A Looked After Child (LAC) review is a regular meeting that brings together people who are closely concerned with the care of a child or young person (up to their 18th birthday).
The review is a chance to:
- review the child/young person’s care plan –which sets out how the child or young person will be cared for while they are looked after
- discuss the child or young person’s progress
- make plans for the future
How often review meetings are held
The first review must be held four weeks after the child or young person becomes a looked after child.
If the child or young person stays looked after, there must be a second review no more than three months after.
Further reviews must be held at least every six months.
Who goes to the review meeting
At the review the following people will attend:
- the child or young person, if they are old enough and understand what is going on
- the parent and anyone else with parental responsibility (unless there is a specific reason why they cannot attend)
- the child or young person’s social worker
- the child or young person’s foster carer or supported lodgings provider
Other people who know the child well may also be there. We try to limit the number of people at the meeting so that everyone, especially the child or young person feels they can listen and join in.
In some cases, parents and supporters of the child or young person may not be allowed to attend the meeting. The Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO) and the child or young person’s social worker will make this decision together and explain why.
The meeting will be led by the IRO who is an experienced social worker and independent of Children’s Services.
Where review meetings are held
The reviews are usually held in the place where the child or young person is living, but are sometimes held at selected offices within the community.
Stages of the review meeting
Before the meeting the child or young person’s social worker and the Independent Reviewing Officer will discuss the child’s care plan and progress with the parent.
The social worker will then produce a report and bring it to the meeting.
The focus of the meeting will be:
- the day to day arrangements for the care of the child or young person, including their health, education, training, contact with family, financial and emotional well being
- the plan for their long term care
We will make sure the meeting is as child friendly and relaxed as possible so the child or young person feels comfortable and safe enough to join in.
The Independent Reviewing Officer will complete a written report of the review meeting, recording the decisions that are made.
The parent will get copies of the report and the social worker’s report.
At the end of the meeting, a date for the next review will be agreed.