Top PDF Looked after children – educational policy and practice

Looked after children – educational policy and practice

Looked after children – educational policy and practice

DHSSPS has lead policy responsibility for looked after children. Care Matters includes a number of actions, including that all looked after children should have a Personal Education Plan (PEP). In practice, 77% of looked after children had a PEP in 2012-13. The Department of Education is developing a new policy for looked after children. With regard to initial teacher education, there is some variation between the four providers in terms of the extent to which they cover issues around looked after children on their courses.
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Sport and physical activity in the lives of looked after children: a ‘hidden group’ in research, policy and practice

Sport and physical activity in the lives of looked after children: a ‘hidden group’ in research, policy and practice

In the last decade, research in sport, physical activity and physical education has experienced a methodological shift that aims to give voice to young people, especially those from marginalised backgrounds (e.g., Burrows, Wright & Jungersen-Smith, 2002; Macdonald et al., 2004). However, there are still some ‘groups’ of young people that remain unrepresented. For instance, looked-after children (a diverse group often subjected to specific forms of vulnerability and social marginalisation) constitute a ‘hidden group’ in relation to sport and physical activity research, policy and practice. The term ‘looked-after’ was introduced in England by the Children Act 1989 to refer to those young people who have been removed from their family and placed in the care of local authorities (in children’s homes or foster care i ). They may be subject to compulsory care orders or, for various reasons, be accommodated voluntarily at the request of, or by agreement with, their parents (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children [NSPCC], 2012).
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Looked after children good practice in schools

Looked after children good practice in schools

18. The schools visited were developing unified support for looked after children but rooted securely in good practice for all children. They embraced the idea of identifying a single person who could communicate information and coordinate interventions related to individual cases. Often, liaison between tutor/learning mentors/key worker/social worker and, where relevant, the housing agency and the personal advisers in the Connexions service, was most effectively

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Smoking and Looked-After Children : A Mixed-Methods Study of Policy, Practice, and Perceptions Relating to Tobacco Use in Residential Units

Smoking and Looked-After Children : A Mixed-Methods Study of Policy, Practice, and Perceptions Relating to Tobacco Use in Residential Units

J15012015, and A14052015). Research governance permissions were provided by the Directors of Children’s Services in each local authority. Local authorities in the East Midlands region of England (n = 8) were identified using data contained in the Department for Education Children’s Homes Data Pack 2013 [11]. Prior to approaching each authority, to invite participation in the survey, approval was sought and obtained from the Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS) Research Group (reference: RGE140922). From the authorities contacted, four provided permission to conduct the survey, two declined approval due to issues of capacity, and two did not respond to the application. Two-hundred and thirty-seven residential care officers (RCOs) working in 14 residential units for looked-after children and young people, across four local authorities were eligible to take part in the survey. Surveys were distributed using a variety of methods, depending on the preference of the local authority, and included distribution in person by the researcher or by the unit manager with an accompanying pre-paid envelope for survey return (n = 108), or via email by service managers (n = 129). Questionnaires were accompanied by a standard letter explaining the purpose of the study. All respondents provided informed consent, implied by completion and return of the questionnaire. The cross-sectional survey was conducted between October and December 2014.
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‘Children aren’t Standardized, they are Unique’: Using Bourdieu to Expose the Complexity behind Educational Outcomes of Looked After Children

‘Children aren’t Standardized, they are Unique’: Using Bourdieu to Expose the Complexity behind Educational Outcomes of Looked After Children

Some of these factors have been identified within the body of literature that has began to emerge in opposition to the more dominant research described above. Berridge [1] argues that the circumstances of looked-after children are deeply complex and structural in origin. Many of the factors that looked- after children experience before entering care are closely associated with poor educational outcomes, even among children who remain with their birth parents. The poverty and social disadvantage these children face, and the long-term impact of this, may have been downplayed by the researchers focusing upon the role of adults supporting looked-after children. Furthermore, the normative practice of comparing educational outcomes for looked-after children with those of their peers not in care risks losing sight of the fact that such a comparison is itself flawed. Given the very different backgrounds of the two groups, and the damaging pre-care experiences of looked-after children compared to children not in care, it might be considered strange if there were no impact upon the educational performance of the former group. It may be more pertinent and meaningful, therefore, to examine the educational progress made by looked-after children once they enter care, and to take this as a more valid measure of success. Several other authors have also concluded that the disadvantaged backgrounds that many looked-after children experience prior to entering care have a long-term impact upon them. Coman and Devaney [11] argue for what they call an ecological approach in understanding outcomes for looked-after children which takes into account the inter-play between pre-care and in-care experiences, the disposition of the child upon entering care (for instance, whether they are relieved or resistant), intra-agency and inter-agency relationships, and societal level issues such as poverty, policy and resourcing to support looked-after children. They
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An Exploration of Designated Teachers’ Perceptions of the Role of Educational Psychologists in Supporting Looked After Children

