Looked after children

A small number of children in Darlington live in the care of the Local Authority. They are known as Looked After Children. Most of them live with foster carers, some live in their own families and some live in Residential Children’s Homes. We try to provide the very best quality of care for Looked After Children many of whom have experienced major difficulties in their lives.

Looked after through care team

This team comprises of a full-time Team Manager, full-time Senior Practitioner, six full-time social workers, and three full-time Personal Advisors. In addition there is also an LAC Education Coordinator, LAC Health Coordinator and a Participation Officer within the team. The team are responsible for working with children and young people who are being looked after on a long term basis. The team also supports young people during their transition and after they have moved onto independent living.

The team supports the child/ young person within placement, promote family contact, support the child in their education and ensure their health needs are met. The team work with young people until their 21st birthday and beyond if they are in full-time education.

The role of the Social Worker:

  • To ensure the child/ young person is visited within placement within statutory timescales.
  • To complete all relevant Looked After Child assessments and paperwork.
  • To ensure that all involvement is recorded accurately within a timely manner.
  • To ensure that positive working relationships are developed with the child, carer and family members.
  • To ensure that all contacts with family members are arranged and the child/ young person, their family and carers are made aware of these arrangements.
  • To ensure that Personal Education Plans are completed and reviewed.
  • To ensure that Looked After Child Health Assessments are completed within required timescales.
  • To work closely with all our partner agencies sharing information as and when required.
  • To improve outcomes for Looked After Children.

The role of the Personal Advisor:

  • To participate in the assessment, preparation and review of the Pathway Plans.
  • To ensure that all involvement is accurately recorded and inputted in a timely way.
  • To ensure that positive working relationships are developed with the young person, carers and/or family.
  • To provide continued support to the young people through their transition into independence.
  • To support young person with accommodation, education, training and employment.
  • To work closely with all our partner agencies sharing information as and when required.
  • To improve the outcomes for the young people leaving care.

Eligibility for Leaving Care Services:

  • Eligible young people – these are young people aged 16 and 17 who have been looked after for 13 weeks or more since their 14th birthday and are still being looked after.
  • Relevant young people – these are young people aged 16 and 17 who were looked after for 13 weeks or more after their 14th birthday and who have left local authority accommodation since their 16th birthday.
  • Former relevant young people – are those young people who were previously eligible and relevant and are now aged 18-21 (in some cases 24 if in full time education).
  • Qualifying young people – these are 16-21 year old young people who left local authority accommodation before 1 October 2001 or were accommodated in a variety of other settings e.g. privately fostered in 52 week educational placements over their 16th birthday.

If you would like any further information regarding the Looked After Through Care Team please contact the Team Manager.

Looked after through care team manager - Sandra Kirkland

01325 406284

sandra.kirkland@darlington.gov.uk