The Looked After Children

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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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Looked-after children and young people

Looked-after children and young people

Evidence statement C3.16 Evidence suggests that there has been a significant change in the demographics of the looked- after children and young people population in the last 5 years. Sites have accommodated increasing numbers of asylum seeking children and young people, a good proportion of which are unaccompanied (UASCYP). There appears to be a lack of appropriate mental health services for UASCYP and furthermore, services are unable to meet the complex needs of this vulnerable group. Young people express concern at the poor quality of accommodation in which some UASCYP are placed and considered that their eligibility and access to support did not match that provided to other care leavers.
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Inspection of safeguarding and looked after children services

Inspection of safeguarding and looked after children services

‘Better Placements’ project, commenced at the end of March 2012, has appropriate objectives but it is too early to assess the impact in developing a sufficiently robust strategy. 136. Looked after children and young people are allocated to qualified social workers who have manageable caseloads. The looked after children’s teams have been less affected by the restructure in terms of changes in personnel than other social care teams. This has had a positive impact on the retention of experienced social workers, skills and expertise. However, staff and mangers acknowledged that morale has been affected by the restructure and as a result of negative outcomes from single status agreements. The amalgamation of children’s social care looked after children’s teams and leaving care teams is seen positively by staff. Senior practitioners supervise a range of staff and they are also available to provide advice and consultation to all team members which is valued by staff. Staff report that they had good access to training and development opportunities which helped them to increase and develop their knowledge, skills and expertise. However, the outcome of training has not been
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Looked after children with additional support needs in Scotland

Looked after children with additional support needs in Scotland

The aim of the survey was to profile the looked after children population in Scotland and identify the policies and procedures in place to ensure LAC are provided with support to address their ASN. All 32 local authorities in Scotland were asked to take part in the survey and 24 agreed. The 8 that did not take part were offered many opportunities to respond by telephone or by email. To reach local authorities, we first made contact with the heads of children’s services (or equivalent) to make them aware of the study and ask for their collaboration with the research. We then contacted social work teams within each authority to locate the most relevant person to answer our questions. Each interviewee was sent the questionnaire 2 to 6 weeks in advance of the interview, to give them the opportunity to identify the most appropriate
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The educational attainment of looked after children and young people

The educational attainment of looked after children and young people

National Residential Child Care Initiative which apply this shared approach to looked after children more specifi cally. In Scotland, the reports mentioned above led to the establishment of a shared unit to develop policy, training and to identify good practice. This was initially hosted by the Scottish Government but has been transferred to CELCIS, the Centre for Excellence for Looked after Children In Scotland that was established in 2011, based at the University of Strathclyde (http://www.celcis.org). The Centre also provides the programme offi ce for the Looked After Children Strategic Implementation Group established by the Scottish Government. These developments have the active membership and involvement of the Scottish Government, local authorities, universities, relevant voluntary organisations, and the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration (which has an important role within the Scottish legal system). Amongst other activities CELCIS also provides courses and events including training for a range of staff, managers and Councillors in ‘Improving the Educational Outcomes of Our Looked After Children and Young People’ and other relevant matters.
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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

175 It would perhaps not seem unreasonable on cursory examination to assume that in considering the differences between those local authorities with the lowest overall rates per 10,000 of childrenlooked-after’ and those with the highest that any difference would simply be one of volume. This would be based on the assumption that the ‘looked-after’ children’s populations of all local authorities are constituted of broadly similar proportions of children by age, category of need, legal status, etc. If this hypothesis was found to be true then local authorities with the highest rates are just doing more of ‘everything’ relative to other authorities. The analysis within this section is suggesting that is not the case. The category of need under which a child becomes ‘looked-after’ provides another example of differences between authorities that are not just based on overall numbers of cases. Figure 23 shows the percentage of children entering care for the first time by their predominant category of need, with this plotted against each authority’s mean overall ‘looked-afterchildren rate. The graph illustrates some interesting differences in the percentage of children entering care by category of need and the relationship between those percentages and an authority’s overall ‘looked-afterchildren rates. Firstly, in relation to children entering care as the result of abuse or neglect, the graph suggests a relationship between the percentage of these children and an authority’s overall rate of childrenlooked-after’.
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Review of Health Services for Children Looked After and Safeguarding in Hertfordshire

