Child and Adult Social Care policies

Policies/Guidance for:

Children’s Social Care

1. The Disabled Children’s Social Work Team. To include eligibility criteria and which cases have social work input and which cases are demoted to annual reassessment.

Disabled Children’s Service eligibility criteria can be found at this website:

What is eligibility criteria

Devon County Council follows Working Together to Safeguard Children this document provides a framework for professionals who are working with children, young people and families; it aims to help you identify when a child may need additional support to achieve their full potential.

When accessing and working with children and their families children social care teams look to understand what level of support is required.

There are 4 levels support
1) Universal support
2) Showing early signs of vulnerability (Early Help)
3) Children in need of statutory or specialist services
4) Children suffering or likely to suffer significant harm

The Disabled Children Team support children who would require support at either level 2, 3 or 4.

The Support and Advice Team (SAA) works with families at level 2 where the disabled child and their family require additional support (including ‘short breaks’) but do not require a statutory social care response.

The ‘Social Work’ teams work with families at level 3 and 4, who need extra help or specialist support to look after their children and keep them safe.

I’d like to know how often children should be physically ‘seen’ after the initial Section 17 assessment. Also whether there should be a direct enquiry to the child’s paediatrician upon annual review.

Children who remain open to the social work teams within the Disabled Children’s Service will be visited in line with their legal status. If they continue to remain open on a Child in Need Plan (under section 17 of the Children Act 1989) they will be seen every 20 working days, unless agreed otherwise. There is no statutory visiting timescale for Child in Need but Devon’s Children Social Care Practice Standard is that outlined above.
When a child is transferred to the Support and Advice Team, there is no requirement for the child to be seen at regular intervals. The Support and Advice team offer an annual review of the short breaks plan only. The decision regarding whether a child is seen by a Community Care Worker as part of their annual review, will be made on an individual basis.
Reviews of the short break plan do not routinely involve a check with partner agencies as this would be completed through the EHC review process.

2. Policy regarding ‘reassessment’ under Section 17. CSDPA i.e. when the budget no longer meets the needs and reassessment is required/requested.

The Support and Advice Community Care Workers current practice guidance and undertake the child’s Short Break review at set intervals according to the child’s age. For the children under the age 7 they are 6 monthly, and for children over 7 years the reviews take place annually.

3. RAS Policy including guidance for completion, who should complete them, how families are involved with the process and funding bandings. Also what happens when needs exceed a funding banding. I particularly want to see how a child is determined to be “lots of support’ or “exceptional support”. Only a few examples are given for each descriptor and clearly this does not cover every eventuality with disabled children by any means but it feels like those descriptors are very rigid and taken very literally.

Community Care Workers and Social Workers follow the guidance for undertaking the Resource Allocation System (RAS) with the attached policy “Personal Budgets; Access to Support for Children with Disabilities (March 2015)” which can be seen via the link below:

RAS policy

The Resource Allocation System does provide limited examples of the needs of disabled children and are to be used as a guide only. The eventual decision as to which score is given for that question should be concluded using a combination of the parent carers views, the child/young person’s views (where appropriate) and the practitioner’s professional opinion based on their knowledge of the child or young person, in the context of their professional experience. The Resource Allocation System 2018 Guidance can be seen via the link below:

RAS guidance

Adult Social Care

1. Policy for Assessment
2. Eligibility Criteria for each team.
3. RAS Policy the same as in 2 above.
4. Policy for reviews.
5. RAS Funding Bands.

The Devon County Council website includes policies on assessments, eligibility, personal budgets and reviews.
Our policy is also to comply with Care Act and Care Act statutory guidance including on reviews and re assessments due to changes in needs or circumstances.
Where we use a Resource Allocation System (RAS) to provide indicative budgets they are not based on a system of bands.

This can all be viewed online at:

Adult Care Health