Looked after children

Looked after children contact details

Devon Local Area Authority Area
Gwyneth Nightingale Designated Nurse for Children in Care in Devon          
                                                                           
Plymouth Local Authority Area
Lesley Cuthbert Designated Nurse for Children in Care in Plymouth  
                                                                                                                                    
Deborah Freeman Designated Doctor for Children in Care

Children in care (Looked after children)

The term ‘looked after children and young people’ is generally used to mean those looked after by the state (Local Authorities), according to relevant national legislation.  This includes those who are subject to a care order or temporarily classed as looked after on a planned basis for short breaks or respite care.  The term is also used to describe ‘accommodated’ children and young people who are looked after on a voluntary basis at the request of, or by agreement with, their parents.  These children are referred to as "children in care".

There are approximately 1100 children and young people in care in the NEW Devon area.  This group of children share many of the same or sometimes higher health risks and problems as other children; often entering the care system with poor health already.

“Central to young people’s ability to fulfil their potential as they develop from childhood and through the teenage years is the need to be well – both physically and emotionally….Good physical and emotional health and wellbeing are key contributors to broader outcomes such as improved learning and achievement and to the long term prospects of young people as they move into adulthood.“ (Promoting the Health and Wellbeing of Looked After Children, DCSF 2009)

The Children in Care Service is a small dedicated team of nurses and doctors who work in partnership with other services and with local authorities to help children and young people in care and those about to leave care.  Working holistically, the teams aim to improve the overall health and wellbeing of these children and to ensure they have access to the best possible health advice and services tailored to meet their individual needs.  The teams provide evidence-based support and health promotion to children and young people in our care and to any other professionals who care for them.  Above all, we are committed to listening to and respecting the views of children and young people in our care and to making a positive difference to their lives.

When children enter care, they are offered an Initial Health Assessment with a local paediatrician.  Children already in care are offered a Review Health Assessment by the child’s Health Visitor, School Nurse or specialist Children in Care nurse (6 monthly for children under the age of 5 years and annually for those aged 5 to 18 years).

Looked After Children Annual Report

Looked After Children Annual Report 2017

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