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Looked after children

10. Responsibilities

If we have arranged for your child to be looked after we have a legal responsibility to make sure they are well cared for and safe.

This means that we must:

  • Ensure that the services and accommodation we provide complies with national standards
  • Make sure that we have checked and approved the carers
  • Work out what your child needs so we can meet these needs while they are away from home
  • Draw up written Care Plans which describe each of your child's needs and set out exactly how and when these needs will be met
  • Give you and your child (if they are old enough) a copy of their Care Plan
  • Consider the long term future of your child
  • Review your child's Care Plans on a regular basis

Shared responsibilities

If we have arranged for your child to be looked after, you will be involved in planning with us for the time they spend away from home. You will still be responsible for your child but we will share this responsibility with you.

We will be responsible for making sure your child is safe and well cared for. You will be responsible for helping us to make the experience of living away from home as easy and pleasant as possible. You can help us do this by giving us the information we need about your child's life, eg their friends and interests, to make sure your child's routine is not disrupted.

We will:

  • Help you and your child to stay in contact with each other
  • Check on your child's progress regularly to make sure that they are well cared for and are safe at all times
  • Tell you about any illnesses or accidents they have and any other major incidents involving them
  • Consult you on any major decisions concerning your child
  • Make sure you, your child and other people involved in their life, eg their teachers, health visitors and doctors etc, are clear about what their responsibilities are and who is responsible for making arrangements, according to the timetable in the Care Plan.

We cannot make decisions about your child without talking to you first. We have no power to keep your child away from home any longer than you have agreed to, unless there are legal reasons for doing so (ie if there is a court order).

If your child is accommodated by us and there is no court order, you have the right to ask that your child is returned to you at any time. We will arrange for this to happen, unless we have serious concerns about your child's welfare.

Your social worker's responsibilities

  • Putting the well-being of your child before anything else;
  • Making sure that you are fully involved in planning for the care and development of your child;
  • Making sure that you, your child, your child's carers and everyone involved in planning for your child can keep in contact with each other (although in some cases, contact may be restricted by a court order);
  • Ensuring that your child is well cared for and safe
  • Helping you with advice about your benefits and telling the Benefits Agency when your child is being looked after by us, unless you want to do this yourself.

Please do not hesitate to contact your social worker if you need more information, and they will be pleased to help you.

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Last updated: 18 December 2018

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