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What’s all the Jargon?

Abuse – This is when someone hurts someone else – this can be neglect (not looking after you properly), sexual abuse, emotional abuse (this can be when it hurts your feelings) and physical abuse (if someone hurts your body). All abuse is harmful to children and young people. This is why some children and young people come into care – because someone has been hurting them, or their has been a high risk of them being hurt.

Accommodated – This is when a child is being looked after with the agreement of parents

Advocate - This is someone who speaks on your behalf, and helps you to have your say!

Boarding School - This is when you live somewhere and go to school their too. The house where you live is usually separate from the school site

Care Order – This is when the Court says that a child or young person cannot live with their parents. This decision is made always to protect a child or young person from being hurt

Care plan – This is something your social worker will write down about how your needs will be met. This includes things like where you will go to school, contact, health, legal status, money, where you will live and activities you would like to do.

Children Looked After Mental Health Service – This is a health service especially for children and young people who are looked after by Lambeth council to support you with your emotional and social needs

Childrens Act 1989 - This is the law that all Councils must follow to keep children safe and free from harm.

Code of conduct – This is something written down that tells people what rules they must follow

Consultation form - This is a form that you can write your views and wishes on before a review meeting. It is a chance for you to tell us what you think

Depression - This is a common condition which affects both males and females. You might be feeling very low and generally cannot be bothered. If you have been feeling like this for a while you could be depressed. You can talk to a trusted adult about this.


Foster carer – This is a person or a family that looks after children and young people that can’t live with their own family for some reason.

Hearing impairment – This is when you don’t have full hearing in your ears

Key worker – This is an adult who usually works in a residential unit, or a school/boarding school. It is their job to support you and help you to do the things you need to do.

Independent reviewing officer – This is an adult who works for the Council, but is separate to your Social Worker and Foster Carer. They run a meeting with you and the people helping to care for you once ever six months. It is their job to make sure that you are being looked after properly.


Independent Visitor - If your do not have much contact with your family your social worker will talk to you about having an independent visitor. This is a trusted adult that can visit you, take you out, give you advice and be a friend to you.

Looked after – This is a term used for children and young people who are not living with their family and are accommodated or in care. This means the Council is looking after you and must make sure all your needs are met


Pathway plan – This is a plan that is written with you when you turn 16 which will help you to think about what support you might need to live independently

Placement - This term is used by Social Workers and Foster carers sometimes. It means the place where a child or young person in care will live. This could be a foster placement, residential care, boarding school or secure accommodation.

Psychologist – This is a person who studies human behaviour and how the mind works. They can help children and young people to deal with difficult things happening in their lives

Psychiatrist – This is a person who has a medical background and also studies human behaviour and how the mind works. Psychiatrists can prescribe medication to help children and young people who need extra help with their mental health

Psychotherapy – this is a type of counselling

Secure accommodation – this is a place which is locked where children and young people stay if they are a danger to themselves and/or others. A court order is needed if someone goes into secure accommodation for more than three days. This does not happen very often

Review meeting – This is a meeting where you and adults who care for you meet every 6 months to check that your care plan is working for you and that you are being looked after properly. It is important for you to have your say at review meetings

Residential care – This is a place where children and young people might live when they are looked after. They will have their own room and live in a building where there are always workers to help and a staff team. This is usually called a children’s home

Social Care – This is the name of the team in Lambeth Council that provide services to support children and families and make sure children are always


Visual impairment – This is when you don’t have full use of your eye sight