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Information for children and young people who are looked after

Being looked after means that the council (Social Services) is helping to make sure you are being cared for properly.

They will be helping you, your parents and other people in your family and working with other people in your life. It also means you will be living away from home because at the moment, it is not possible for your parents to look after you the way they need to. Sometimes this is called 'being in care'.

This may be with the agreement of your parent(s) or because we think it is safer for you. When we arrange for children and young people to live away from home the law calls them 'looked after children'. Sometimes adults shorten this and just say the word 'LAC'.

Some children stay in care for a very short time; others stay longer. Wherever possible we will work with your family to enable you to go back home, but we must be sure that this is right and safe for you.

Your social worker

You will have your own social worker who will:

  • help you understand what is going on;
  • help give and get you the help that you need;
  • help keep you safe;
  • treat you with respect;
  • ask what you think about things;
  • help you take part in decisions about you.

Your care and support plan

Your care and support plan is about you. It is about your needs and how people in your life will help you and your family. The plan will say things like - where you will live, who you will live with, what school you will go to and how often you will see your family. Your social worker will ask you what you think about these things and make sure your wishes and feelings are included.

Your review meetings

While you are looked after, there will be important meetings called 'reviews'. These are so that everyone can look at how well things are working out and what needs to happen next. We would really like you to come to your review meeting so you can tell us what you think and take part in decisions that affect you. Your social worker or a person called an advocate can help you get ready for these meetings. If you do not want to come then they will help you write down anything you want to say or tell people in the meeting.