Looked After Children
The looked after children’s team aims to co-ordinate services, provide support and develop initiatives to improve health care for children and young people in care living in Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland.
Children and young people looked after by local authorities are likely to have experienced significant disruption in their lives. This can make looking after their health more difficult to achieve.
Our role is to try and make sure that the children and young people are physically and emotionally ‘fit and healthy’. This includes checking whether they are keeping up to date with routine health care such as dental health checks and immunisations. We also:
- Provide advice, support and information to young people, foster carers, residential workers and others in relation to health matters
- Undertake individual and group sessions with children and young people to reflect their health needs ensuring appropriate access to information about health to help them make decisions. This might include information about smoking, drug taking and sexual health
- Coordinate and carry out statutory health assessments with individual children and young people as per government guidelines.
- Provide training to both foster carers, social workers and health staff regarding the health needs, support and advice for children and young people in care.
Who do we work with?
The team works closely with children, young people, families and relevant professionals from health, education, social services and the voluntary sector to promote the health and well-being of children and young people in care. The roles include:
The nurses also have responsibility for the health of those young people in the leaving care system up to the age of 21 (24 years if remaining in education).
What happens during appointments/health assessment?
When a child first becomes looked after, they have a health check performed by the designated doctor at the hospital. They are then provided with a ‘health plan’ that says if they need any help to keep healthy. A health reassessment is a chance to look at the health plan again and bring it up to date. Most importantly – it is time when a child or young person can talk about his or her health with someone who can help.
A health visitor, school nurse or designated nurse for looked after children, as well as the designated doctor may perform the health reassessment and in the case of it being a nurse they will arrange to see the child or young person in a place they feel comfortable with. This could be at home, at school or somewhere else that suits them and the nurse, eg a clinic
The health professional will discuss with the child or young person how they feel and if they have any problems or worries about their health. They might weigh and check the child’s height, depending on their age.
The child and the health professional will together look at the health plan and make sure it is up to date. The child or young person might need to be referred to another doctor, dentist or agency. This will be written in their health plan so it can be arranged as soon as possible. The child and carer will receive a copy of their health plan to keep.
An initial referral is made by the child’s social worker to the secretary for looked after children for the initial health check performed by the designated doctor. There after, health assessments usually happen once or twice yearly depending on age. The designated doctor or nurse will see the child or young person more often if they have health problems that they can help with.
Where are we based?Doctor for looked after children
Community child health
West Lane Hospital
TS5 4EE Tel: 01642 352031 Specialist nurse for looked after children Middlesbrough
3 Park Road North
TS1 3NN Tel: 01642 354118 Specialist nurse for looked after children Redcar and Cleveland
Guisborough Primary Care Hospital
TS14 6RE Tel: 01287 284283
When are we available?
Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm and after hours by appointment.