What is a looked after child review?
A LAC review is a meeting with all those that are concerned with your care and care plan. At this meeting Children’s Services will look at how things are going, whether your care plan meets your needs and whether there need to be any changes for the future.
Who can go to my LAC review?
- You, if you are old enough and able to understand what is happening. You do not have to attend but you should try to engage with the meetings as much as possible
- Your advocate to help you speak in the meetings
- Your parents and anyone else with parental responsibility for you
- Your social worker
- Your foster carer or residential worker
- Your Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO)
- Other people who know you. Children’s Services will try to limit the number of people who go so that everyone has a chance to contribute and listen, especially you.
The IRO and social worker can stop your parents or others from going to the meeting but must always give reasons why.
How often will a LAC review take place?
After 20 working days of becoming a looked after child you should have your first review meeting. If you continue to be a looked after child, a second review meeting should take place no more than three months after that.
Afterwards, reviews should be held every six months.
Where are the meetings held?
The reviews are normally held where you are living, but they can be organised at the Children’s Services’ office.
What should I expect at the review meeting?
Your social worker may have written a report before the meeting.
At the meeting people will talk about the support you will get day to day for your care which will include your health care, education and emotional well being. Also the meeting will discuss your long term care; what you want to do in the future and who you will live with.
Children’s Services must make sure that you feel comfortable and safe to talk in the meeting. The IRO will write a report after the meeting which will be shared with the people who look after you.
The LAC review is a good opportunity to tell the people who have responsibilities to you about what you are happy with and what you are not happy with. These things can be discussed properly so that changes can be made if needed. This is why it is good if you can attend the meeting and if you can’t, that you find a way (maybe with the help of your carer or advocate) to get your views across to the meeting e.g. in writing.
What can I do if I am unhappy with my LAC review?
If you are unhappy with any part of your LAC review you can make a complaint. You should ask your advocate for help with this. For more information on making a complaint see Complaints to Children’s Services.
Find out how you can access support with this issue by contacting the Coram Voice free Advocacy Helpline for Children and Young People on 0808 800 5792 or visit www.coramvoice.org.uk/alwaysheard
Care Advice Line – 020 7017 8901 between 10:30am and 3pm, Monday to Friday, or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.