If the parent has asked you to look after their child but children’s services are involved due to child protection concerns, the child might be considered to be a ‘looked after child.’ This could be because children’s services have asked the parent to make alternative living arrangements for the child, because children’s services have significant concerns about the child remaining in their care. Usually this is done in a planned way with involvement of the social worker who will have spoken to you, however sometimes parents go ahead and make their own arrangements first. Contact us, give the child’s name and ask to speak to the child’s social worker to find out if this applies to the child in your care.
Looked after child (LAC) means that the child 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.' Children who are looked after by the local authority might be looked after by the local authority with their parents’ consent or by a court order. These children might live with mainstream foster carers, in a children’s home, in supported living, with family members or connected persons like you, or sometimes even with their birth parents. There are many possibilities which is why you need to check. 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.