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An Introduction to Being Looked After

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1 An Introduction to Being Looked After
Unit objectives: To acquire information about looked after children and care leavers in Scotland. To consider why they are at particular risk of having poor outcomes, including low educational attainment, and physical and mental health difficulties. To emphasise that despite barriers, looked after children can achieve. To draw attention to the impact individual workers can having in providing encouragement and in having high aspirations for children. To explain how support for looked after children is part of the wider GIRFEC principles. To reflect on the implications for your own work context and professional responsibilities.

2 ‘Looked after’ defined
AT HOME while staying with family. [Legally subject of a supervision requirement with no condition of residence through the Children’s Hearing system.] AWAY FROM HOME e.g. in foster care, kinship care, a children’s home, residential school, secure unit. [Legally subject of a supervision requirement with a condition of residence through the Children’s Hearing system, a permanence order, or accommodated by voluntary agreement.]

3 Where children are placed
40%: home supervision 30%: foster care placements / preparing for adoption 20%: kinship care placements 10%: residential care placements


5 The GIRFEC Values and Principles:
Promoting the wellbeing of individual children and young people Keeping children and young people safe Putting the child at the centre Taking a whole child approach Building on strengths and promoting resilience Promoting opportunities and valuing diversity Providing additional help that is appropriate, proportionate and timely Supporting informed choice Working in partnership with families Respecting confidentiality and sharing information Promoting the same values across all working relationships Making the most of bringing together each worker’s expertise Co-ordinating help Building a competent workforce to promote children and young people’s wellbeing

6 We should aim not to: ‘…reinforce negative stereotypes of looked after children and young people that not only insult them as individuals but also make it virtually impossible for them to make their way in the world.’ (Hare & Bullock, 2006)

7 Key Messages Looked after children as a group have poor outcomes.
Many looked after children do well at school. Scottish Government strategy is outlined in the: We Can And Must Do Better report (2007). Local authorities corporate parent’ responsibilities Children can be looked after ‘at home’ and ‘away from home’. Schools should ensure that specific educational objectives are included in the Child’s Plan. Every school should appoint a ‘designated manager’.

8 Follow-up Children’s Hearing system web site: CELCIS website: Scottish Government statistics about children & young people: GIRFEC:

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