SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER
This procedure applies to all Children in Care, it summarises arrangements for the promotion, assessment and planning of health care for Children in Care.
This chapter should be read in conjunction with Promoting the Health and Well-being of Looked-after Children - Statutory Guidance for Local Authorities, Clinical Commissioning Groups (Department for Education and Department of Health and Social Care)
Children remanded other than on bail will be Looked After Children. Different provisions will apply In relation to those children/young people, see Remands to Local Authority Accommodation or to Youth Detention Accommodation Procedure, Care Planning for Young People Remanded to Local Authority or Youth Detention Accommodation.
AMENDMENTIn January 2016, this chapter was updated to reflect revised statutory guidance for local authorities, clinical commissioning groups and NHS England on Promoting the health and well-being of looked-after children. Section 1, The Responsibilities of Local Authorities and Clinical Commissioning Groups is new. The role of the Social Worker in promoting child health is explained in Section 3, Health Care Assessments and information on Strengths and Difficulties questionnaires was added into Section 4, Health Plans.
The local authority, through its Corporate Parenting responsibilities, has a duty to promote the welfare of Children in Care, including those who are Eligible and those children placed in adoptive placements. This includes promoting the child's physical, emotional and mental health; every Child in Care needs to have a Health Assessment so that a Health Plan can be developed to reflect the child's health needs and be included as part of the child's overall Care Plan.
The relevant Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS England have a duty to cooperate with requests from the local authority to undertake health assessments and provide any necessary support services to Children in Care without any undue delay and irrespective of whether the placement of the child is an emergency, short term or in another CCG. This also includes services to a child or young person experiencing mental illness.
The local authority should always advise the CCG when a child is initially accommodated. Where there is a change in placement that will require the involvement of another CCG, the child's 'originating' CCG, outgoing (if different for the 'originating CCG) and new CCG should be informed.Both local authority and relevant CCG(s) should develop effective communications and understandings between each other as part of being able to promote children's well being.
The social worker has an important role in promoting the health and welfare of Children in Care:
Each Looked After Child must have a Health Care Assessment at specified intervals as set out below.
If a child is transferred from one placement to another, it is not necessary to plan an assessment within the first month. In these circumstances, the Social Worker should furnish the carer/residential staff with a copy of the child's Health Care Plan.
If no plan exists, the Social Worker should arrange an assessment so that a plan can be drawn up and available for the child's first Looked After Review which will take place within 20 working days.
The Social Worker should liaise with the carer/residential staff to arrange the first assessment with the child's GP or Designated Nurse for Looked After Children.
Before a Health Assessment takes place, social workers must complete Part A of the CoramBAAF 'Initial Health Assessment Form' to ensure it is available at the time of the appointment.
In order for the Health Assessment to be conducted, the social worker must ensure that the parent(s) have given consent - this will usually be recorded on the Placement Plan.The health professional conducting the assessment will complete a relevant CoramBAAF Form and a Health Plan, which should be passed to the child's social worker - who should give copies to carers/residential staff.
Each child's Care Plan must incorporate a Health Plan in time for the first Looked After Review, with arrangements as necessary incorporated into the child's Placement Plan.
This Plan must be reviewed after each subsequent Health Care Assessment and at the child's Looked After Review or as circumstances change.
Understanding a child's emotional, mental health and behavioural needs is as important as their physical health. All local authorities are required to use the Strength and Difficulty Questionnaires (SDQs) to assess the emotional needs of each child.
The SDQ Questionnaire, along with any other tool which may be used to assist, can be used to identify the needs and be part of the child's Health Plan.(See Appendix B of Promoting the Health and Well-being of Looked-after Children - Statutory Guidance for Local Authorities, Clinical Commissioning Groups (Department for Education and Department of Health and Social Care)).
Only valid for 48hrs