SCIE/NICE guidance on looked after children

Addressing the physical and emotional health and wellbeing of care-experienced children and young people. 

SCIE are working in conjunction with the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence to improve the quality of life for children in the care system. Organisations wishing to submit comments are invited to do so via the NICE website between Monday 15 February and Wednesday 14 April 2010. Only stakeholders can comment formally on consultations, but organisations in England, Wales and Northern Ireland can register to be a stakeholder at anytime during the process. 

Around 60,000 children, roughly 40% of whom are younger than 10 years of age, are looked after by local authorities in England at any one time . Many have positive experiences in the care system and achieve good emotional and physical health, do well in their education and have good jobs and careers. However looked-after children are more likely to experience emotional and mental health problems than other children in the same age range. A high proportion of looked-after children and young people also experience poor health, educational and social outcomes after leaving care. The new NICE/SCIE draft guidance aims to address these inequalities and improve the outcomes for looked-after children.

The Department for Health (DH) and Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) asked NICE and SCIE to develop evidence-based guidance on promoting the physical and emotional health and wellbeing of looked after children and young people. The final guidance focuses on systems, strategies and services and is due to be published in September 2010. Draft recommendations in the NICE/SCIE guidance include: