Looked after children

A looked after child (LAC) is considered to be in the care of the local authority. You might hear people refer to children being 'in care' or professionals using the acronym 'LAC.'

The child might be looked after by the local authority with their parents’ consent or by a court order. They might live with mainstream foster carers, in a children’s home, in supported living, with family members or connected people (eg friends or neighbours) or sometimes even with their birth parents.

Once a child is looked after, the local authority has many duties to check on the child’s wellbeing and planning for their care. Their carers have to be approved as foster carers. The child and the carer will each have a social worker and there will be regular review meetings, called LAC reviews.