Looked after children adopted from care (year ending 31 March)

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Looked-after children in Wales: An analysis of the backgrounds of children entering public care

Looked-after children in Wales: An analysis of the backgrounds of children entering public care

32 that there is some blurring between the four perspectives presented, but suggests the four broadly describe the most significant. The approach advocated by Drakeford is clearly aligned with the perspective described by Fox Harding as the ‘modern defence of the birth family’. This is an approach to child care policy in which interventions should be broadly supportive in nature and aimed at preserving and defending birth families and enabling families to stay together. Within this perspective there is a strong recognition of the role of social deprivation in the lives of families and the pressures it places on families with poor or inadequate parenting. The approach advocates social policy measures to reduce these pressures such as increased financial support and services such as increased day care. As well as promoting an approach based on birth family support, Drakeford (2012) also clearly argues that there is a link between ‘looked-after’ children’s numbers and levels of relative social deprivation in line with this perspective. In contrast to this standpoint, I would argue that current UK government child care policy, which applies in England, has its roots within a state paternalism and child protection perspective. This perspective is illustrated by Michael Gove’s comments, which identifies that in situations where there is poor parental care the favoured response of the state is that children should be ‘rescued’
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Looked after children: Knowledge, skills and competences of health care staff

Looked after children: Knowledge, skills and competences of health care staff

have access to a range of health services to meet their needs 25 . These will form key aspects within inspection processes for looked after children’s service provision 26 . Healthcare professionals have an important role to play in enabling looked after children to overcome disadvantages and to reach their full potential. Evidence highlights that where looked after children have access to specialist health practitioners their health outcomes improved 27 . It is therefore crucial for all healthcare staff who come into contact with children that are looked after and their carers to have the right knowledge, skills, attitudes and values, with those in specific roles having the skills and competences to undertake health assessments, contribute to healthcare planning, ensure clinical governance arrangements to assure the quality of services for looked after children, and coordinate care for each young person 28 . The NHS Education Scotland Capability Framework is a common set of capabilities built around 5 domains for practice enabling the development of knowledge and skills amongst nurses who care for children who live away from home 29 . To fulfil their role and responsibilities in respect of looked after children, all health staff should have access to appropriate training, learning opportunities, and support to facilitate their understanding of the clinical aspects of child welfare and information sharing.
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The double bind: looked after children, care leavers, and criminal justice

The double bind: looked after children, care leavers, and criminal justice

International Research, Policy and Practice. Basingstoke: Palgrave Chapter 1 , Nicola Carr and Siobhán McAlister: The Double-Bind – Looked After Children, Care Leavers, and Criminal Justice Research consistently shows that young people from out-of-home care are over- represented in criminal justice systems. The disproportionate numbers of people with a care history within the youth justice system and adult prisons has led some to pose the question as to whether OHC is simply a stepping stone to custody (Blades, Hart, Lea & Wilmot, 2011). Concerns regarding over-representation while in care, among young people transitioning from care and ex-care leavers have been reported in a wide range of contexts including England and Wales (Barn & Tan, 2012; Darker, Ward &
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Looked After Children & Care Leavers Strategy London Borough of Hillingdon

Looked After Children & Care Leavers Strategy London Borough of Hillingdon

As it with all London Local authorities, not all looked after children are able to live within Hillingdon when they are in care. However, there are significant efforts at both the local and national level to reduce the distance at which looked after children are placed from their borough of origin. While there are a small minority of children who are more effectively safeguarded by being placed at a distance such as those young people identified to be at risk due to gang affiliation or child sexual exploitation (CSE), the consistent lack of foster placements in Inner London means that many children need to be placed in other local authority areas. Of the children and young people looked after as at February 2018, 61% of our children placed with foster carers, 22% are in semi- independent units, 12% in residential schools and 3 children are placed in a secure welfare unit equating to 69% of our looked after children are placed within 20 miles radios to Hillingdon. We have a robust Placement with Parent Assessment process which is completed by the child’s social worker and re-unification with birth families are actively considered, if in the child’s best interest. We currently have 2 young people placed with their families under the Placement with Parents Regulations.
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The Sexual Exploitation of Looked After Children in Scotland : a study conducted for the Care Inspectorate

