Looking After Children in Practice

Looking After Children (LAC) is a best practice framework for supporting outcomes-focused collaborative care for children and young people who are placed away from their families as a result of a Child Protection Intervention. LAC was originally developed in the United Kingdom and has subsequently been implemented in many other jurisdictions internationally and interstate.


In Victoria, LAC provides the practice framework for considering how each child's needs will be met, while that child is in out-of-home care. It is used for managing out-of-home care in accordance with the Best Interests Case Practice Model cycle of information gathering, assessment, planning, implementation and review.

Out-of-home care teams

When a child is placed in out-of-home care there are a group of people who share the responsibilities for doing the things that parents generally do: the placement agency caseworker, the carers (foster carers or residential workers), the Child Protection worker, and some others, as well as the child's parents and other adult family members. In out-of-home care, this group of people are referred to as the child's care team. The LAC framework, processes and tools assist the care teams to more effectively work together to respond to the child's safety, stability and developmental needs while that child is in out-of-home care.

Considering the child's needs

The LAC framework considers the child's needs and outcomes in seven life areas which cover the things that parents usually also pay attention to, as well as being the critical areas identified from outcomes research, namely the child's:

  • Health
  • Emotional and behavioural development
  • Education Family and social relationships
  • Identity
  • Social presentation
  • Self-care skills

Download Considering the child's needs - the seven developmental domains

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For more information:

Statewide contact ruth.champion@dhs.vic.gov.au

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