Review of Health Services for Children Looked After and Safeguarding in Hertfordshire

The young person has enjoyed a positive relationship with the looked-after children’s nurse over a period of years and has been able to remain engaged with the monitoring of her own health and wellbeing as a result of this stability. Case example 12: A 17 year old male who became homeless due to family breakdown caused by his difficult behaviour and illicit drug use, his A-DASH worker kept in touch with him throughout and brought together the homeless service, targeted youth support and CAMHS which resulted in the young man gaining looked after status. To address the homeless issue he was placed in a local hostel. However his situation again deteriorated and he was involved in serious drugs and crime and was also the victim of violent crime.
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The positive educational experiences of ‘looked after’ children and young people

The positive educational experiences of ‘looked after’ children and young people

listened to by various professionals, including teachers, care staff and parents, was highlighted. However McClung and Gayle report that only one-third of the looked- after children in their study said that social workers had asked for their views on education. This is perhaps also related to the low priority given to education by social workers (as noted in Chapter two), as McClung and Gayle also note that children were more likely to be asked their views on their care rather than their education. The researchers also report that three-quarters of the 30 looked-after children interviewed said they felt they could talk to at least one adult in their lives; although once again placement differences were noted, with the majority of those who said they had no- one to talk to living in residential settings.
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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)

guardians to promote good home-school links, support progress and encourage high aspirations Have lead responsibility for the development and implementation of looked-after children’s PEPs Work closely with the school’s designated safeguarding lead to ensure that any safeguarding concerns regarding looked-after and previously looked-after children are quickly and effectively responded to Involve parents and guardians of previously looked-after children in decisions affecting their child’s

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Improving Educational Outcomes for Children Looked after at Home : The Perspectives of Designated Managers for Looked after Children

Improving Educational Outcomes for Children Looked after at Home : The Perspectives of Designated Managers for Looked after Children

Exclusions Recent guidance states that looked after children should be excluded only as a last resort (Scottish Government, 2011). Designated Managers should consider the emotional impact on a child who may already have difficulties in relation to attachment, and who may have experienced lack of stability. Participants had different views about excluding children who are looked after at home. Several secondary staff said that exclusion is sometimes necessary to give a message to the young person and other children that bad behaviour is not acceptable. On the other hand, a local authority manager said that excluding children for ‘predictable’ behaviour was not helpful. This officer stated that the behaviour of these children is often a direct result of their earlier experiences and that to exclude, especially for long periods of time, is counterproductive for children who may have formed a useful and meaningful attachment to a member of school staff.
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Improving Educational Outcomes for Children Looked after at Home : The Perspectives of Designated Managers for Looked after Children

Improving Educational Outcomes for Children Looked after at Home : The Perspectives of Designated Managers for Looked after Children

Exclusions Recent guidance states that looked after children should be excluded only as a last resort (Scottish Government, 2011). Designated Managers should consider the emotional impact on a child who may already have difficulties in relation to attachment, and who may have experienced lack of stability. Participants had different views about excluding children who are looked after at home. Several secondary staff said that exclusion is sometimes necessary to give a message to the young person and other children that bad behaviour is not acceptable. On the other hand, a local authority manager said that excluding children for ‘predictable’ behaviour was not helpful. This officer stated that the behaviour of these children is often a direct result of their earlier experiences and that to exclude, especially for long periods of time, is counterproductive for children who may have formed a useful and meaningful attachment to a member of school staff.
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Improving Educational Outcomes for Children Looked after at Home : The Perspectives of Designated Managers for Looked after Children

Improving Educational Outcomes for Children Looked after at Home : The Perspectives of Designated Managers for Looked after Children

Exclusions Recent guidance states that looked after children should be excluded only as a last resort (Scottish Government, 2011). Designated Managers should consider the emotional impact on a child who may already have difficulties in relation to attachment, and who may have experienced lack of stability. Participants had different views about excluding children who are looked after at home. Several secondary staff said that exclusion is sometimes necessary to give a message to the young person and other children that bad behaviour is not acceptable. On the other hand, a local authority manager said that excluding children for ‘predictable’ behaviour was not helpful. This officer stated that the behaviour of these children is often a direct result of their earlier experiences and that to exclude, especially for long periods of time, is counterproductive for children who may have formed a useful and meaningful attachment to a member of school staff.
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Supporting looked after children in education

