The Looking After Children (LAC) materials are tools designed to improve outcomes for children who are cared for by welfare agencies in foster care and residential care. A collaboration between Barnardos Australia, the University of New South Wales and the UK Department of Health has led to the production of the Australian LAC materials. LAC ensures that those responsible for children’s care consider all aspects of their lives and encourage partnerships between those responsible for a child’s care.
A planning system based upon a model developed by The Health Department UK, the LAC Project came about as a result of concern about the poor outcomes for children and young people in the care system
The LAC system required on-going and regular gathering of information and planning. When completed on a regular basis, the assessment and action records make it easier to plan improvements to the quality of care that children receive and to monitor how far the plans are carried out.
The Looking After Children materials were designed to improve the parenting experience of children looked after by welfare agencies. A system of good parental care with defined milestones based on developmental stages, the LAC system identifies the interests of children and lays out the range of possible consequences of different courses of action within the child’s life.
The Looking after Children Electronic System has been devised to work specifically with the information gained by the LAC project. LACES is a word processing tool and a database allowing access to and preparation of multiple sources of information about children in care and particularly valuable for planning.