Children Looked After (Children in Care)
The term Children Looked After has a specific legal meaning based on the Children Act. A child is looked after by a local authority if he or she has been provided with accommodation for a continuous period of more than 24 hours, in the circumstances set out in sections 20 and 21 of the Children Act 1989, or is placed in the care of a local authority by virtue of an order made under part IV of the Act.
The majority of children who are looked after by the local authority are placed with foster carers as it is believed to be best for children to live within a family environment.
For some children however, residential care may be more appropriate.