carry out children and family assessments, which may lead to a Child in Need plan, a 'step down' to early help services or no further action
carry out Section 47 assessments on new referrals, and any resulting initial Child Protection Conferences
initiate care proceedings where necessary.
Ongoing work to progress a Child in Need or Child Protection plan until outcomes are completed now remains with the original social worker who undertook the assessment. This is to ensure continuity for children and their families and avoid delays.
begins to work with the child at the time of the first court hearing or the first review if the child is subject to a Section 20 arrangement and if it isn't planned that the child will return to their parents soon. The transfer process is planned in advance as much as possible to ensure compliance with court timescales.
has a significant amount of court work
progresses plans to adoption if appropriate
is responsible for children and young people until the age of 18, when a separate care leaver service offers after-care support and advice
works with unaccompanied asylum seeking children who are in the council's care.
Our Corporate Parenting Services are overseen by the Assistant Director for Corporate Parenting and are made up of 4 key services:
Virtual School Kent
Care Leavers 18+ Service.
The services work closely with our children’s early help and social work teams, health, education, youth offending and key partners including the Young Lives Foundation (YLF). Wherever possible, children and young people attend panel meetings to meet their corporate parents. The voice of our children and young people is represented at all panels by our Virtual School Kent apprentices and participation workers.
We've asked all teams in Kent County Council to think about how they can support our children in care, and make pledges of support to help them learn, develop and grow.
The Kent Fostering Service consists of 7 fostering support teams and 4 specialist teams who focus on:
assessment and recruitment
the sense of belonging service.
It is managed by the Head of Fostering, who has direct management responsibility for the centralised teams and joint responsibility for the staff within the support teams.
The service uses early care planning to make sure our children are in placements that offer them permanency through to staying put as they become adults. Children and young people should be supported to achieve a sense of belonging within their foster family.
The purpose of our Adoption Service is to provide a comprehensive service to meet the needs of our children and young people who have been or may become adopted, birth families and adoptive parents.
This includes services for those children and young people in our care with an adoption plan, and in relation to the non-agency adoption service. To achieve it aims our Adoption Service will make sure the needs and wishes, welfare and safety of the child are at the centre of the adoption process.