Monday, 15 December 2014

The Needs of Looked After Children

Two important facts can be found in the recently published Outcomes for Children Looked After by Local Authoritiesin England as at 31 March 2014.

These are:
  • Two thirds of looked after children have a Special Educational Need
  • Only half of looked after children have emotional and behavioural health that is considered normal
Sometimes policy makers seem to forget that children who are looked after have usually had some very stressful experiences that are likely to have disrupted their lives significantly. Sixty two percent of looked after children are in care because of abuse and neglect and many of these children will be suffering the consequences of trauma. So it is no wonder that they have special educational and health requirements.

It is often insufficient simply to re-home children in the hope that a loving adopted or foster family will compensate for what has happened in the past. While such love and care is vitally important it often needs to be supplemented by additional resources and specialist expertise. In an era of cuts followed by more cuts these might seem to be hard to find, but they are absolutely essential if children and young people are to be given the chance of overcoming adverse early experiences.