Most appropriate placement

The majority of local authorities use a sequential placement finding methodology. This is where the search for a choice of placement options is limited to providers that offer placements up to a specified weekly cost. Where a placement cannot be identified at this level, permission is needed to look at options at the next level where fees will be higher. Local authorities consider their own placement services to be the most financially affordable and, as such, the initial search for a placement is usually limited to the restricted choice of ‘in-house’ options. There are recognised problems with this sequential placement sourcing strategy. Amongst these are:

  • The restricted choice does not enable professionals to have sight of all available options
  • Without consideration of some specialist provision, some children are not being placed in the ‘most appropriate’ placement to meet their needs
  • It can significantly delay the process, this in turn prevents time for consulting with the child, negotiating terms and conditions and preparing both the child and carers for the placement