Children in care
- their parents are unwell
- they have problems with their families and need to spend some time away from home e.g. behaviour problems or educational difficulties
- they may have a disability and need a break from living with their families
- they are in the care of the local authority on a court order eg, interim care order or care order
- unaccompanied asylum seekers
Generally when children and young people need to live away from their parents the local authority will explore in the first instance whether the child or young person can live with other family members or friends.
If this is not an option, consideration will then be given to placing children with foster carers. In exceptional circumstances the local authority will place children in residential care.
When a child comes into the care of the local authority they are known as 'looked after children' or 'children in care'. The local authority is then known as their 'corporate parent.
A social worker will be assigned, making sure the child can get in touch with other people who can support them while they're in care.
It is very important that children and young people stay in touch with their family and friends. It is only when they might be hurt, or a court order says that contact is not allowed, that some children will not be able to have visits from their family or will not be able to visit them.
Children and young people are respected as individuals. By providing for their religious and cultural needs children are encouraged to keep their sense of personal identity and community.