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Looked after children

Children become looked after when their birth parents are unable to provide care that meets their child’s needs – this might be very short term because of an illness or crisis or long term because of complex difficulties or the death of a parent.

Children can either be looked after as a result of a voluntary agreement by their parents or as the result of a care order made by a Court. Wherever possible children are placed with family or friends but where this isn’t possible most children live with foster carers.

Wherever possible, the Herefordshire Council will work in partnership with parents. Many children and young people who become looked after keep strong links with their families and many return home.

There are lots of reasons why a child may become looked after. Some will have had harmful experiences including physical, emotional and sexual abuse, while others may be in care because of the illness or death of a parent.

The majority of young people in care come from families who experience difficulties. They are separated from their family because their family are unable to provide the care needed. Unaccompanied children seeking asylum in the UK will also become looked after if they are assessed as being under 18 and have no family members here who can look after them. A very small number of children and young people are in care because of offences they have committed.

Herefordshire Council's children’s social care teams provide social work services to all Herefordshire looked after children and care leavers. The service includes regular social worker visits, assessments of needs, placement reviews in line with government guidance, health and education support.

If you need to speak to a social worker regarding a looked after child then they can be contacted on:

  • Tel: 01432 260800

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