Visiting Looked After Children

Once a child is placed, there is a need and a statutory requirement for you to visit the child and their placement regularly. There are also certain tasks to be undertaken during visits. This page details the expectations around the frequency of visits and gives indicators as to what should be discussed.

Once settled in a placement, children still need to be seen regularly wherever they are placed so that they are kept safe and their views heard. Whilst the frequency of visits is set out below, this is the minimum frequency expected but ideally visits should be as often as required.The child's social worker should preferably have knowledge of the child before placement and the child should know the particular social worker.

How often do I need to visit?

Purpose of visits

It is necessary to check out the perceptions of the child and their foster carers or care staff in relation to the aims of the placement plan .Good practice suggests that the purpose of visits includes:

What should happen on visits?

Most importantly the social worker should speak with the child alone (unless exceptional circumstances dictate otherwise).

Social workers should also observe interaction between the child and their carers and any other household members, eg other siblings, their foster children, etc. For children with communication needs, this observation is even more important and should be compared to the child's interaction in other places (e.g. school).

The social worker should also ensure that they are kept informed about any changes in the home (e.g. another child moving in or out) and on occasion the social worker should ensure that they see the others in the home and assess attitudes of others both in general and to the young person they are social worker for.

On occasion (e.g. every third or fourth visit the social worker should ask to see round the home (including the child's bedroom).

Recording a visit

The following should be recorded promptly after a visit:

Exceptions to the standard visiting frequency

If there are safeguarding concerns or a complaint is made

If there are safeguarding concerns in relation to the placement then visits must be undertaken within 24 hours.

If the child is in a residential home that receives notice under section 30a of the Care Standards Act 2000 then the social worker must visit within one week.

If the child makes a complaint then the social worker should visit within 24 hours.


TaskResponsible OfficerRecordTimescale
Visit the child. Discuss the situation with the child and the carers. Feedback to the carer before the end of the visit.Social workerComputerWithin one week of placement commencing
Assess the child's needs and circumstances and how the placement is meeting these needs and promoting their well being.  This should include consideration of their health, educational, emotional, social, religious and cultural needs and contact.Social workerComputerDuring visit
Report to the team manager and fostering social worker if there is concern about the child's well-being or the functioning of the placement.  If an external placement contact contracts manager as well.Social workerComputerImmediately
Make a decision about how the concerns will be dealt with, this should include consideration of informing the parent and person with parental responsibility, relevant department or fostering and adoption team.Team managerComputerImmediately
In circumstances where there are concerns that the child may be at risk of harm the child protection co-ordinator should be informed and decisions made about the possibility of implementing the child protection procedures. Allegations against a carer procedures (within Guernsey's child protection procedures) should be followed.Social workerComputerImmediately
Record the placement visit.Social workerComputerWithin 2 working days.
Consider whether the next planned review should be brought forward in association with team manager and IROSocial workerComputerAfter the visit