When a child or young person is cared for by the local authority this is called being looked after. Hull City Council is the local authority in Hull. Children and young people can be looked after for long or short periods of time.
A child can become looked after for lots of reasons, but the main reasons are -
- if a child breaks the law, the court can decide that they should be looked after
- if a child has been harmed and needs to be protected, a court can make an order that they should be looked after. This is called a care order
- a parent can ask us to look after their child, usually for a short time, if they are having family problems, are unwell or need a break
- out of area looked after children placed in Hull
There are a number of looked after children placed in Hull from other local authorities. Resources and facilities are made available to any children and young people who may be placed in our city as looked after children.
Who has responsibility
If a court decides that we should look after a child, we have responsibility for them. If a parent has asked us to accommodate their child, the child's parents are still responsible for them.
We always work closely with children, their parents and families to make sure that we take their views into account in any decisions we make.
We draw up a care plan when a child first becomes looked after. The plan lays out what help and support the child and their family need, and how we will help them to get it. We talk to the child and the other people involved in their life, such as parents, carers, teachers, health visitors and other people who know them.
As things change over time, the care plan needs to be looked at regularly to make sure it's up to date and still works. We do this by having a looked after children review.
There are three locality teams within Hull each serving one area of the city, staffed by social workers and support workers. There is also a specialist children and families disability team, which has a wider remit.
Services offered on a daily basis
- help children and families who are having difficulties dealing with everyday family life
- protect children who are at risk of abuse/neglect
- look after children who, for a variety of reasons, can not live at home
- provide advice and support through key workers to families and children experiencing difficulties
- advise about rights and benefits
- prepare young people in care for independent living
- work with families in a preventative way, supporting families so that, wherever possible, children can stay in their own homes rather than go into care, providing respite and emergency fostering services