by existing general or specialist services alone.
National Minimum Standards for Care Home for Younger Adults 2002 – These are the minimum standards against which care homes are inspected, relating to care homes for disabled young people aged 16 – 25.
Best practice guidance on short breaks 2012 – This was non-statutory guidance issued by the Welsh Government to help local authorities fulfil their obligations under the regulations for short breaks (or respite care) for carers of disabled children. It may still be helpful in relation to planning short breaks under the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014.
The All-Wales Child Protection Procedures 2008 (currently under review) are common standards for child protection referrals and actions across Wales, to support the statutory guidance on Working Together.
All the guidance issued under these procedures can be found on one website. This includes:
- All Wales Guidance Flowchart responding to a referral or concern about forced marriage
- Safeguarding and Promoting the Welfare of Children who are at Risk of Abuse through Sexual Exploitation
- Female Genital Mutilation
- Procedural Response to Unexpected Deaths in Childhood (2010) This is a NHS-led procedure which will be followed when:Safeguarding Children and Young People Affected by Domestic Abuse
- a decision has been made that the death of a child is unexpected or
- there is a lack of clarity about whether the death of a child is unexpected or
- the cause of a child’s death is not apparent and it is not possible to issue a death certificate
- Safeguarding and Promoting the Welfare of Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children and Young People
- Safeguarding Children Who May Have Been Trafficked
- The management of young people engaged in sexually harmful behaviour
- Missing Children
This is non-statutory guidance issued by the Welsh Government – Safeguarding children from abuse linked to a belief in spirit possession 2008.
Practice Guidance on the Framework for Assessment – this practice guidance was written to support the Framework for Assessment of Children in Need. The Code of Practice to Part 3 now contains both statutory and other guidance on assessment.
Handling cross-border child protection cases 2012 – this applies to local authorities and health authorities where a child protection case has an international element involving European countries.
Child Abduction Act 1984 guidance. It is a criminal offence to remove a child abroad without the consent of person(s) with parental responsibility. There is no specific Welsh guidance. This link to Foreign & Commonwealth Office guidance on international parent child abduction applies to England and Wales.
The Welsh Government’s School Admission Appeals Code gives the rules and guidance about the appeals process.
Guidance to the courts
There are a number of Practice Directions attached to the Family Procedure Rules which give detailed guidance to lawyers, the judiciary, and the Court Service about procedures to be followed in family court proceedings.