An Exploration of Designated Teachers’ Perceptions of the Role of Educational Psychologists in Supporting Looked After Children

DTs were forthcoming in highlighting the barriers to working with EPs and supporting LAC. It is possible that some of the overarching factors and limitations as mentioned in Chapter 4 (Overarching theme 1: EP role linked to the LA and Overarching theme 2: frustration), may have an impact on the way in which EPs are working. In highlighting the limitations of working with EPs, DTs recognised that some of the challenges they faced were due to influences at a wider political level. These factors, as described in Core Theme 2: Limitations of the EP role, are also supported by Walker (2012), who raised several factors impacting on EP practice and service delivery. EPs in Walker’s study described feelings of anxiety and uncertainty surrounding the changes taking place, all of which impact on staff morale and create an absence of feeling contained (Bion, 1962). Thus, again linked to Sprince’s (2005) ‘hierarchy of needs for practitioners working with LAC’, EPs may have been lacking a sense of job security, impacting on their sense of skill and job fulfilment and subsequently impacting on the service received by schools. This model can be extended further to DTs, the challenges they raised with regards to accessing the EP service may have left DTs feeling unsupported and lacking confidence in outside agencies to support individual pupils.
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Understanding the educational experiences and opinions, attainment, achievement and aspirations of looked after children in Wales

Understanding the educational experiences and opinions, attainment, achievement and aspirations of looked after children in Wales

 Recommendation 16: LACYP need opportunities to meet with others who are looked after and these should be regularly held. Provision in this area is currently available from The Fostering Network and Voices from Care Cymru and these should be considered as best practice models to develop further support for LACYP.

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Looked-after children and young people

Looked-after children and young people

The majority of studies included in this review were conducted in the US, with only one UK study and this will have implications for the applicability of the review findings to the UK context. The UK study reported very little quantitative data with no statistical comparisons. The findings from this review are based on studies that are small and furthermore some of the studies have been outdated by current legislation (for example, the studies from the 1990s will not have considered the recommendations of the Children's [Leaving Care] Act 2001) so the study conclusions may not reflect current policy and practice. The small number of studies reviewed and their poor methodological quality and rigour are also of concern when considering the applicability of the findings of this review.
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Inclusion of looked after children in education

Inclusion of looked after children in education

The principles of ‘Getting It Right’ are embedded within a holistic, child-centred, inclusive and collaborative way of working. For the education services, it means building on the good practice already in place and developing this to accommodate the new tools and processes that ‘Getting It Right’ brings with it to promote multi-agency working and effective planning for all children and young people, and their families. The ‘well-being indicators’ which have been created to help assess and review a child’s development are a crucial part of the ‘Getting It Right’ materials. These indicators help the child, parents and professionals to assess the child’s world. The indicators are safe, healthy, achieving, nurtured, active, respected, responsible and included, more commonly referred to by the acronym of SHANARRI.
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POLICY TITLE:- CHILD LOOKED AFTER

POLICY TITLE:- CHILD LOOKED AFTER

The school has a named Designated Teacher (DT) for Children Looked After, who has full Qualified Teacher Status, is in a position of authority, and, is able to influence and challenge school policy and practice. The Designated Teacher operates in accordance with the statutory duties as set out in the Children and Young Persons Act 2008.

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Improving Educational Outcomes for Children Looked after at Home : Use of Improvement Methodology

Improving Educational Outcomes for Children Looked after at Home : Use of Improvement Methodology

The current study has been carried out as part of a broader research and consultancy programme, based on the Improvement Methodology (Langley, 2009). This approach, recently adopted by the Scottish Government’s Education Directorate, provides a model through which organisations can improve structures, procedures and practice. Small changes known as ‘tests of change’ are planned, implemented, studied and refined using plan-do-study-act (PDSA) cycles. If successful, the changes can then be tested more widely across the organisation.

