Who are Children in care?
The term Children in care refers to any child or young person aged under 18 years old who is:
- In care: the Local Authority holds parental responsibility with the parent, through an Interim Care Order or Care Order.
- Accommodated: the Local Authority provides care and accommodation to the child/young person on behalf of the parent under Section 20 of the Children Act.
Children in care might live with foster carers, foster carers from other agencies, in residential homes, residential school, secure units, with family members away from the family home.
Children in care and young people often have greater health needs than their peers, and may have difficulties accessing health care. The health of children in care is monitored by either the community paediatricians or the designated nurse for children in care.
There is a statutory requirement for each child or young person to have a holistic health assessment by a doctor within the first 28 days of going into care. We will request health information from General Practitioners and health visitors/school nurses for this initial assessment. Children over five are seen annually by a children in care nurse unless they have complex health needs and are well known to a community paediatrician. Children under five are seen every six months by a community paediatrician. We aim to ensure all GP’s are sent copies of a child’s or young person’s health care plan following their health assessment.
The designated nurse or doctor also offers health advice and health promotion to the children and young people in care and anyone involved in their care.
We work in partnership with other professionals and parents (as appropriate) to address the health needs of children in care – this includes social workers, GP’s, school nurses, health visitors and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).
We aim to ensure all GP’s are notified if a child or young person is placed with a carer registered at their practice and will send copies of a child’s or young person’s health care plan following their health assessment.
There are two teams depending on where you are located. Please see the team page to the left.