Looked After Children
The majority of children and young people who become looked after in Tameside do so because of abuse or neglect. A minority enter care because of problems with their behaviour.
Most looked-after children are placed with foster families. Others live in children's homes, and some with their parents (usually as part of the transition from public care back to living with their families).
On 9th October 2006 the Government published a Green Paper, Care Matters . It drew attention to the problems faced by looked-after children, and put forward proposals designed to improve their prospects.
Education of Looked After Children
Most children in care of compulsory school age are in stable places in mainstream schools. A significant minority - thought to be around one in four - are educated in non mainstream settings or at home.
Children in care are vulnerable to missing out on education, even though most want to be in school. Figures show that over one in 10 miss 25 or more days of schooling a year. They can miss school because
- they do not have a school place;
- they have been excluded; or
- they do not attend.
Services for Children and Young People has an Education Resource Team that supports Looked After Children and young people with their education by providing them with direct and indirect support for them in schools
Children Leaving Care
The Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000 is based upon the consultation document Me, Survive, Out There? The act came into force in October 2001. Among its key provisions are:
A duty on local authorities to assess and meet the needs of young people aged 16 and 17 who are in care or care leavers. Wherever the young person lives the duty will rest with the local authorities to keep in touch with care leavers until they are at least 21.
The Tameside Leaving Care Team ensures that every eligible young person in care should receive a comprehensive pathway plan when they turn 16. This plan should map out a clear route to independence.