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Care Plan

The Care Plan is the plan for children looked after. It sets out clearly the objectives for the care of the child or young person, and the steps by which the objectives will be reached.

Wherever possible, the Care Plan should be completed before a child or young person is looked after. If this is not possible, the Care Plan should be completed as soon as possible after the child is placed. The Care Plan for a child or young person can only be changed following a statutory child care review.

Using the Care Plan

Care and accommodation should never be viewed as the plan for a child or young person, but should be considered as a means of achieving a wider overall plan. The Care Plan should not only identify the purpose that the period of care or accommodation will play in the overall plan but establish SMART objectives for the placement.

SMART objectives are:

Specific and clear
Measurable
Achievable

Related to the overall assessment and plan for the child or young person.
Time - related

If the objectives are not SMART then it will be difficult to establish whether the placement is achieving the objectives set out in the plan.

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By Steve Walker, David Shemmings and Hedy Cleaver
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