The Sexual Exploitation of Looked After Children in Scotland : a study conducted for the Care Inspectorate

The prevalence of sexual exploitation was described as being ‘high’ or ‘extremely high’ in care settings, but it is not clear exactly what participants meant by this; there was little consistency when participants were asked to quantify this, and some felt it inappropriate to do so. However, estimates of around one third of all children looked after away from home seemed to accord with several participants’ judgements. The e- Delphi participants were less consistent still in their judgements about the prevalence of sexual exploitation for children looked after at home, with estimates that it was higher, lower or the same as levels for children in looked after away from home. The difficulty that participants had may be related in part to the frequently noted absence of reliable data and in part to the considerable diversity of experience for different groups of young people, as noted in the case audit strand of this study.
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Challenges to undertaking randomised trials with looked after children in social care settings

Challenges to undertaking randomised trials with looked after children in social care settings

Our findings also have implications for engaging LAC and care leavers in trials, in terms of the purpose of the intervention and the value placed on the stated outcomes. Although high rates of teenage pregnancy in LAC were, at the time of developing this programme, a priority issue for Government and arguably for health and social care pro- viders, it was not viewed as such by the young people themselves. There is a need to ensure that the voice of young people is sought and heard more loudly when de- signing and delivering interventions such as this. The peer-mentoring intervention itself was informed and shaped by a targetted review of the literature around Looked After Children and Interventions to reduce Teen- age Pregnancy. Moreover there was evidence that a peer- mentoring approach had been effective and acceptable in other populations, including in relation to smoking pre- vention in adolescents [58] and in sex education [59]. The applicants consulted extensively with agencies, individuals and organisations working with LAC including: The Who Cares Trust and the NCB. We also held a series of meet- ings with the Heads of Children’s services and senior so- cial workers in the three participating Local Authorities, which were used to refine and, in some cases, re-design aspects of the intervention. Further, one of the members of the Advisory Group, which met six times during the course of the 30-month project, had been recruited as a
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Trends in Care: Exploring reasons for the increase in children looked after by local authorities

Trends in Care: Exploring reasons for the increase in children looked after by local authorities

between 1996 and 2000 must be contributing to the number of days care local authorities are providing. At a local level, the picture is less clear. For example, secondary analysis looking at variations between local authorities was unable to demonstrate any significant relationship between increases or decreases in the number of days care provided between 1996 and 2000, and the proportion of children looked after under a care order. Some authorities with a high proportion of children looked after under care orders in 2000 had experienced an increase since 1996 in the number of days care, some appeared to have experienced a decrease, and some showed little change. The most likely explanation, supported by findings from the fieldwork, is that, at local authority level, there are a number of different factors interacting to affect the amount of care provided, such as the behaviour of courts. For example if there are serious delays in the court system locally, especially in discharging care orders, then number of days care will rise even in an authority which has seen a reduction in the proportion of children accommodated under care orders since 1996. Other factors of local significance uncovered in the fieldwork part of the study included the presence of unaccompanied asylum seeking children, changing policies on the treatment of young offenders, and an increase in the number of large sibling groups. Local factors such as these will mask the impact of general trends, and this complexity makes it difficult to draw firm conclusions from the secondary analysis.
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Understanding the concept of resilience in relation to looked after children: A Delphi survey of perceptions from education, social care and foster care.

Understanding the concept of resilience in relation to looked after children: A Delphi survey of perceptions from education, social care and foster care.

promoted. Gilligan (2001) developed a resource guide aimed at promoting resilience amongst children in care, emphasising the social aspects of resilience, the role adults can serve and the importance of positive school experiences and leisure activity. Despite increasing interest in applying resilience theory in practice, little is known as to whether there is a shared understanding of what resilience means amongst people working with looked after children. To date, only three studies have considered how resilience is understood or used in practice when working with vulnerable children.
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An integrated care pathway for looked after children can
facilitate multi agency coordination

An integrated care pathway for looked after children can facilitate multi agency coordination