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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

Integrative approaches to the study of desistance (i.e., those that aim to capture the interplay of agency and structure) and the importance of reflexivity and personal identity (e.g., Farrall et al., 2011; Weaver, 2011), provide a useful framework for research and practice in this area. Of course the interplay between structure and agency and debates about the relative significance of each is not new (e.g., Giddens, 1984). However, in our reading of the research on the intersection of looked after populations and criminal justice systems, we note that insufficient attention is paid to both macro (such as social security provisions) and micro level factors (such as young people’s sense of identity) and the interactions between these domains. With an over- emphasis on individual risk factors there has been limited attempt to bridge the divide between structure and agency. Even where structure is explored, this has tended to be at the cursory level of system characteristics (e.g., placement types and number of placement moves). This occludes attention towards the wider social policy context in which the care system operates, where comparative analysis highlights significant variation – e.g., in the rates of children in care and the range of welfare entitlements and supports available to families (Carr, 2014; Munro, Stein & Ward, 2005; Stein & Munro, 2008; Stein, 2014). Of course a similar point can be made in respect of demographic patterns in criminal justice systems (Cavadino & Dignan, 2005).
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The educational attainment of looked after children and young people

The educational attainment of looked after children and young people

delivery of education and social care. These anticipate the development of regionally- led services encompassing aspects of education and social care with some other aspects delivered on a national basis and others delivered locally. Local authorities are continuing to develop their local planning partnerships and arrangements that, in many areas, include streamlined community strategies that also meet the requirements for Children and Young People’s Plans and other statutory plans. Together, these developments provide a new framework with potential to develop clearer, co-ordinated strategies for young people with a focus on outcomes. The changes may lead to clearer accountabilities and responsibilities at local, regional and national levels and, together with the alignment of funding streams, could give the necessary coherence to strategies and plans for improving educational outcomes for all children and young people, including for looked after children. The development of strong regional arrangements also provides an opportunity to identify the best practice to support educational attainment for looked after children and care leavers and to ensure that all local authorities operate to this level. 30 However, the risk remains that, despite
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Educational attainment of looked after children

Educational attainment of looked after children

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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The Educational Attainment of Looked After Children - Local Authority Pilot Projects : Final Research Report

The Educational Attainment of Looked After Children - Local Authority Pilot Projects : Final Research Report

4.3.5 The policy context in relation to the educational experience of looked after children and young people in Scotland has a history of about 10 years, beginning with the commissioning of a detailed review of research (Borland, Pearson, Hill, & Bloomfield, 1998) which in turn helped to inform a highly influential inspection report of provisions for children looked after away from home (Her Majesty’s Inspectors of Schools and Social Work Services Inspectorate, 2001). These publications prefaced a period of considerable activity aimed at raising awareness among professionals, notably as a result of the formation of networks concerned with the education and the health of looked after children, the development of materials to support the education of professionals and the publication of self-evaluation indicators for auditing the support arrangements for looked after children and young people in schools and care settings (Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Schools, 2003). 4.3.6 Current policy is outlined in Looked after children & young people: We can and must do better 9 , a report structured around five themes - working together, becoming effective lifelong learners, developing into successful and responsible adults, being emotionally and physically healthy, feeling safe and nurtured in a home setting - and outlining a prospectus for development through 19 key actions (Scottish Executive, 2007). Most recently, HMIE has published the report, Count us in: Improving the education of our looked after children, based on visits conducted in 15 local authorities, Careers Scotland and four voluntary sector agencies (Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Schools, 2008). An appendix to the report highlights nine ‘signposts for improvement’: corporate parenting; partnerships; strategic planning and review; assessing and meeting needs; education placements and curriculum flexibility; participation and advocacy; transitions; home-school links; training and development.
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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

Two thirds of looked after children have been found to have at least one physical health complaint, such as speech and language problems, bedwetting, coordination difficulties and eye or sight problems. Generally the health and well-being of young people leaving care has consistently been found to be poorer than that of young people who have never been in care, with higher levels of teenage pregnancy, drug and alcohol abuse clearly evident. The high geographical mobility of the looked after children population, linked with not being registered with a GP and often being educated outside of mainstream schools exacerbates these problems. However whilst looked after children have poorer outcomes 22 research also demonstrates that maltreated children who
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Mind mindedness in parents of looked after children

