Looked After Children Service

Mission Statement

To deliver a comprehensive social work service in a sensitive fashion which meets the individual needs of children in care, in order to enhance their welfare by providing necessary intervention in the best interest of children. Working with other professionals and organisations also helps children develop a positive healthy relationship with their family.

The Service

The Looked After Children Service shares responsibility with families in need of support, particularly when their children are in need of being looked after, that is, when their children are in care. "Children in care" refers to those children who are living away from their natural family. These children could be living either in a residential home or in foster care. Foster families can either be related to the child's natural family or complete outsiders who are trained to care for other people's children.

This service collaborates with all the persons involved in the children’s lives, including their biological family, to establish a care plan which meets the best interests of the children and to ensure that this care plan is appropriately implemented, reviewed and updated. The ultimate aim of the service is to ensure that children in care attain the best quality of life possible and are encouraged to develop their potential.

Aims & Objectives

The service provided by the Looked after Children Service puts the child/young person in the centre of all interventions carried out. This is done by using different methods of social work practice with the aim to achieve the following:

  • to monitor and support children in care and/or under a Care Order by establishing a care plan; 
  • to assist in the re-integration of children back into their families if it is in their best interest; 
  • where re-integration with birth family is not possible, a suitable alternative family is sought to help, support and prepare children and young people for independent living;
  • to make sure that any child or young person in care has access to all opportunities as those living with their families; 
  • when the child leaves care, support should be provided to the family or young person and if required, possible referrals are made; 
  • to attempt to address current difficulties being experienced by looked after children and families; 
  • to respond in a supportive manner to families where children are being looked after; 
  • to develop existing strengths of parents/carers and children with the aim of reducing risks for children and move towards re-integration of children with their natural family;
  • to promote parental competence and confidence; 
  • to enable families to develop strategies for coping with stress; 
  • to connect families with supportive networks in the community.