Looked After Children

Monitoring

Rate of Looked Afer Children rate per 10,000 population (0-18 years).

The term Children Looked After has a specific legal meaning based on the Children Act. A child is looked after by a local authority if he or she has been provided with accommodation for a continuous period of more than 24 hours, or is placed in the care of a local authority by virtue of an order made under the Act.

The number of Looked After Children (LAC) remained stable throughout 2016/17; there has been a slight increase at Q1 17/18. It is important to reaffirm that our LAC strategy is not about reducing the number of children in care, but is about ensuring the right children are in care, at the right time and for the right duration. As evidenced by our reducing section 20 (legal status for children entering care) by providing care and support packages to keep children safely in the family home.

The slight increase in looked after children at Q1 can be attributed to two factors. There has been a very slightly higher number of children newly accommodated and less children have exited the system, 24 compared to 37 this time last year.

Latest benchmarking figures for March 2016 show LAC rates of.

Shropshire = 47

Statistical neighbours = 53.8

England = 60