what does "children who are looked after" mean?

(25 Posts)
mstangju Mon 06-Jan-14 11:40:34

hi, I am applying for a nursery in a primary school for my DD. just ran into a policy issue. What does "children who are looked after "mean? The policy explains it refers to children in public care. My daughter is now attending a private nursery. Does that mean my child is looked after?Thanks!

AbiRoad Mon 06-Jan-14 11:42:07

It means (roughly) children who have been taken into care by social services, eg children being fostered.

motherinferior Mon 06-Jan-14 11:42:43

Wot Abi said. Children in care.

motherinferior Mon 06-Jan-14 11:43:05

And yes, they'll get priority. (With good reason, obviously.)

procrastinatingagain Mon 06-Jan-14 11:43:06

It means adopted or fostered children

mstangju Mon 06-Jan-14 12:20:01

o, i see. many thanks!

ineedtochangemyname Mon 06-Jan-14 12:21:15

It means adopted or fostered children

No, it doesn't. It means in care.

MrsKwazii Mon 06-Jan-14 12:23:16

It does include fostered children, not sure about adopted though.

RudolphLovesoftplay Mon 06-Jan-14 12:23:51

It doesn't mean adopted children, it means children in care. Although Adopted children also get priority places at schools now, and rightly so.

motherinferior Mon 06-Jan-14 12:26:43

Adopted children aren't in public care because they have a family (by adoption) of their own. (I do also agree about them too getting priority, btw!)

I never understood why "children in care" had to be changed to "looked after children" - it's a ridiculous expression (as if other children are not looked after hmm)

RudolphLovesoftplay Mon 06-Jan-14 12:30:35

I think either term doesn't really accurately portray it. However, the i guess the alternative would be children in local authority care? Probably a reason they can't use that??

AuntieStella Mon 06-Jan-14 12:36:25

I've no idea how the terminology came about.

But it does mean children in local authority care (fostering or institution) or children adopted from local authority care.

It does not apply to private fostering or all kinship care.

ineedtochangemyname Mon 06-Jan-14 12:39:11

I never understood why "children in care" had to be changed to "looked after children" - it's a ridiculous expression (as if other children are not looked after)

And it also assumes that "Looked After Children" are actually being 'looked after'. In my experience, frequently they aren't.

RudolphLovesoftplay Mon 06-Jan-14 12:40:08

It doesn't mean adopted children.

procrastinatingagain Mon 06-Jan-14 13:09:18

Sorry, didn't realise it didn't include adopted children, thanks for the corrections smile

morethanpotatoprints Mon 06-Jan-14 13:15:11

It does include children who are adopted and fostered.
The actual "Looked after" refers to children in care.

Long may the priority exist.

RudolphLovesoftplay Mon 06-Jan-14 13:35:19

Yeh, but the question was "what does a looked after child" mean. A LAC is a child in local authority care, not an adopted child.

In terms of priority for schools, it includes both, seperate, categories of LAC and adopted children. I entirely agree with this priority, and it was ultimately how my adopted children got accepted at very nurturing but not so academic schools.

wordfactory Mon 06-Jan-14 13:41:28

OP, it means children for whom the SS have responsibility.

This can mean they are in residential care, with a foster parent, with family members or even with their parent (this is why they are looked after and not 'in care' ).

Moomoomie Mon 06-Jan-14 13:41:36

Rudolph is correct, it means a child looked after by the local authority, so will be in foster care or a care home.
Once a child is legally adopted ie been to court for the adoption order, it is no longer classed as a LAC.
Tbere is a new law just come in, that a child that has been aLAC but is now adopted can get priority for school places allngside children with a statement of special educational needs.

wordfactory Mon 06-Jan-14 13:43:04

And yes, it can be extended to include adopted DC for educationl purposes but they don't fall within the strict legal definition IYSWIM.

AuntieStella Mon 06-Jan-14 13:56:20

Sorry! I didn't mean to confuse.

I was answering a question which OP hadn't asked (ie which children receive priority under the Admissions Code on the basis of being (or having been) looked after) rather than the more specific one about definition of looked after.

MissFenella Mon 06-Jan-14 13:56:22

Word Factory is correct. My DDs are loked after but they are not in foster care and we haven't adopted yet.

BloominNora Mon 06-Jan-14 14:00:33

Yes, WordFactory is correct. Not all Looked After Children are fostered or in a residential care home - some do stay with their parents but are still legally 'looked after' by the Local Authority.

Lilka Mon 06-Jan-14 14:10:25

I prefer 'children in care' to 'looked after children', but then again the word 'care' does kind of have the same connotations as 'looked after', so I don't think they are that different

A 'looked after child' is a child for whom childrens services currently have legal responsibility following a court order. Usually this child will be in foster care or a children's home, but not always

A 'previously looked after child' is not the same, it means a child who used to be in care, but isn't any more. For the purposes of education and admission to school, it means a child who left care by means of

- A residence order
- A special guardianship order after the 30th December 2005
- An adoption order after the 30th December 2005

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