1.1.4 Unallocated Child Protection Cases

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1. Priority Status

1.1 All child protection cases must be allocated to a named social worker and this should be awarded the highest priority in all local authorities.
1.2 Directors of Children's Services are professionally accountable for ensuring that there are sufficient human resources to provide the required services and for alerting the LSCB and elected Members to any systemic inability to allocate child protection cases.
1.3 Any period without a named social worker arising from staff vacancies or sick leave must be kept to a minimum and monitored for purposes of local management and formal returns to the Department for Education.

2. Safeguards Pending Allocation

2.1 All professionals relevant to the 'outline' or 'agreed' Child Protection Plan as well as family members, must be informed in writing by a team/group manager if there is no allocated social worker and advised of routine and emergency professional contact arrangements, pending allocation.

Unallocated cases must be:

  • Discussed at each allocation meeting;
  • Reported to the child protection manager;
  • Regularly monitored at management meetings.

The team/group manager remains accountable for:

  • Ensuring that any statutory or explicit duties - e.g. Reviews of Children in Care orĀ Child Protection Review Conference, are met, deploying duty staff as required;
  • Resolving any immediate issues which arise in the case;
  • Ensuring that her/his manager remains aware that a child protection case is unallocated;
  • Ensuring that the family are kept updated;
  • Ensuring that regular 'duty' visits are undertaken on unallocated child protection cases.
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