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Children Under 12 in Out of Home Care

At Life Without Barriers, we put children first. For most children, and especially children under 12, this means living in a caring family environment.

Our policy position is that wherever possible, children under 12 years who are in out of home care are to be in a family based care model. This is in recognition of the critical developmental and attachment needs of children under 12 years of age which are best met in a family environment.

Having at least one stable, nurturing and responsive caregiver helps children recover from trauma, neglect and family violence.

Children's critical developmental and attachment needs are best met in a family home where they:

  • Can form a stable, warm and continuing relationship with a carer who can respond to their needs
  • Can maintain and improve their connection to family and culture
  • Have less disruption and placement moves
  • Have better psychological outcomes
  • Have better school performance.

We do recognise that in exceptional cases – such as the need to stay with siblings or for children with complex needs – it may be in the best interest of a child under 12 to be placed in residential care.

Where this may be the case, only the LWB Chief Executive has the authority to approve the placement, and a stringent, regular review schedule must be in place.

We want each child we support and care for to feel as safe and respected as they should. We all have a responsibility to make sure their safety comes first – and that they’re well cared for, protected from abuse and given the respect they deserve.