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Help to understand...

Children and young people come into care for lots of different reasons. A few of you will have made a choice and asked to come into care. Some of you might feel relieved. Lots of you will have felt like there wasn't a choice because other people decided for you and you didn't want this to happen. It might be a mix of all these things - it's not an easy time - we know that and we're here to help.

Whatever the reason, try and remember that you're not alone. There are lots of children and young people in care going through the same sorts of things as you. This website can help you all to be involved and be connected. Check it all out!

Reasons for being in care

We'll always do everything we can to keep you living safely and well looked after at home, with your family and friends, and will work really hard with you, and them, to make this happen.

Sometimes this is not possible and you may need to come into care while we try and make some changes so you can go home safely. You might be in care for just a short time and then go home again. It might take longer or not be able to happen at all.

Your social worker will explain and help you understand your own personal reasons for having to come into care and what is going to happen. Get in touch with them here if you need to: Contact your social worker

Common reasons for being in care

These are some of the most common reasons why children and young people come into care:

  • You may not have been kept safe enough at home and been hurt or neglected in some way (your safety and protection)
  • Your parents might not be able to look after you properly at the moment or they might have died.
  • Your family could be going through a very difficult time and are not coping or need a break.
  • You and your family are really not able to get along at the moment and just cannot live all together.
  • Your family might be in another country and you have come here to be safe and seek asylum.
  • You might have been in trouble with the police and been arrested or been to court and they have asked the local authority (Leicestershire County Council) to find you somewhere to live.

Who decides about you coming into care?

When children come into care, it's a really big decision and everyone involved has to be as sure as possible that it's the right thing for you. Your social worker should talk to you and your family to help decide what's best. You might not always all agree.

Section 20

Sometimes you will come into care by agreement with you or your family - this is known as being in care or Looked After or being accommodated under Section 20 of the Children Act 1989. Your parents are still responsible for you when you are in care in this way.

Care Proceedings

Other times, when the Local Authority think you should come into care but your parents don't agree, your social worker can ask the courts to make a decision and the courts can make 'Orders' that are like rules that everyone has to stick to. When the court makes a Care Order or Interim Care Order (this is a temporary order while things are looked at more closely before making a final decision) this means that the Local Authority share responsibility with your parents for looking after you. The Local Authority will be responsible for making most of the important decisions about your life including where you will live.

How much of a say do I get?

Nothing should be decided without you having your say and your social worker should discuss all important decisions about your life with YOU! The law is very clear that your wishes, feelings and views about what happens to you should always be a part of any decisions made.

Have Your Say!