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Social care — 26 Mar 2015
Inclusion & SEND
The Children and Families Act 2014 introduced Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans which provoked some key questions about multi-disciplinary roles and responsibilities.
Although the Children and Families Act does not change the basic statutory scheme governing social care for disabled children, as the key duties remain in the Children Act 1989 section 17 as well as the Chronically Sick and Disabled Person’s Act (CSDPA) 1970 section 2, there has been confusion for social care professionals and those leading on the coordination of EHC plans around the roles and responsibilities of Local Authority social care services.
As a result, we have been asked numerous questions about how these statutory responsibilities can work together in practice. This has included:
We have been working with policy leads, strategic managers, frontline professionals, parent carers and children and young people to develop pragmatic solutions to these questions as well as at times even more complex local practice challenges.
This has included a focus on facilitating professional development of SEND and social care staff, supporting the development and strengthening of relationships between professionals and between professionals and families, providing up to date advice on law and practice, supporting effective decision making through improved confidence and clarity and working with individual practitioners and their teams to develop good practice.
This guidance will have a significant impact on my role in incorporating social care into EHC assessment processes and changing views within social work of the EHC process.
In the last year we trained over 300 social care professionals, have developed guidance and resources and have acted as a key point of contact for policy and practice questions related to social care and the reforms.
95% of professionals that we have trained told us that our workshops are delivered very well and that they highly value the opportunity to ask questions and gain clarity on issues around SEND reforms. They also told us that the training helped develop their understanding about how to put policy into practice, learn from staff working in other LAs, and gave them time to do some critical thinking.
This workshop has supported me to develop plans for changes we want to make to the way we work with disabled children and young people as well as how we are going to improve our multi-agency approach to EHC plans.
Through our Strategic Reform Partner contract with the Department for Education, we will continue to provide support via the SEND Regional leads around Social Care. This will be in the form of supporting the development of Social Care Regional Networks, delivering workshops, sharing examples of emerging practice, publishing case law briefings and answering policy and practice questions related to Social Care and the SEND reforms.
Through our consultancy work, we will continue to provide bespoke support to professionals wishing to further develop their understanding of or practice around Social Care and the SEND reforms.
Your chance to share:
If you have practice or policy questions that you would like support with or examples of practice that you are happy to share around Social Care and EHC Assessments and Plans, please contact Dan Martin, Principal Officer for Social Care (firstname.lastname@example.org).