Looking After Children (LAC) is a dynamic guided practice model specifically designed for use by services that provide out-of-home care for children and young people.
LAC aims to provide better outcomes for children and young people by allowing significant people (including the children themselves, parents, carers, caseworkers etc) to focus on the child or young person's individual needs.
The core message of LAC is Participation - allowing children and young people, as is deemed age appropriate, to contribute to the decisions made about them.
LAC encourages transparency in case management practices and promotes accountability through an ongoing process of review and assessment.
As a guided practice tool it helps standardise out of home care practices whilst allowing caseworkers to use their professional judgement in making crucial decisions.
LAC was developed in the UK by the Department of Health (now know as the Department for Children, Schools and Families) to improve outcomes for children & young people who for a variety of reasons, have been separated from their homes and families. LAC has been extensively adapted to meet Australian legislation and casework practice and has been further developed in Australia into LACES the Looked After Children Electronic System, a web based application.