Looked After Children

Looked After Children (LAC) are children who are cared for by their local council.

Last updated: 30 August 2023

Next review: 30 August 2024

By law, we must look after children who cannot live with their families. Although this can be for a number of reasons, it is generally due to a voluntary agreement by the parents, a court ruling or care order that is in the best interests of the child.

Our Corporate Parenting service supports Looked After Children (LAC) between 0 and 18 years and young people moving towards leaving care aged 18 to 24. The service works to a detailed care plan for each child and undertakes statutory duties, visits and reviews within government specified timescales.

Sufficiency strategy for LAC and Care Leavers

We have aim to place as many LAC close to their home borough as possible.

The Sufficiency strategy for LAC and Care Leavers (PDF) report sets out our analysis of our LAC and Care Leavers and their needs as well as what we are planning to do to ensure that we achieve this aim.

Residential care

Most of the LAC are placed with foster carers, giving them the chance to live within a family environment. However for some, residential care may be more appropriate.

Where possible, children needing to go into residential care are placed in children’s homes within a 20 miles radius of their local area. However, in most circumstances they will be placed outside of the local area for safeguarding and risk management reasons.

All homes are regulated through Ofsted and inspected twice a year. We always aim to identify suitable residential care with good or outstanding Ofsted judgement.

Children missing from care

If you have concerns about a child or young person who is in care, and has gone missing, the following guidance explains the process that needs to be followed.

Care Leavers Offer

The Care Leaver’s Offer (PDF) has been published to ensure that all Care Leavers in the borough, who are our responsibility, know about their rights and responsibilities. Care Leavers can also access the finance guidance (PDF) document to help understand what help and support they may qualify for.

Comments and complaints

We aim to provide services to a high standard. We welcome your comments, good and bad, on our services. We will try to resolve problems quickly.

Get information on the council’s complaints process and making a comment.