Looked after children placed by other local authorities in Kent

Overview of Kent

Kent is a large and complex area with twelve districts councils and varying levels of deprivation and need. Kent has a high number of children in care and care leavers.

Duty to consult on 'distant' placements

If you are planning to place a child or young person from your local authority within Kent and it is a 'distant' placement (where the local authority is not adjoining Kent ) you should consult with us. To assist you with this information, you can access information about Kent by viewing the summary of Kent fact and figures. For additional information about the 12 individual districts of Kent you can view our children's homes district profile.

To consult with us, you need to complete an OLA consultation form. Once received, your form will be directed to the appropriate manager to discuss the suitability and location of the placement.

Notifications for looked after children placed in Kent by other local authorities

The care planning, placement and case review statutory guidance and the associated regulations updated in 2013, outline duties on local authorities to notify other local authorities if they place a child in care within their area.

All other local authority notifications of looked after children placed in Kent need to be made using the OLA notification form. We need to be made aware of any harm or vulnerabilities for the child or young person or the placement so that services in Kent can respond effectively to any safeguarding issues that arise.

If you have placed a child or young person in Kent (in an emergency for example) you should notify us as soon as possible using the OLA notification form and choose 'notify KCC about a child you have placed in Kent'.

If you are unsure whether the placement is in Kent, find out which local authority it is in using a location county finder or the Royal Mail.

The received information and any other attached documents will be recorded on our electronic system and information will be securely shared with any other relevant professionals and partners as relevant and appropriate. For example, if there are concerns regarding child exploitation and/or missing episodes, information will be shared with Kent Police, Missing Child Exploitation Teams. Similarly, with any other concern, such as health or educational needs, we will notify the appropriate service.

Change or end of placement

To inform Kent of any change to the child or young person's placement and/or circumstances and for notifying us when a child or young person is leaving the county, you need to complete the OLA notification form and choose ' advise KCC of a change to an existing placement or advise KCC of an end to an existing placement'.

Kent's Management Information Service will contact the placing authority every three months to confirm that the information on our records is correct.

Missing children and returned interviews

When a looked after child is placed in a host authority and is missing, the responsible authority should ensure the independent return interview takes place, working closely with the host authority. An independent return interview should be offered and provided within 72 hours of the child's return. The responsible local authority should review whether the child's placement remains appropriate. The decision should be informed by discussions with the child and carers where appropriate.

When we receive the notification that a child placed in Kent from another local authority is missing, we will request a copy of the return interview from the responsible authority, with a follow up request upon receipt of the found notification. We have a robust escalation process in place which will be initiated if we do not receive a copy of the return interview.

Notifications from children's homes and independent fostering services

Under the children's homes (England) regulations 2015, the registered person must notify, without delay, the local authority for the area in which the children's home is located of every admission of a child into the home and every discharge of a child from the home.

To notify Kent of an admission or discharge from your provision an email should be sent to SecureOLA_LAC@kent.gov.uk.

Upon receipt of an email, Kent's Management Information Service will check to confirm if the responsible local authority has formally notified Kent of the placement. If the responsible local authority has placed a child in Kent without notifying us, contact will be made with the placing local authority to request formal notification.

District profiles

To support a registered person reviewing the appropriateness and suitability of the location of their premises, you can view our children's homes district profile.


If you have any problems accessing any of the forms or you have any other queries please email safeguardingadmin@kent.gov.uk.