Looking after children in care

Looking after you

We have a duty to provide help for children in need. Usually this means supporting children in their own families. Sometimes this is not enough, and children need to be looked after somewhere else.

Why we are looking after you

You have the right to ask your social worker about the reasons why you need to be looked after away from your family.

It's most likely to be because your family is having problems that they find difficult to deal with. You may have been at risk of some sort of harm if nothing changed. You may be in care because you have become separated from your parents.

When you first come into care, we will invite you to a meeting to talk about you, and how we will look after you. A social worker will be there and we will also invite your parent or carer.

If anyone uses a word or phrase you don't understand, ask someone to explain. Don't be embarrassed or feel silly about asking a question. The meeting is about you and your life, so everyone should make sure you know exactly what is being talked about.

When we look after you, your parents will still have a say in what happens to you and need to be involved in decisions made about you. If you live with other people – such as grandparents, other family members, friends or foster carers for a long time – they can apply for a Residence Order. This will give them parental responsibility for you.

In some cases, more than one person can have parental responsibility for you at the same time.