Looked After Children
The Looked after Children team
Hi, my name is Andy Bravery and I manage the Looked After Children’s Team for Bromley. Children and young people that find themselves in care are there through no fault of their own. Some return home after a few days, some stay for a few months or even years. Being in care is actually known as “looked after” and that is the aim of my team, to ensure you are safe and well looked after and given every opportunity to fulfil your potential into adulthood.
If you are allocated a Social Worker in my Looked After Children team (LAC team), it either means a Judge has made a decision that it is safer for you to remain in care and no longer live with your parents, or your parents are unable to look after you and have asked us to look after you on their behalf.
While you remain in care we will strive to give you a sense of permanency (certainty and belonging), meaning we will find a family that can look after you throughout your child hood and when you’re a teenager. For some children this means Adoption, (having a new forever family), but for the majority of children it will mean having a long term foster family.
Children who are Looked after and still in care on their 16th birthday, will transfer in a supported and planned way from my team to the 16+ leaving care team.
What will my social worker do for me?
Your allocated Social worker will help to support you during your time in care; they will usually visit you at your carer’s home, but may sometimes take you out to do fun things as a treat, also if you wish to see them somewhere else this can be arranged. During their visits they will see you alone, as well as speak to your carers. They will ask you questions about your carers and what it is like living with them, your family and what it is like when you see them, school, hobbies, your health and anything else that seems important at the time. You can also talk to them about anything that is bothering you and ask any questions you may have. Although having a Social Worker may feel strange at first, if you can give them a chance, get to know them and build a trusting relationship with them, it can really support and advise you during your time in care.
Your Social Worker will visit you at least every six weeks, although this can be less often (but still every three months) if you are very settled and your placement is confirmed as permanent. You are also free to ask to see your Social Worker more often if you need to.
All of the visits are recorded as a written record and held on your file. As you get older you may become more interested in what is written on your file and with some notice you can view your file’s contents. You are also free to phone your Social Worker, if you need to talk about something that is worrying you. Your Social Worker’s main aim is to make sure you are safe and well.
In summary, this is what you can expect from your Social worker
- They will make every effort to ensure there is as little disruption as possible to your education, by avoiding where possible, changes of school or placement.
- Encourage your parents to get involved (where it is safe to do so) in your life.
- Set up a link between your school and carers.
- Be responsible for making sure that information about your education, health, placement and achievements is provided at your LAC review meeting
- Be there when you need them.