Looked After Children’s Service (LAC)
The Looked After Children Service (LAC) promote the health and emotional wellbeing of children and young people in care. We aim to provide a joined up service to make sure the looked after young person receives the healthcare they need. Our service will see young people across Wiltshire from 10-19 years including care leavers.
We provide every young person with the best care, referring them to the right service at the right time. We aim to make the young person to feel empowered and supported to make informed choices about their health.
What does 'looked after children' mean?
The term ‘looked after children and young people’ means children who are ‘looked after’ by the local authority.
What happens when a young person enters care?
When a child or young person comes into care they will have an Initial Health Assessment (IHA) – this is a statutory health assessment that is required to be completed within 28 days of coming into care. It is completed by a paediatrician or an appropriately trained medical practitioner.
A healthcare plan will be developed and shared with the young person and professionals around them.
Thereafter the young person’s health is reviewed by specialist nurses who include specialist looked after children’s nurse (LAC nurses), health visitors and school nurses.
Review Health Assessments (RHAs)
These are carried out by specially trained nurses:
- Health visitors complete RHAs for children under 5 years
- School nurses complete RHAs for children aged 5 -10 years
- Specialist looked after children’s nurses complete RHAs for children and young people aged 10 years and over
- Our service will see children and young people from 10-19 years including care leavers
How can we help?
We work in partnership with children and young people, carers, health professionals and the local authority to assess, implement and identify unmet health needs and to promote healthy lifestyles. We aim to be holistic in our approach to health, encompassing physical, social, emotional and mental health.
To achieve this we:
- Formulate healthcare plans as part of all health assessments
- Undertake statutory health assessments for children and young people in our care
- Oversee that each young person’s health is addressed and promoted to enable them to reach healthy outcomes
- Quality assure that their health needs are being met
- Liaise with other professionals involved in the care of children and young people to share information when appropriate and to promote positive outcomes
- Refer to other agencies in consultation with the child and young person to get the service they deserve
- Provide evidence-based practice, support and health promotion either directly or by referring/signposting to other services
Our vision is to provide a truly integrated service with a multi-agency team approach to provide individualised care.
- A health contact for children and young people, parents, foster carers, residential units, schools and social workers/social care
- Advocates for children in our care
- Part of the multi-agency team and attend multi-agency meetings
- Committed to listening and respecting the ‘voice’ of children and young people and act as an advocate to ensure their voice is heard
Where will the young person be seen?
The Looked After Children Nursing Service is delivered in the community in the family’s home, schools, residential units or where the young person prefers. We aim to be flexible in our approach.
All children and young people need to be present for their health assessment. Parents and carers will be consulted but young people at the top end of our age range will be offered time to be seen alone.