Updated December 2012
A Looked After Child (sometimes referred to as 'LAC') is a child who is Accommodated by the local authority; a child who is the subject of an Interim Care Order, full Care Order or Emergency Protection Order; or a child who is remanded by a court into local authority accommodation or Youth Detention Accommodation.
In addition where a child is placed for Adoption or the local authority is authorised to place a child for adoption - either through the making of a Placement Order or the giving of Parental Consent to Adoptive Placement - the child is a Looked After child.
Looked After Children may be placed with parents, foster carers (including relatives and friends), in Childrens Homes, in Secure Accommodation or with prospective adopters.
With effect from 3 December 2012, the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 amended the Local Authority Social Services Act 1970 to bring children who are remanded by a court to local authority accommodation or youth detention accommodation into the definition of a Looked After Child for the purposes of the Children Act 1989.