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Government Response to latest report on the mental health and wellbeing of Looked After Children

The mental health of looked after children and care leavers remained a focus for the Government and us all as a society as we entered the New Year.  News stories continued to remind us of the impact of early experiences on the lives of young people in care and those leaving care.  Arguably, we now also realise more and more, that becoming a looked after child can provide the necessary relationships to make a positive difference for many young people.

We know there are certain ‘protective factors’ for young people’s emotional wellbeing – including warm and engaging relationships - that promote effective communication skills; support developmentally appropriate goals and facilitate caring and consistent boundaries.  Establishing such relationships is not always easy, but there are things that can help.

A recent Government response to a 2016 Education Committee report on the mental health of looked after children, highlights that promising programmes such as KEEP and TFCO provide the  intensive support and training needed by foster carers to enable them to make a difference in young people’s lives,  for the better (The Mental health and wellbeing of looked-after children: Government response to the Committee’s Fourth Report of Session 2015-16, p. 19). 

The report is available here.