Looked after children

The National Looked After Children Safeguarding Sub Group membership is made up of key representatives from Designated Looked after Children Professionals, Regional and DCO teams, Clinical Commissioning groups (CCGs), provider organisations, The Royal College of Nursing, Department of Health and Department for Education.

The aims of the group are:

  1. To ensure services for looked after children will be safe.
  2. That services and payment for looked after children will be consistent across England.

As a group they help providers and commissioners to make sure looked after children get a safety, high quality service.

Achievements over the last year

The group has produced the guidance for commissioners and providers, with a standard approach to health assessment toolkit. These have been well received and are being utilised to improve services.

The group has also sent out advice on the payment for health assessments for commissioners to ensure the tariff is applied correctly.  Feedback that shows this approach has supported commissioners in challenging payment request that did not meet the tariff arrangements.   They have joined with the RCN, NHS England tariff experts and clinicians to review the tariff approach, developing a tiered approach to reflect the differing health needs of looked after children.

The group is currently developing an assurance tool with the Yorkshire and Humber team that will be used to assess how CCGs are ensuring looked after children services are safe and consistent.

Following the significant increase in Unaccompanied Asylum seeking children arriving into the UK, the group will be working to ensure this group of vulnerable children receive the statutory health services that all looked after children are entitled to.

“Care is a vital part of our child protection system. Most young people in care say that their experiences are good and that it was the right choice for them. But more needs to be done to ensure that all children in care are healthy and safe, have the same opportunities as their peers and can move successfully into adulthood.

Children’s early experiences have significant impact on their development and future life chances. As a result of their experiences before entering care, and during care, children in care are at greater risk than their peers.”

Children in care are four times more likely than their peers to have a mental health difficulty.
Calculation based on Office of National Statistics data.

Children in care are less likely than their peers to do well at school.
DfE (2014) Outcomes for children looked after by local authorities (in England).