This page provides information about the services available to looked-after children from other councils.
Notifying us of children from another authority
To notify us of any looked-after children from another local authority living in Northumberland, please open and complete the OLA notification form and the OLA Placement Letter and email to: OLAplacements@northumberland.gcsx.gov.uk.
Changes of address and notifications of looked-after children leaving Northumberland should also be emailed to the above address. Please ensure notifications highlight any particular risks or vulnerabilities to assist the professional network within Northumberland to respond effectively to any issues that may arise.
If you need to contact Northumberland children’s social care, please call family placement services on 01670 626262. For emergencies outside office hours, please call the emergency duty team on 0345 6005252.
Guidance notes on services available to looked-after children placed in Northumberland by other local authorities
There are a number of looked-after children placed in Northumberland by other local authorities. Northumberland County Council would like to notify you about the resources and facilities available to looked-after children and young people who may be placed in our authority.
Within these guidance notes, we set out the process to notify us when a looked-after child or young person is placed in Northumberland, or when their placement arrangements change. Also included is information about:
- our virtual school for looked-after children
- information about accessing universal services
- contact details for Voices Making Choices and Future Roots, our children in care council
- contact details for our local authority designated officer.
Please provide this information to the relevant professionals within your children’s social care service. We hope this information will help your professional staff to understand and access the diverse universal services that are available to children and young people living in Northumberland.
It would be helpful if you passed this information on to any of your foster carers based in Northumberland, to make them aware of the services available.
Please send us any similar information and contact details about services and opportunities available to any looked-after children we may have placed in your local authority area.
The schools, academies, colleges and alternative education providers in Northumberland are known to the virtual head and work in active partnership. All education settings have a collective responsibility to ensure the county’s young people have access to the best possible learning opportunities so they can achieve their full potential, with no child left behind.
For looked-after children moving into Northumberland, please contact our admissions and transfers team as soon as possible to discuss the application process. They can be contacted via the school organisation manager on 01670 623564 between 8.30am and 5pm, Monday to Thursday, and 8.30am and 4.30pm, Friday.
Each school in Northumberland has a designated teacher for looked-after children to promote the educational achievement of children in care who are on the school roll, regardless of which local authority they belong to. The designated teachers work with the virtual school to ensure all looked-after children and young people in Northumberland are supported, encouraged and challenged to aim high, to enjoy and to achieve.
The virtual school maintains a register of all looked-after children and young people aged three to 19 years placed within Northumberland, including those who are placed in Northumberland by other local authorities.
The virtual school headteacher works collaboratively with respective colleagues in other local authorities. The headteacher will support any school in Northumberland with queries relating to children on their roll who may be placed in Northumberland by another local authority.
For more information, please contact the virtual school administrator on 01670 622779 or the virtual school headteacher on 01670 622734.
Early years, childcare and nursery provision
Northumberland families information service (FIS) is a free and impartial service providing information and advice to help choose childcare that best suits the needs of the child.
Looked-after children aged two, three and four are entitled to 15 hours' free childcare (early years entitlement) that can be taken up at approved providers, which include:
- day nurseries
- pre-schools and playgroups
- school nurseries
For more information and a list of approved providers in Northumberland, please contact the FIS on 01670 623563.
There are 20 children’s centres within Northumberland. Each centre delivers a range of services, working closely with children’s social care, schools, health visitors, GPs and other local service providers to ensure continuous support to children, their families and carers.
More information about our children’s centres can be found on the Northumberland County Council website
and you can find details of events and activities taking place in our children’s centres on our events website
Special educational needs
When a looked-after child has a statement of special educational needs or education health and care plan (EHCP), the special educational needs team will coordinate the formal assessment process and maintain the statement/EHCP on behalf of the placing authority. The team can be contacted on 01670 622750.
We also have a wide range of services available to provide help and support to children, their families and carers, schools and other professionals to ensure all children and young people get the best education. These include:
- early help and early intervention services
- locality inclusion support teams with education psychology and behaviour support services
- targeted adolescent services
All children and young people living in Northumberland have access to universal health services provided by Northumbria NHS Foundation Trust and GPs in Northumberland.
The Northumbria NHS Trust provides a range of services for people suffering with mental health, learning disability, eating disorders and substance misuse. This includes the provision of the child and adolescent mental health services in Northumberland.
The health needs of looked-after children and young people in Northumberland are monitored by our designated nurse for looked-after children, who can be contacted on 01670 564038.
Northumberland adolescent service
Northumberland adolescent service (NAS) provides co-ordinated support to young people aged 11 to 19 including:
- providing suitable places for young people to meet up and feel safe
- personalised and intensive support for young people who have more serious problems
- support for young people to avoid risk-taking behaviour, such as drug and alcohol abuse
- crime and antisocial behaviour
- targeted youth support
- information, advice and guidance
- positive activities and informal learning
The NAS team be contacted on 01670 622930
Northumberland's youth offending service (YOS) work with young offenders aged between 10 and 17 who are the subject of court orders and police final warnings.
The YOS also work on a voluntary basis with young people who have been identified as being at risk of offending and some who are subject of police reprimands.
Northumberland Youth Offending Service can be contacted on 01670 622930
Vulnerable, exploited, missing & trafficked children and risk management group (RMG)
Northumberland County Council has a missing from placement team, risk management group and an a multi-agency response to sharing information, monitoring risk and analysing data for children and young people living in Northumberland who may be vulnerable, exploited, missing or trafficked.
Key objectives of these groups include the identification and protection of those children and young people who are at most risk from being vulnerable, exploited, missing or trafficked and sharing information and intelligence about adults who may pose a risk to children.
If your local authority has placed a child or young person in Northumberland and there are concerns they are at risk from being vulnerable, exploited, missing or trafficked, please notify our missing from placement team on 01670 536000 or via email on firstname.lastname@example.org
The missing from placement allocated social worker will be asked to provide relevant information or intelligence so it can be shared with the group. Feedback from discussions at the group will be shared with the allocated social worker to aid effective care planning and safeguarding.
Local authority designated officer (LADO) & safeguarding
Should you require support or information on a safeguarding matter about a child placed in Northumberland, the contact is either LADO or the NCC safeguarding unit on 01670 623979.
Voices Making Choices (VMC) – Northumberland’s children in care council
The VMC group represents the views of looked-after children, young people and care leavers. The group enables young people to meet with others in care and those who have left our care. They meet regularly, including during school holidays, and are involved in both service development and a range of leisure activities.
The group is facilitated by the children’s rights and participation officer, who can be contacted on 01670 623980
Visit the webpage for more information - Voices Making Choices
We hope this information is a helpful resource for professional colleagues from outside the county who are working with looked-after children placed in Northumberland. We welcome any feedback you may have.