About the service:
The Looked After Children’s Health Service aims to support the health and well-being of children or young people who are looked after by the local authority, during their time in care.
It is a legal requirement for all children/young people who become looked after to have a health assessment – which the Looked after Children’s Health Team provides.
During the health assessment, the child or young person will have the opportunity to talk about issues relating to their health - such as diet, exercise, healthy living and risk-taking behaviour.
Further information about health assessments is provided below, while more detailed information is available in the PDF leaflets on this page.
What happens in the health assessment?
A healthcare professional will conduct the health assessment. Initial appointments will be with the community paediatrician.
Reviews will be completed by either a specialist nurse for looked after children, or the community paediatrician.
At the health assessment, the child/young person’s foster carer will be asked if there are any health and well-being concerns such as general health, hearing, vision, dental and behaviour.
Records are checked to ensure that immunisations are up to date. Concerns about emotional health will also be discussed.
If the child is seen by a paediatrician, they will have a general medical examination including weight and height and a developmental assessment for pre-school children.
When is the health assessment done?
The health assessment must be undertaken within the first month of the child becoming looked after by a foster carer.
If the child has had a health assessment or a medical within the last three months then this information may be sufficient and a further appointment may not be required.
If the child remains in care, health assessments will take place every six months for children under 5 years, and every twelve months for children between 5 and 18 years.
What will be the outcome of the assessment?
A plan will be drawn up to ensure that the child will stay healthy, enjoy achieving and attending school, and stay safe. The foster carer will be sent a copy of the health plan.
How is the health assessment arranged?
An appointment may be arranged either by letter or a telephone call.