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Children in care

Children and young people in care are some of our most vulnerable in our society. Also known as looked after children (LAC) or children looked after (CLA) they are in the care of the local authority (LA) Children Services Department who act as their corporate parent.  Statistic show that over 60% of the children in the care system are there as a result of neglect but may also have suffered other forms of abuse for which they need safeguarding and protection.

Children can come into the care system under the following processes:

  • Voluntarily ( under section 20 of the Children Act 1989)
  • As a result of a court order- Interim Court Order (ICO) or a Full Court Order (FCO)

These children and young people are accommodated in a variety of settings: with foster carers, connected carers such as family and friends, in residential childrens homes and some still at home with their parents. They have continued support from an allocated Social Worker from Children Services who supports them during their time in care.

As part of their legal status of being a child in care they receive regular statutory health assessments which are undertaken by medical practitioners or specialist nurses to identify health needs and create an individual plan to address these to improve their health.

In support of the LA discharging its corporate parenting duties, the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) employs a Designated Doctor and Designated Nurse for Looked After Children who a senior clinicians with expertise in the area of children in cares health. These roles support the CCG in delivering their statutory duties, influencing the agenda for children in care, mitigating risks , assuring quality and standards of services commissioned.