Mind mindedness in parents of looked after children

The third study reported here tested the proposal that mind-mindedness is a relational construct by investigating mind-mindedness in biological families where the relationship between parent and child is known to be problematic. We decided to focus on families where there was an objective assessment of difficulties in the parent–child relationship rather than rely on parental report of the quality of the relationship. There are likely to be strong social desirability biases in parents reporting on the quality of the relationship, perhaps particularly in cases where parenting has been identified as being poor. To avoid this problem, we assessed mind-mindedness in parents whose children have been the subject of a child protection plan. In the UK, if concerns about a child’s welfare are reported, the local
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Prioritising Sibling Relationships for Looked After Children

Prioritising Sibling Relationships for Looked After Children

“This highlights the need for awareness of the child’s view of “siblings”. Many families have complex structures with full, half and step siblings and research has shown that children’s perception of brothers and sisters and who is in their family is rooted as much in their living experience as biological connectedness. In initial planning for children, especially when they face a separation from their parents, the emphasis should be on maintaining as much as possible of familiar and comforting relationships. Longer term planning needs to be based on a fuller assessment of the nature and quality of different sibling relationships.” 21
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Mind-mindedness in parents of looked after children

Mind-mindedness in parents of looked after children

The studies reported here tested the proposal that mind-mindedness is a relational construct by investigating levels of mind-mindedness in different types of parent–child relationship. Studies 1 and 2 focused on comparing mind-mindedness in adoptive and biological parents, and Study 3 involved foster carers and parents whose children have been the subject of a child protection plan. There are a number of reasons to propose that mind- mindedness will be lower in relation to adoptive and foster caregiver–child relationships than in biological parent–child relationships. First, parenting in adoptive and foster families will have been non-continuous. Not having experienced caring for the child from birth may make caregivers feel less knowledgeable about the child or make them represent the child in terms of their pre-placement experiences rather than their own mental and emotional characteristics. Participating families were residents of the United Kingdom (UK), where it is commonplace for adoptions to occur well after the child’s birth; the average age of adoption is 3 years 3 months (Department for Education UK, 2015) and children are typically adopted from the care system. Before the final adoption order is granted, the child will spend periods of time living with the adoptive parents before returning to care in preparation for the child taking up permanent residence in the adoptive family. Care is likely to be even less continuous in foster families, where placement instability is common (Sinclair, Wilson, & Gibbs, 2005).
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Looked After Children: The Reluctant State and Moral Salvation

Looked After Children: The Reluctant State and Moral Salvation

The position of residential care as a last resort may have particular implications when considering the evidence that residential care may be able to meet the needs of particular children and young people. The children and young people in Barry’s (2001) research clearly preferred residential care because it was less intense than foster care and they could blend into the background. They also felt that there were always other young people around and a wealth of different adult personalities and perspectives available. The young people in Emond’s (2002) research felt the resident ‘group’ served several important purposes including, the opportunity to live alongside young people who had similar experiences and the value of being able to share and discuss these experiences and learn from one another. Carter’s (2011) work on a large-group therapeutic community for 15–25 year olds, although based on the accounts of a very small group of ex and current residents, offers further potential benefits for some children and young people. These young people (n = 8) commented on the larger community offering a opportunity to develop key social skills, the value of a larger staff team where ‘you can get little bits from each person’ (p. 156) and living alongside kids who have the same experiences as you and can understand you. These young people lived in a range of previous placements including foster and adoptive families but the sense of ownership and fond familiarity they felt contrasted with other placements they described. Carter (2011) found that the outcomes for the residents in this residential community outperformed those of other LAC. There is also evidence of support for the role of residential care in the systematic review of literature concerning children placed in residential care undertaken by Steels and Simpson (2017). They report that ‘children tend to have a series of unsuccessful foster placements before residential care is discussed’ (p. 1707) but found clear evidence of the potential benefit of this form of care for some children and young people. They found that children in residential care settings can make positive relationships, which aid social and emotional development and that such settings often provide therapeutic treatment. They conclude that ‘Whilst residential care is regularly used as a ‘last resort’, the findings in this systematic review suggest that residential care can be the most appropriate placement option for many children and that many children adapt, settle and achieve positive outcomes whilst in residential care’ (Steels and Simpson 2017, p. 1718).
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