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The Going Home? tool is designed to help professionals manage the care careers of children looked after away from their families. It incorporates findings and guidance to help with making good judgements about the reunification of children with relatives, so ensuring that this has the best possible chance of success.

The primary content is a series of checklists to be completed at certain points in a child's sojourn away from home.

The checklists highlight aspects of a case which, at different times, are particularly relevant. They also draw attention to factors that research has shown are best at predicting what happens to a child.

The checklists cannot tell professionals what to do, but they are a reliable indicator: the more ticks are put in boxes the greater will be the likelihood of a child’s return and the brighter the prospects of a successful reunion.

The tick boxes are also intended as a signpost to good research evidence: a cursory glance at the content of the tool will show that there is more to read here than a simple questionnaire.

Going Home? is applied to the individual looked after child or young person but can also be useful in establishing the profile in relation to reunion with family of a group of looked after children in a team or district.