The DVD was commissioned due to the concern of the Department of Health in England about door-to-needle times for meningococcal disease in children. The aim was to set up a video teaching package for A&E doctors and paediatricians about recog- nition of serious illness in childhood. The original remit was extended to include GPs, paramedics, emergency care practitioners, and others assessing children. I noticed that all the consultants received a copy as part of the Children’s National Service Framework package and it looked interesting. The car- toon representations on the cover artwork show a worried-looking doctor bemused by caricatures of spotty, crying, febrile, and flushed children. This simple and inviting imagery nicely reflects the subject matter.
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Understanding Permanence for Looked After Children. a review of research for the Care Inquiry. The Care Inquiry. April 2013

Understanding Permanence for Looked After Children. a review of research for the Care Inquiry. The Care Inquiry. April 2013

Figure 1. Where looked after children live 6 Age and experiences of placement and permanence Discussions of legal permanence – and especially discussions centred on adoption – often focus on younger children, and so the question of how children’s experiences vary by age is a critical concern for the Care Inquiry. Neither adoption nor residential care is used equally for all children placed away from home: adoption is most used for young children, and residential care for older children. The proportion of children accommodated in friends and family or unrelated foster care is, by contrast, more evenly distributed by age. These patterns indicate a particular need for discussions of permanence – and hence for the Care Inquiry – to attend to the needs of older children in the system. Older children comprise the majority of children in the system: ten to 15 year olds are the largest single group becoming looked after (30%), and the largest group living within the looked after system (36%) 2 . This pattern has remained consistent over the last decade or more, although the overall proportion of children starting to be looked after when aged less than one year has increased since 2000, and the proportion entering aged 10-15 years has dropped.
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From care to uni : looked after children and care leavers in higher education in scotland

From care to uni : looked after children and care leavers in higher education in scotland

The context Government policy Responding to the consultation on the Children and Young People Bill, the Scottish Government promises ‘better transitions for young people up to the age of 25 and a more deeply-rooted and widely-understood sense of corporate parenting in the public sector’ [1].

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Barriers and facilitators to screening, assessment and mental health care of Looked After Children

Barriers and facilitators to screening, assessment and mental health care of Looked After Children

Health and social care contexts for helping LAC This hidden demographic in mental health reviews continue to grow in numbers. Recent government statistics show that numbers of LAC in the UK have increased from 68,810 to 78,150 in the last 5 years alone (Department of Education, 2019). Extra measures are in place to consider their mental health needs, such as being monitored by the Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) by local authorities (Goodman & Goodman, 2012). There are also some National and Specialist (N&S) services for LAC specifically. Aside from this, LAC are predominantly subject to the same mental health services as young people in the general population. Sadly, reports have portrayed Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) as having little funding to meet current need for general young people, along with a significant imbalance of this funding within its services (Children’s Commissioner, 2017; Kelly et al, 2018). Services have had to alter their ‘threshold’ for acceptance to CAMHS ever higher (Association of Child Psychotherapists, 2018). As such, young people who do not ‘meet’ this cut off point are subject to watchful waiting, either until things improve, or the severity of their difficulties meet this threshold (Parkin et al, 2017). Even then, they are subject to significant waiting times (NHS Digital, 2018). In addition to this, a separate review found that 28% of young people referred to child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) were not even allocated a service due to factors such as overstretch (Children’s Commissioner, 2016). With such a bleak picture for young people in general in accessing services, this poses a worrying question about whether or how those with increased needs such as LAC are able to seek help.
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Looked after children.

Looked after children.

Being Looked After Today, children usually become 'looked after' for reasons of care and protection. Some will have experienced neglect, mental, physical or emotional abuse or a combination of these. Only a minority become looked after as a result of involvement in the youth justice system, reflecting a shift in patterns of referral to the children’s hearings system over time, away from offending and towards care and protection grounds. Individuals with complex disabilities might need to be looked after in specialist resources, while vulnerable and unaccompanied minors seeking asylum may become looked after in order to ensure their well-being, as might those who have been illegally trafficked into the UK.
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Looked-After Children and Literacy

Looked-After Children and Literacy

Our programme already encourages links with the local library. This should be further encouraged when working with looked-after children to ensure that any support for literacy can continue through the library service; where possible, library staff and care staff should be trained together. Our approach of working with volunteers in the settings to coordinate the programme should be strengthened as it is even more crucial for looked-after children that those who know them best are involved in selecting appropriate books and activities. Working with coordinators allows us to run a very flexible programme to best suit the needs of the children involved. This flexibility should be encouraged further to best meet the needs of a fluid population. What’s more, the senior management buy-in that is always encouraged with the Young Readers Programme is absolutely paramount for these projects.
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Designated teacher policy (looked-after and previously looked-after children)

