What support is available

Children who are in care or provided with accommodation are subject to several legal requirements and responsibilities, which the local authority has to ensure are carried through.

  • This includes regular meetings (called reviews) to set up clear plans for each child. Specific attention has to be paid to children's developmental, emotional and behavioural needs. They must have regular medicals and each child of school age must have a personal educational plan.
  • It is important for the local authority to support the child at home or within the child's extended family wherever possible, if it is in the child's best interests. This may involve for example, assessing extended family members or friends as carers for a child.
  • The services for looked after children should reflect an assessment of the individual child's needs and the agreed care plan. This will reflect the child's age, development,  and cultural and religious needs,  as well as behavioural and emotional issues. The child's and the parents' views are important in defining the service provided.
  • Where possible the local authority will try and place the child with foster carers as near as possible to the child's home environment so that their network of school, friends and family contacts remains as consistent as possible. 
  • For some children a family environment may not be appropriate. In these circumstances the local authority will consider residential care with or without education on-site.
  • In certain cases children and young people may be placed outside the Borough boundaries.
  • We work closely with a specialist Looked After Education Team, a specialist nurse for Looked After Children and the local Child Adolescent Mental Health Team as well as other professional staff in order to provide a joined-up service for Looked After Children.
  • The local authority is committed to achieving the best possible outcomes for all its children in care focusing predominantly on providing stability of placement and high quality education and health provision