Information for social workers

Our specialist doctors and nurses work with all health, social and educational professionals including foster carers, children and young people to support and meet the health needs of children and young people from birth to 21 years of age who have become looked after by the Local Authority whether they live in or out of the area we are here to support you wherever you live.

The statutory health assessment

When a child/young person becomes looked after they will be offered a health assessment just to make sure they are fit and healthy and make sure any health neglect is redressed. The first appointment can be at a Children’s Centre or a hospital out patient clinic.If the child/young person is over 5 years of age they will be offered a health assessment every year and if they are under 5 you are offered an appointment every 6 months. One of the looked after children’s nurses will contact the child/young person and carer to make arrangements to be seen either at home, in school, or in a clinic setting or in a place of theirs and your choice. A health care plan will then be available so everyone caring for the child/young person will know how to meet the health needs of the child/young person.


Confidentiality for looked after children is extremely important. We will listen very carefully to what they tell us. We would only discuss their health issues with someone else if they allow us to do so, or if we think that not doing so would place them at risk of harm.


People aged 16 or over are entitled to consent to their own treatment, and this can only be overruled in exceptional circumstances. Like adults, young people (aged 16 or 17) are presumed to have sufficient capacity to decide on their own medical treatment, unless there is significant evidence to suggest otherwise. Children under 16 are presumed to lack capacity but can consent to their own treatment if it is thought that they have enough intelligence competence and understanding to fully appreciate what is involved in their treatment. Otherwise someone with parental responsibility can consent for them.

Need an interpreter?

If you need an interpreter or someone to help you or the child in your care hear such as a sign language expert you or your social worker can request one before your help assessment so you or your child can fully contribute to your health assessment. You can contact the health team on the number below to make any arrangements you need.

Top tips

  • Please keep the LAC team up to date with change of carers and address changes.
  • Do ensure the child/young person’s carer is given the child’s Red Book. If a duplicate copy is needed contact the child’s health visitor or Looked After Childrens nurse.
  • Please make sure the foster carer is given the child’s consent form signed by the person with PR or children’s social care manager.
  • Please ensure consent forms for treatment such as blood tests, operations and x rays are given priority so delay is not caused chasing consents.
  • Please ensure if the child changes carer the health care plan is given to the new carer

External Links

  • IFP-0999 Information for parents and carers Babies at risk of neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) – Advice for parents and carers. Children’s Services Women & Children’s Services.
  • Safer Sleep for babies A guide for parents The Lullaby Trust