Designated teacher policy (looked-after and previously looked-after children)

o A looked-after child’s PEP is reviewed before the statutory review of their care plan – this includes making sure the PEP is up to date and contains any new information since the last PEP review, including whether agreed provision is being delivered o PEPs are clear about what has or has not been taken forward, noting what resources may be required to further support the child and from where these may be sourced

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Inclusion of looked after children in education

Inclusion of looked after children in education

There is also a statistically significant relationship between repeated offending and poor basic skills (Parsons, 2002). Setting the scene: Looked After Children in Scotland Many looked after children experience exclusion and failure in other areas of their lives, making it difficult to achieve in school. However, there are some looked after children who do experience educational success. The Count Us In report (HMIe, 2008) highlighted that these children tend to value education and have an awareness of the impact of education on later life. The educational experience of looked after children is, of course, influenced by many different factors, including access to, engagement in, and motivation for education. Other factors include family support, care issues, socioeconomic status, housing and previous educational experiences.
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Looked-after children and young people

Looked-after children and young people

suggests that this is even more important for disabled looked-after children and young people who generally have a strong wish to access services alongside their able-bodied peers. Evidence statement C3.8 Early interventions that focus on preventing adverse behaviours such as offending behaviour, substance misuse, smoking, obesity, and bullying are key to improving children and young people's health and wellbeing in the future. Evidence suggests that activities and interventions that positively promote health and wellbeing – such as diet, exercise, emotional health and forming friendships, are the most engaging and successful. Such interventions are delivered to varying degrees in schools and universal settings with all children, but often, looked-after children and young people miss out on sessions or do not benefit from the consistent approach to these issues from a school, due to their frequent moves during care or the periods of school absence they experienced prior to coming into the care system.
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Educational attainment of looked after children

Educational attainment of looked after children

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY In 2001, HMIe and the Social Work Inspectorate published „Learning with Care‟ which highlighted the need to improve the education of looked after children (HMIe and SWSI, 2001). Over the next two years training materials and guidance were issued to assist all those involved in the education of looked after children. Funding was provided for educational equipment and for pilot projects, and local authorities were asked to prioritise this issue. Attainment statistics remained low and few looked after children stay on at school. A Ministerial working group in 2005 commissioned further reports to identify „what works‟. This led to the 2007 report „We Can and Must Do Better‟ (Scottish Executive, 2007a). Training and information materials were revised, new guidance issued on subjects such as corporate parenting, the role of the designated senior manager and managing exclusions. The approach was broadened to consider health, care leavers and the home setting. The Looked After Children Strategic Implementation Group, set up by the Scottish Government in 2010, is now leading efforts to implement policy and deliver sustainable improvements in the outcomes for looked after children.
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Health Inequalities and Looked After Children

Health Inequalities and Looked After Children

Responsible commissioner requirements are well understood locally in Shropshire. Current CCG review of designated LAC health professional roles. Conclusion “Tackling health inequalities for children and young people in and leaving care requires local authorities to co-ordinate activity across the wider social, economic and environmental factors that influence their health, and services that respond swiftly to presenting physical and mental health problems.

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The Educational Attainment of Looked After Children : Key Messages from Research

The Educational Attainment of Looked After Children : Key Messages from Research

• Reducing children’s behavioural problems and engagement in risky behaviours. Education and the life course A study which included a sub‐group of 38 adults from care backgrounds in England who were ‘high achievers’ used as a comparison a group matched in terms of background but whose attainment was more typical of those with care backgrounds (Jackson & Martin, 1998). Virtually all the high achievers had ‘A’ Level or higher education qualifications, while 86% of the ‘low achievers’ had no qualifications and the rest had three or fewer GCSEs. The two groups differed on a range of measures. The high achievers had lower scores on the General Health Questionnaire, indicating better mental health. They also had significantly higher scores on life satisfaction and were more likely to be internally motivated and therefore were inclined to a view that they could make a difference by their own actions in their circumstances. They were also more likely to have learned to read early and to have been encouraged to progress to higher education by a significant adult.
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