Looked after children deserve the best experiences in life, from excellent parenting, to a wide range of opportunities to develop their talents and skills. Stable placements, good health and support during transition are all essential elements, but children will only achieve their potential through the ambition and high expectation of all those involved in their lives.

This guidance sets out the functions and responsibilities of local authorities and partner agencies under Part 3 of the Children Act 1989 (‘the 1989 Act’), which concerns the provision of local authority support for children and families. In particular it describes how local authorities should carry out their responsibilities.

It should be complied with by local authorities when exercising these functions, unless local circumstances indicate exceptional reasons that justify a variation.

The guidance is issued as part of a suite of statutory guidance which, together with the 2010 Regulations, set out how local authorities should carry out the full range of responsibilities in relation to care planning, placement and review for looked after children.

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  • Introduction
  • Care planning
  • Placement
  • Case review
  • Ceasing to look after a child
  • Short breaks
  • Case records
  • Application of the 2010 Regulations to looked after children in contact with youth justice services
  • Annexes