Looked after Children and Young People

Your health and well being whilst you are in care is important, so looked after children and young person have access to a specialist health team to provide support you. This team is known as the Looked After Children’s Team (LAC).

Who are we and what we do

The team consists of specialist doctors, specialist nurses and a care navigator whose job is to help keep track of all the health care you receive and make sure it’s well co-ordinated.

When you first come into care, your social worker will arrange for you to attend an initial health assessment with a doctor in clinic. Your social worker, and parents/carers can come along to the health assessment with you, but you can also ask to see the doctor alone if you wish. This appointment is an opportunity to discuss all aspects of your health and anything you’re worried about. The doctor will work with you to put together a plan of care, and will refer you to other specialist services you may need to support you.

What is covered in my Initial Health Assessment (IHA)?

  • Social and medical history
  • Height and weight ( this doesn’t need to be shared with anyone other than you and your doctor)
  • General medical examination (also called a ‘Well Person Check’). This includes listening to your heart, looking at your ¬†teeth, throat and ears, checking reflexes in arms and legs. You will not need to be fully undressed for this.
  • Discussions about your emotional health,sexual health and any risk taking behaviour, such as drug taking, smoking and alcohol intake

It’s really important that you go along to your IHA because it allows you to get the best health information and care for you.

Some of the services we can refer to:

  • Child Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)
  • Audiology (hearing)
  • Stop smoking
  • Sexual health services
  • Speech and language
  • Dietitian
  • Drug and alcohol service

Your specialist LAC nurse will get in touch with you and your carers  4 to 6 weeks after your IHA, and chat to you about the healthcare plan that you agreed with the doctor. They will give you their contact details so you can get in touch whenever you need to.

If you do have health needs, your specialist LAC nurse can help you with:

  • Emotional health and wellbeing
  • Personal hygiene
  • Healthy lifestyle
  • Puberty and sexual health, including giving you condoms
  • Dental health

If you don’t have any health needs, your specialist LAC nurse will get in touch every year while you are still in care to carry out a health review with you and your parents/carers. This usually takes about an hour, and involves talking to you about your general health and emotional well being, as well as carrying out a height and weight check. A confidential discussion with the nurse will be offered to you during this assessment. Your nurse will then update your healthcare plan.

Leaving healthcare

When you reach 18, you’ll have your final health review. Your specialist LAC nurse will give you a ‘leaving healthcare summary’ which lists the health care you have received. You can talk to your specialist nurse about what is included on the summary.