View Kent and Medway Safeguarding Children Procedures View Kent and Medway Safeguarding Children Procedures

5.5.2 Guidance for Social Workers Regarding Review Health Assessments Requests for Children and Young People

AMENDMENT

In March 2016, this chapter was extensively updated and should be read throughout.


Contents

  1. Process for Requesting Review Health Assessments for Children and Young People Looked After by Kent County Council
  2. Review Health Assessments for Kent Children and Young People in Care Placed in Kent
  3. For Kent Children and Young People in Care Placed Out of Kent including Medway

    Appendix A: Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire

    Appendix B: SDQ Flowchart


1. Process for Requesting Review Health Assessments for Children and Young People Looked After by Kent County Council

Local authorities have a statutory responsibility to ensure that all children and young people in care have an Initial and Review Health Assessments and an effective health action plan in place. The frequency of health assessments is set out in Guidance on Health Assessments and Health Plans, Frequency of Health Assessments. This chapter should be read in conjunction with Statutory Guidance on Promoting the Health and Well-being of Looked After Children (DH).


2. Review Health Assessments for Kent Children and Young People in Care Placed in Kent

  1. Children whose care plan is adoption: The health plan should be reviewed in line with the statutory review timescales. Health assessments must be undertaken twice a year for children under five years, and annually for children and young people five years and over. Requests for all review health assessment for child whose Care Plan is adoption should be sent to kcht.vsklacreview@nhs.net from a GCSX account;

  2. Children whose Care Plan is not adoption: The health plan should be reviewed in line with the statutory review timescales. Health assessments must be undertaken twice a year for children under five years, and annually for children and young people five years and over. Requests for all review health assessment should be sent to vsk_health@kent.gov.uk;
  3. See Guidance on Health Assessments and Health Plans, Appendix 1: Process for Requesting Health Assessment for Children in Care - Flowchart and Guidance on Health Assessments and Health Plans, Appendix 6: (A) Copy of BAAF Adoption IHA Form (0-9 years) and Guidance on Health Assessments and Health Plans, Appendix 6: (B) Copy of BAAF Adoption IHA Form (10 years and older);
  4. The request for a review health assessment should be submitted 12 weeks in advance of the review being due;
  5. On receipt of the request for a review health assessment for a child whose care plan is not adoption the Children in Care nursing team in VSK will offer an appointment for a review health assessment directly with the parent/carer and will send a Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) requesting completion within one week (guidance attached as Appendix A: Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire) if the child is aged 4-16 at the time the health assessment is due. The SDQ will be sent to the allocated social worker for completion in respect of young people aged below 17 years who are living independently or who are placed with parents on interim or care orders;
  6. The Children in Care nursing team in VSK will e-mail the social worker and the lead administration officer in the district social care team a copy of the appointment letter. If a child or young person in care declines a health assessment their Social Worker will be notified and if appropriate, the young person will be contacted by the Children in Care nursing team, who will then decide if it is appropriate to arrange a home visit;
  7. On completion of the review health assessment copies of the RHA and the health action  plan are sent to the relevant Health professionals by the children in care nursing team administrator. A copy of the health action plan will be sent to the child’s foster carer and in addition to the young person if appropriate;
  8. The health care plan and summary will be inserted into Liberi by the Children in Care nursing team administrator. The social worker/lead admin of each district can access copies and can forward these to the Independent Reviewing Officer for consideration at the Child in Care Review;
  9. On completion of the review health assessment all relevant referrals will be made by the Children and young person’s in Care nurse undertaking the assessment, and in instances where a CHAMS/Accent referral is required the Children in Care nurse will liaise with the case holding social worker to ensure that a referral is made and may contact the Children and Young Peoples Services, Children in Care Services Information about this service and how to make a referral can be accessed via: Kent Cares Town website, CAMHS Children in Care Service;
  10. The Child in Care nurse will follow up on onward referrals and will act as a health advocate for the child/young person to resolve any health issues;
  11. The foster carer and social worker have a responsibility for all children they look after, especially for Children in Care under 5 years old to ensure that the Child in Care Nursing Team are advised of any any change of placement for a child;
  12. Any change to an appointment that has been offered should be  negotiated in advance directly with the Children in Care nursing team to avoid cancellation at short notice or a DNA (Did Not Attend), allowing for the appointment to be offered to another child/young person and arrange another appointment to ensure the child has a review health assessment in line with statutory timescales.


3. For Kent Children and Young People in Care Placed Out of Kent including Medway

  1. Requests for all review health assessment in respect of Kent Children and young people in  Foster care ( where the plan is not adoption)  placed outside of Kent should be made to vsk_health@kent.gov.uk. Requests for all Review Health Assessments for children that the plan is adoption should be sent to kcht.vsklacreview@nhs.net from a GCSX account;
  2. The Children in Care nursing team work with the social worker to ensure that the child’s health assessment takes place;
  3. On notification by the social worker to the Children in Care Nursing Team that a child or young person in care or a young person leaving care is moving out of the Health Trust area the Children in Care’s nursing team will be responsible for a transfer of health information to the new health trust where the child will be resident.


Appendix A: Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire

Since April 2008 all local authorities in England have been required to provide information on the psychological and emotional health of Children in Care, and specifically emotional and behavioural difficulties. This information needs to be collected using a Strengths and Difficulties questionnaire (SDQ). This is a widely used tool for assessing a child’s emotional wellbeing, looking at the likelihood of problems being already present or of developing in the future. 

All children or young people aged between 4 and 16 years old inclusive must have a questionnaire completed by their main carer and should be aligned to the health assessment. The request to complete the SDQ will be made directly to the parent/carer at the time the letter of appointment is sent to them by the VSK nursing team.  The allocated social worker will be asked to complete the form in respect of young people aged below 17 years who are living independently.

The questionnaire asks the carer to read various statements and then judge how well it describes the young person living with them. The answers are given by ticking one of 3-4 boxes for each question. On average this should only take the carer between 5-10 minutes to complete.

An administrative officer within the VSK will input the information from the SDQ onto a national computer data base which analyses the data and produces a total score. The score will then be input by this person on to ICS. If the score is identified as being of concern (as per the SDQ guidance) triangulation will be requested which will result in the VSK contacting the school to request completion of the teacher’s questionnaire. Notification will also be sent to the child’s social worker with a request for the young person’s questionnaire to be completed if they are aged 11 years or over.

A triangulated approach will provide a more rounded picture of the young person and enable a decision to be made about what if any further services they may need to address the difficulties identified.

The SDQ information will be considered within the health assessment by the Children in Care nurse. The health assessment, health plan with recommendations, the SDQ form and score will be sent to the social worker. The SDQ and the scoring sheet should be filed in the child/young person’s case record.

The SDQ guidance and forms can be found on Kent Trust Web and the on the VSK website.


Appendix B: SDQ Flowchart

Click here to view Appendix B: SDQ Flowchart (found in the Forms/Signs of Safety Practice Guidance section of this manual).

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