What does children in care mean?

Benefits and money advice


We use the term ‘children in care’ to refer to children and young people that we have a responsibility to provide care for. 

Most children who are looked after by us are placed with foster carers. Some will live in residential homes and some may still live at home.

Our Corporate Parenting Service is the department responsible for this. We make sure every child in care between the ages of 0 and 18 years is allocated a dedicated social worker to ensure they’re properly cared for.

If you’re aged between 0 and 18 and you’re in care, we’ll allocate a social worker to you. It’s their responsibility to plan the care that is provided to you. Your social worker will work closely with you and other important people in your life to ensure that you’re provided with a safe and supportive environment, which allows you to realise your full potential.

The plan for how to achieve this is all written up in your care plan.

What’s a care plan? Click to get info

Your care plan is a written plan that explains how your care will be safe and help you realise your full potential. It’s written by your social worker with your input.

Your care plan will cover things like: what you need to be cared for properly, where you’ll go to school, and who you’ll see or have contact with. Your views will always be taken into consideration when the plan is written. You may not always get what you want, but if you don't, the reasons should always be carefully explained to you.

Your care plan is reviewed every six months at your looked-after children child review meeting. The review will look at whether the care plan still meets your needs or whether it needs to be changed or updated. 

To show our commitment to children in care, we recently signed our Pledge for Children in Care, where we promised to:

  • understand you as an individual
  • help you become independent and achieve your ambitions
  • keep you informed about what’s happening
  • help you feel safe and be safe
  • keep you healthy and living a healthy lifestyle
  • make sure you feel listened to and understood

You can read our Pledge for Children in Care on the Voice & Influence website.