You should be provided with a child's basic medical history when they are placed with you. If it is an emergency placement, this should happen as soon as possible. As much information as possible needs to be understood about the child's health especially where the child has health or behavioural needs that potentially pose a risk to themselves, you and others. Any issues should be fully shared with you, together with an understanding as to what support you will receive as a result.

Information should be given about any allergies. See also First Aid and Medication and The Foster Home and Health and Safety.

A child/young person will have a Health Care Assessment which forms the Health Care Plan. If the child/young person does not have one, 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 Health Care Assessment happens at particular times:

  • The first Assessment must be done before the first placement or, if not possible, before the child's first Looked After Review (unless one has been done within the previous 3 months);
  • For children under five years, further Health Care Assessments should occur at least once every six months;
  • For children aged over five years, further Health Care Assessments should occur at least annually.

The child should have a copy of their health plan.

You play an important role in looking after and promoting the health needs of children in your care. This means talking to them and providing them with information about doing the things that keep them healthy and well.

You should encourage children/young people to follow their interest and leisure activities.

You should help the child/young person to identify where they can access activities they are interested in and support them to attend. This may be linked to the educational setting they attend. It could be sporting activities or activities which they enjoy which make them feel good about themselves.

It is important that you keep a record of the child's health and that you take the child for their health assessment and relevant appointments.

The information you hold about the child - including their daily routine, likes and dislikes, health issues etc. - may need to be shared with other professionals.

You should check whether you need to register a child with a GP, Dentist and Optician and whether you have delegated authority to take the child for any treatment. This will usually have been decided when completing the Placement Plan.

Each time a child is given medication, you must record when, how often and how much was given. All medicines should be stored securely and accessible for those who need it.

You should help children/young people to make informed decisions about their health and their views should be taken into account when making decisions.   

In the event of an accident or incident, you must record the details of what happened and inform your Supervising Social Worker and the child's social worker as soon as possible.

You will receive appropriate training including health promotion, communicable diseases, hygiene and first aid. Social Workers and health practitioners should ensure you have specific contact details and information on how to access relevant services, including CAMHS.