Quality statement 2: Collaborative working between services and professionals

Quality statement

Looked-after children and young people receive care from services and professionals that work collaboratively.

Rationale

Collaborative working between professionals and services, including carers, promotes high-quality and consistent care and a stable experience of placements for looked-after children and young people.

Quality measure

Structure:

a) Evidence of local arrangements for the team working with the child or young person to work collaboratively to manage the multidisciplinary care plan, with the named lead social worker taking a lead professional role.

b) Evidence of effective local information-sharing protocols between health, social care and educational services.

c) Evidence of local arrangements to include the carer as part of the team working with the child or young person.

d) Evidence of local arrangements to ensure the team working with the child or young person has access to a consultancy service to support collaboration on complex casework.

Outcome:

a) Feedback from looked-after children and young people that they do not have to re-tell their life and medical history when using services.

b) Feedback from looked-after children and young people that they feel information about them is shared appropriately between people working with them, and caring for them.

c) Feedback from carers that they feel involved as part of the team working with the child or young person.

d) Feedback from the team working with the child or young person that they have all of the information they need to work effectively.

What the quality statement means for each audience

Looked-after children and young people are supported by a team, including their carer, who work together to meet their needs, sharing relevant information effectively and appropriately.

Carers of looked-after children and young people are part of the team working with the child or young person that works collaboratively, sharing information effectively and appropriately.

Local authorities and other commissioning services ensure they commission services that work collaboratively to meet the needs of the child, sharing information effectively and appropriately.

Organisations providing care ensure systems are in place for the team working with the child or young person to work collaboratively to meet the needs of the child or young person, and that information is shared effectively and appropriately.

Social care, education and healthcare staff work collaboratively as part of the team working with the child or young person, sharing information effectively and appropriately.

Source guidance

NICE public health guidance 28/SCIE guide 40 recommendations 6, 7 and 21.

Data source

Structure: a), b), c) and d) Local data collection.

Outcome: a) and b) Local data collection. The Children's Rights Director for England collects and reports information from looked-after children and young people in England about their experience of care in the Children's care monitor.

c) and d) Local data collection.

Definitions

Carers

Carers include foster carers (including family and friends carers), residential carers and supported lodging providers.

Consultancy service

NICE public health guidance 28/SCIE guide 40 recommendation 6 recommends that a consultancy service could be designed and delivered by in-house experts, external advisers or child and adolescent mental health services and should participate in regional support networks. This can contribute to children's needs being met and placements being more effectively supported. The approach taken by such a service should be based on the concept of reflective practice and how to manage:

  • conflicting views in the team about the best interests and needs of a looked-after child or young person

  • risks to or disruptions of long-term placements

  • patterns of repeated placement breakdown or exclusion from education

  • uncertainty or delays in care planning

  • communication with colleagues, decision making, information sharing and lead responsibilities, ensuring that the needs of the child continue to be prioritised.

Information sharing protocols

NICE public health guidance 28/SCIE guide 40 recommendation 21 recommends that protocols should address legal and confidentiality issues, to assist information flows between health and social care.

Team working with the child or young person

The team working with the child or young person is a collaborative team of key professionals and frontline staff (staff working directly with or caring for looked-after children and young people, including but not limited to, carers, social workers, designated healthcare professionals and special educational needs coordinators) working to support a child or young person.

Context for this quality statement

This section signposts practitioners to regulations, statutory guidance and national minimum standards for looked-after children and young people that are of particular relevance to the NICE quality statement and its associated measures. As the legislative framework in relation to looked-after children and care leavers is complex and cross-cutting, this should not be viewed as an exhaustive list.