are you worried about a child? find out who to talk to.

If you are not familiar with Quality Improvement and/or permanence, we recommend you watch these two webinars first. In PACE and Permanence, Linda Davidson, Permanence Consultant at CELCIS discusses why finding safe, secure and stable homes for children is so important. In PACE and Quality Improvement, Kirsty Doull, Acting Permanence Lead and Permanence Consultant at CELCIS, talks us through the key points of Quality Improvement and how it was used in the PACE programme.

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PACE: permanence in practice

Children require a safe, stable, secure and nurturing home in which to grow up and fulfil their potential. This may be referred to as ‘permanence’. For children who become ‘looked after’ by a local authority under child protection legislation, it can necessarily take time to decide where this home should be – whether that be remaining with or returning to their parents; or an alternative home with kinship carers (family members or close family friends), long-term foster carers, residential care, or adoption.

PACE was very clear that there are four legal routes to permanence for children – remaining or returning to live with parents; a permanence order; a kinship care order; or an adoption order – and practice in relation to all four routes are considered throughout the work of PACE.

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Participation

Participation is fundamental to all improvement work – from senior leaders to frontline practitioners, but, crucially, to the people who are most impacted by the changes made: children, young people, and their families. Throughout the PACE programme, children, families and carers were invited to participate wherever possible. This enabled the programme to learn what delays in processes felt like, what areas people felt needed to be improved upon, and what children, families and carers told us about the experiences of new ways of working.

PACE: engaging with children and young people

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Watch the video

In this webinar, Paul Sullivan, Sector Engagement Lead at CELCIS, explains the importance of the participation and engagement of children and young people in CELCIS’s work and discusses some models for participation, including the Independent Care Review and local Champions Boards. This is vital for all work relating to improving timescales for permanence planning, as the reason for improving such timescales is to improve outcomes for children and young people.

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Kinship care

One of the key experiences from PACE was seeing the differing approaches across Scotland to permanence planning for children in kinship care. Traditionally, children living with kinship carers (family members or close family friends) have, at times, not been viewed as being ‘looked after’ away from home. ‘Permanence’, too, traditionally only referred to fostering and adoption, rather than other routes to securing a child’s permanent and loving home such as kinship care such as in kinship care. As a result, many local authority areas do not yet have the same robust decision making processes for children living with kinship carers as they do for children living with other carers – despite having a high number of children in their areas living in kinship care.

Many local authority areas involved in the PACE programme wanted to address this and new innovations were tested. These included kinship care panels to formally approve a child’s plan and kinship carers, providing legal advice,  making a formal recommendation for a child to remain with kinship carers, and introducing similar decision making processes for children in kinship care as other looked after and accommodated children.

PACE: kinship care and permanence

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Watch the video

In this webinar, Dr Louise Hill, Evidence and Policy Lead at CELCIS from 2011 - 2020, discusses the policy and legal framework surrounding kinship care in Scotland. She explains what emotional, practical and financial support is required for children and their kinship carers, and also examines the opportunities and challenges of permanently securing children to live with kinship carers. 

 

PACE and children living in kinship care

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Watch the video

In this webinar, Kirsty Doull, Acting Permanence Lead and Permanence Consultant at CELCIS, discusses some of the key things that CELCIS has learned from PACE in regard to the systems that support children living in kinship care. She explores the reasons why it’s important that children living with kinship carers have the same robust processes in place for making decisions about their future as other children, and talks about some of the key change ideas that have been tested through PACE to improve kinship care processes.

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Concurrency

For children who cannot remain safely with their birth parents, research has highlighted that their relationships and outcomes are more positive if they can move to live in an alternative permanent home at an early age. Unfortunately, we know that infants in Scotland experience significant drift and delay when services focus on rehabilitation home to parents, without a clear parallel plan in the event this is not successful. Concurrency planning is an evidence based approach to achieving early permanence for young children by offering parallel planning. This means that, whilst there is a plan for rehabilitation, there is also a parallel plan that a child may remain with their carers if rehabilitation is not found to be possible. This means that all the responsibility is placed on adults, not children.

PACE: concurrency

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Watch the video

Concurrency planning is a way of planning for all possible eventualities for where a child might live, and one which – crucially – places the responsibility on adults, not children. In this webinar, Linda Davidson, Permanence Consultant at CELCIS, discusses the concurrency planning model and shows how it can be used to minimise the amount of moves between homes a child might have. She also explains how it can support early and robust permanence planning.

 
 

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Assessment and report writing

Fundamental to decision making for children in need of care and protection are assessments and reports. Without these, decision makers cannot make the recommendations and decisions that are vital to the lives of babies, infants, children and young people. However, the amount of reports that are required for a variety of forums can make this part of the permanence planning process a lengthy one. Many of the PACE areas have tackled this issue and we have learned a great deal about the best ways to approach assessment and report writing to reduce drift and delay in these processes.

PACE: assessment and report writing

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Watch the video

Throughout the permanence planning process, there is a need for robust assessments and clear reports. With this in mind, in this webinar Linda Davidson, Permanence Consultant at CELCIS, discusses the ways in which PACE has helped to put the child’s needs at the centre of decision making and how improvements to assessments and report writing have supported this.

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Additional resources and further reading

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View the 'Using Quality Improvement' webinars

Return to the PACE homepage

View the 'PACE: the first steps' recorded webinars

Contact us

University of Strathclyde, Curran Building, Level 6
94 Cathedral St, Glasgow G4 0LG
0141 444 8500
celcis@strath.ac.uk

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