Looked After Children
Here at Emery Johnson Astills we recognise that different terms may be used during the time that social care are involved with you and that you may not always understand these terms. We appreciate that it is important for you to understand the terminology used by professionals.
Children in the care of the Local Authority are referred to as ‘looked after children’. A child is considered to be in the care of the Local Authority when they are:-
• Living in accommodation provided by the Local Authority with the parents’ agreement,
• Subject to an Interim Care Order,
• Subject to a Full Care Order,
• Subject to an Emergency Protection Order which removes them from immediate danger.
A child will no longer be considered as looked after when they are either returned home, adopted or turn 18.
A looked after child will be supported by the Local Authority until the age of 18, there will then be some ongoing support offered as that child leaves care, until the age of 21.
Every looked after child will be subject to a ‘looked after child (LAC) review’. The purpose of the review meeting is for professionals to consider how the needs of the child/ren are being met and that the care plan is still appropriate to meet those needs. There is an independent reviewing officer (IRO) that chairs these meetings.
These meetings take place regularly, the initial meeting will be held within 4 weeks of the child becoming looked after, there will then be a review 3 months after that and thereafter every 6 months for the length of time that the child is looked after. At each review meeting the child’s care plan will be reviewed and consideration given about whether there needs to be any change made to it.
If you are having contact with a looked after child then this will be reviewed at each meeting. Contact can be increased or decreased depending on the needs of the child.
Here at Emery Johnson Astills we have a specialist care department comprising of experts in child care law who can advise, assist and represent you throughout your involvement with Social Services. We will assess you for free legal advice through Legal Aid as in many cases, free legal advice can be obtained and it may be that we can attend with you to Looked After Child Reviews.
If Social Services are involved with your family and you would like to speak to one of our specialist solicitors within the care department at Emery Johnson Astills, please do not hesitate to call us on 0116 255 4855.