- Role of Crisis Carers
- Crisis Care Placements
- Access to the Service
- Appendix 1: Flowchart - Protocol for Referrals (overnight placements) during Office hours (9am - 5pm)
- Appendix 2: Flowchart - Protocol for Referrals made via EDT out of hours (overnight and weekend placements)
Crisis Care provides emergency overnight accommodation for young people in crisis, the majority of whom would be in the 11-16 age group although younger children could be considered as the majority of Crisis Carers have been approved to care for children and young people from the age of 5 to 17.
Placements are time limited usually 2 overnights through the week, or from Friday to Monday at the weekend. It is to give families a short breathing space to enable professionals time to negotiate a return home for the young person. Crisis Carers are registered foster carers who have been approved by the Fostering Panel. The scheme is limited and the carers provide rota cover for the whole of Bradford. The service is accessed through the Placement Co-ordination Team.
- To provide an emergency/crisis service for young people who are temporarily without a placement due to a crisis at home (children are usually admitted under Section 20 Children Act 1989, however if they fit the appropriate criteria, Section 17 Child in Need, could be used);
- To provide professionals and families a limited time frame to negotiate a quick return home for a young person in crisis.
- To offer time limited placements (24 - 48 hours, 72 hours for a weekend) with approved foster carers;
- To give young people and families breathing space to enable professionals time to negotiate a return home if appropriate, so reducing the risk of family breakdown and the likelihood of the young person being admitted to Local Authority Care on a full time basis. Where this is unachievable, to create enough time for a further care placement to be identified.
4. Role of Crisis Carers
- To be available for overnight stays for a maximum of 48 hours (72 hours at weekends or bank holidays). This is provided on a rota basis;
- To be available to the Emergency Duty Team (EDT) out of office hours, when on rota;
- To provide a safe place for a young person to stay and work within the Fostering Standards and Regulations.
5. Crisis Care Placements
The child's social worker or EDT worker must provide a risk assessment based on the available information before a placement can be agreed. This may be provided over the phone.Crisis carers cannot provide day care from Mondays to Fridays, however there is an emergency childminding scheme that can be accessed if the young person placed with Crisis Care, providing the young person is felt to be appropriate for that service.
6. Access to the Service
There are two access points to the service; one during office hours and the other is for EDT workers. During office hours Social Workers should contact the Placement Co-ordination Team. If they feel Crisis care is appropriate and Senior Managers have given permission for placement, the Social Worker is asked to contact the Crisis Care scheme who will inform them whether a suitable placement is available after a risk assessment has been completed. The young person would normally have been accommodated under Section 20 of the Children Act, however, if the criteria are met Section 17 can be considered. The young person's Social Worker would then contact the carer and make the travel arrangements for taking the young person to placement and for the young person to leave the placement the following day (or on the Monday if it is the weekend).
The young person's social worker would provide for the carer:
- A medical consent form;
- A Risk Assessment;
- Placement Plan.
If a Crisis Care placement is requested and made at the weekend the young person's social worker (or EDT worker) will be asked by Placement Co-ordination to make an immediate referral to Placement Support. This could then mean that contact could be made with the family and young person to start the return home process immediately.
Crisis care placements at the weekend are continuous from Friday evening until Monday morning, however, through the week they are only available overnight. If the young person is not in school then arrangements would need to be made by the young person's Social Worker for day care. An option is to request an Emergency child Minder (for children who would be appropriate for this service) when discussing the placement with the Crisis Care social worker. Crisis Care would approach an available childminder on behalf of the young person's Social Worker and discuss the risk assessment. The young person's Social Worker would then contact the child minder and be responsible for transport arrangements.
EDT workers will be provided with a list of carers who are available to provide a placement and then they may contact the carers directly to discuss the feasibility of the placement. If it is agreed, the EDT worker must provide the information listed above. EDT would also arrange day care if needed. Emergency Child Minders can be approached up to 11.00pm or after 6.15am.