Looked After Children in the Early Years Information Leaflet for Practitioners www.portsmouth.gov.uk Information Leaflet for Practitioners What does the term ‘Looked After Children’ mean? Children who are in the care of local authorities are described as ‘looked after children’ or most recently ‘children in care’ and are one of the most vulnerable groups in society. These children may be living in children’s homes, foster homes or be living with the extended family. Why do we need to support this group of children? We have a responsibility under the Children’s Act to safeguard and promote the welfare and education of all young people we look after. Looked After Children are at risk of underachieving at school because they may have experienced emotional trauma and disruption to their family life and education. Research has found that outcomes are further worsened if adults involved in the lives of these children have low expectations about progress and development. Education is an important pathway to a better life and in Portsmouth we are working towards raising the achievement of looked after children. How can we support Looked After Children? By empathising and caring for the child and meeting their needs in the setting. By ensuring that any Looked After Child in your setting has a Personal Education Plan (PEP). By strong advocacy around the needs of children in care and asking “would this (response, situation, etc) be good enough for my child? “ What is a Personal Education Plan? It is a statutory requirement that every looked after child has a Personal Education Plan (PEP) and this should be instigated by their social worker. The practitioner in the setting, social worker and carer should work together to complete the PEP. It is essential that a PEP meeting is held at any time of significant change, such as transitions to another setting or school. What does a PEP do? A PEP signals children’s particular needs and will establish clear goals and act as a record of progress and achievement. If I have a Looked After Child in my setting now, what should I do? If a PEP has not been initiated, contact the Social Worker responsible for the child to discuss the PEP and arrange a meeting as soon as possible. How can I find a PEP? Template PEPs and guidance are available from: Ella Harbut - Early Years Advisory Teacher, Early Years and Childcare Service (Tel: 023 9267 4575) Email : [email protected]) Corporate Parenting Team Tel: 023 9268 8638 and of course the child’s social worker. PEPs are available in e mail or hard copy format. Early Excellence Administration Centre Flying Bull Lane Buckland Portsmouth, PO2 7BJ Telephone: 023 9267 4578 Email: [email protected] www.portsmouth.gov.uk Document ref: You can get this Portsmouth City Council information in large print, Braille, audio or in another language by calling 023 9267 0035.