Your Health Assessment
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Children in Care require health assessments (health checks); this is something that must be offered to all children in care, twice a year for children under the age of 5 and once a year for children and young people over the age of 5. These health checks are requested by the social worker.
The first health assessment is generally performed by the Community Paediatrician, this is a medical assessment and a physical examination will often be performed. At subsequent health assessments the child or young person will generally be seen by the Nurse.
What you can expect from the health assessment with the Nurse;
The assessments are undertaken in a variety of venues such as in a hospital, children’s centre, your home or at school.
The Nurse will introduce themselves and tell you and your carer what to expect at the appointment and depending on your age they may ask you to consent (agree) to the assessment and get you to sign the form to show you have agreed. You will not be expected to undress or be examined. They will tell you what information will be in the report and tell you who this will be shared with.
The Nurse will ask you lots of questions about home life, school, how you feel about things, what exercise you take, how well you sleep, what foods you like to eat, when you last went to the dentist and optician. They will measure your height and weight. Your immunisation history will also be checked. Dependent on your age you will be offered the opportunity to see the Nurse on your own to discuss sexual health and relationships. This is a good opportunity for you to be able to ask any questions about your health or request information. Where appropriate C card registration and Chlamydia testing will be available and an information pack will be offered.
The Nurse will then discuss suggested recommendations with you and ask if you agree with them, they may make a referral to another service or recommend other interventions. The report will by typed and copies sent to the to the GP, Community Paediatrician, the Health Visitor or School Nurse, Social Worker and your carer and yourself depending on your age. They may want to share it with other professionals but will ask your permission to do this.