Unit 10 Caring for Children and Young People P2, M1 & D1

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The different types of provisions that provide care for children and young people are; foster care, adoption, temporary and permanent care, residential care and respite care.

        Foster care provides children and young people with a secure, safe and stable family environment where they are loved and cared for. Whilst in foster care the child/young person remains in education and have a team of professionals, ranging from social workers to school teachers, working with their foster carer to ensure the child’s health and emotional needs are being met. Foster care is usually short-term, however, it can result in the child being adopted into that family in some circumstances. Children can go into foster care at any age and some foster carers specialise in caring for children within specific age groups.

        Adoption is when a family make a looked after child/young person a permanent member of their family through a legal procedure. This could occur when both biological parents of the child have died or when parents decide that putting their child up for adoption at birth is in the best interests of both the child and themselves. Families that want to adopt go through lengthy vetting processes to ensure they are able to deal with aspect of caring for a child. Adopting a child takes them out of the care system and children adopted from a very young age have the advantage of forming bonds with their adoptive parents in their early years, although children of all ages are adopted. Adoption is the end goal for all looked after children who are in permanent care. It provides the child/young person with a permanent, stable family environment where they can benefit from one-to-one parent care.

        Residential care is a type of long-term care usually for children and young people who have misbehaved repeatedly, gotten in trouble with police and are unable to live at home with their families. It provides safe and stable accommodation with around the clock care from specially trained staff. Residential care is often a last chance for young people and is given as an alternative to prison. Here they can learn boundaries, rules and respect in a suitable environment, to take them away from old habits, which is something they may not have experiences at home. Children/young people who live in residential care will remain in education to ensure their educational needs are met because children who live in residential care work towards getting their lives back on track, earning qualifications and becoming employable as they decide to live independently from the age of 16 when they leave the care system. However, they continue to get all the support they need to ensure they are having all their needs met even when living independently.

Respite care is a short-term arrangement that can occur for various reasons, for example, foster carers use respite care for their foster-child when they want to go on a family holiday and sometimes parents/carers use respite care when they need a rest because their child needs around the clock care or if they have behavioural or learning difficulties. Respite provides children and young people with specialist care that meets their needs whilst also enriching their lives.


The paramountcy principle states that all decisions and actions involving children must be for the benefit of the child and that the child’s overall wellbeing is of the upmost importance. With this in mind there are many different pieces of legislation and frameworks in place to ensure that all aspects of a child’s wellbeing and their rights are protected. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs starts with basic physical needs and branches out to wider needs such as emotional and psychological needs, and these pieces of legislation, policies and procedures all aim to meet at many needs of a child or young person as possible in order for them to reach their full potential.

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        The Every Child Matters (2003) framework has five outcomes; be healthy, stay safe, enjoy and achieve, make a positive contribution and enjoy economic wellbeing. Be healthy means not just physically, but mentally, emotionally and sexually healthy and it’s about teaching children and young people how to live healthy lifestyles. Be safe means safe from maltreatment, neglect, violence and sexual exploitation, safe from bullying and discrimination, safe from crime and antisocial behaviour and to have a secure and stable home environment. Enjoy and achieve means to be ready to learn, to be attending school and enjoying it, to achieve educational, personal ...

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