Supporting looked after children in education

It is important to stress that the account you have just read is a generalisation. It is likely to be typical, but individual circumstances are very different. A child who becomes looked after as a result of events in their teens but who has had an otherwise happy childhood may experience no long-lasting distress, whereas another child who experienced inconsistent or violent parenting in early life may have persistent social and emotional difficulties. Also, while the cumulative effects of disadvantage typically result in poor health and low attainment, this is not always the case, or even inevitable. Some children have innate, or acquired, resilience which helps them to cope with difficulties and to do well educationally.
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Inclusion of looked after children in education

Inclusion of looked after children in education

It is a common challenge faced by professionals in developing the skills required to work collaboratively with others through interagency working. Varying levels of communication between professionals, resources, understanding roles and responsibilities, and professional and agency culture can present difficulties for interagency working (Atkinson, Wilkin, Stott, Doherty & Kinder, 2002). Moreover, Milbourne, Macrae and Maguire (2003) argued that policy approaches set by governments may act as a constraint to the models of collaboration needed to support professionals working on the ground, impacting on effective collaboration. There are a number of policies and procedural guidelines that are in place to help meet the needs of all children, including looked after children. The different ‘rules’ set out in these documents could act as a pressure to schools, who are already trying to adapt to a changing curriculum, legislation and job roles.
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Looked after children – educational policy and practice

Looked after children – educational policy and practice

Advising staff about tailored teaching strategies; Ensuring that looked after children are prioritised in one-to-one tuition; Taking lead responsibility for the child’s PEP. Local authorities take a ‘virtual school approach’ whereby looked after children from a number of schools are worked with as if they are in a single school in order to raise attainment, and improve attendance and stability. Authorities are required to appoint a

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Prioritising Sibling Relationships for Looked After Children

Prioritising Sibling Relationships for Looked After Children

SIBLING RELATIONSHIPS FOR LOOKED AFTER CHILDREN: POTENTIAL CHANGES TO THE LAW This is a complex area, involving several different legal processes, with associated legislation and guidance. Overall, looked after children have few enforceable rights at present in law in relation to placement and contact with siblings. It is clear that legislative change is needed to enable them to have rights they can vindicate, in order to maintain sibling relationships. We propose the following changes. The current situation and justification for proposed changes are set out in the accompanying paper.
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Mind-Mindedness in Parents of Looked After Children

Mind-Mindedness in Parents of Looked After Children

5 Mind-mindedness in Looked After Children parents in this study had both adopted and biological children, enabling comparisons to be made between the parent’s relationship with each child. They found that adoptive families reported more conflict compared with their biological counterparts, and families with adopted and biological children reported more conflict in the relationship with the adopted than with the biological child. Parents rated the adopted children’s behavior as being less warm and more conflictual than that of biological children. More recently, Walkner and Rueter (2014) found that adoptees and adoptive parents reported higher levels of relationship conflict, and adoptees were observed to be more conflictual than their biological counterparts. Adoptees and adoptive parents also reported lower levels of closeness than did biological parents and children. Foster carers are likely to have been responsible for the child’s care for shorter periods of time compared with adoptive parents, with an expectation that the placement is not permanent. Short-term foster care may last up to a few years, with the main goal being
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Mind-mindedness in parents of looked after children.

Mind-mindedness in parents of looked after children.

5 Mind-mindedness in Looked After Children parents in this study had both adopted and biological children, enabling comparisons to be made between the parent’s relationship with each child. They found that adoptive families reported more conflict compared with their biological counterparts, and families with adopted and biological children reported more conflict in the relationship with the adopted than with the biological child. Parents rated the adopted children’s behavior as being less warm and more conflictual than that of biological children. More recently, Walkner and Rueter (2014) found that adoptees and adoptive parents reported higher levels of relationship conflict, and adoptees were observed to be more conflictual than their biological counterparts. Adoptees and adoptive parents also reported lower levels of closeness than did biological parents and children. Foster carers are likely to have been responsible for the child’s care for shorter periods of time compared with adoptive parents, with an expectation that the placement is not permanent. Short-term foster care may last up to a few years, with the main goal being
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