Children in Care
The term ‘Children in Care’ means children and young people who are accommodated by their Local Authority.
The aim of the Children In Care (CIC) Service is to support you with any concerns relating to your health and emotional wellbeing. Our service is available to you and other children and young people in care across Essex from 0-25 years, including care leavers.
The CIC Service will also coordinate the provision of local health services for you, act as a key conduit or contact point for you and your care provider, considering your views and in identifying and meeting your physical, emotional and mental health needs.
We aim to provide a service to ensure that you receive the personalised health care you need.
Our specialist teams consist of:
• Named Nurse for Children in Care
• Specialist Nurse for Children in Care
• Nurse Advisor for Children in Care
We aim to support you with all areas of your health. We can refer/signpost you to specialist services as and when required and we aim to make you feel empowered and supported to make informed choices about your health.
How can we help?
We work in partnership with you, your carers, health professionals and your Social Worker to assess and identify unmet health needs and/or promote healthy lifestyle choices. We work with you to plan support for you and others in implementing your health care plan and review this regularly to ensure your health needs are met. We aim to help with all areas of health, including physical, social, emotional and mental health.
To achieve this we:
- Carry out your health assessments 6-12 monthly (dependant on age).
- Formulate care plans as part of your health assessments, to ensure your health needs are identified and met.
- Regularly review your health and ensure the necessary support is in place to enable to achieve healthy outcomes.
- Are available to you to provide you with ongoing advice and support with any issues relating to your health.
- With your consent, we can talk to other professionals involved in your care, and we can refer you to other specialist services who may be able to offer you additional support.
- A health contact for you, your parents, your foster carers, residential units, schools and Social workers/Social care.
- Available to support and advise you.
- Part of the multi-agency team and attend multi-agency meetings.
- Good listeners and we make sure your ‘voice’ is heard.
Where will you be seen?
The Children in Care Service is delivered in the community, your home, school, residential unit or a venue of your choice. We aim to be as flexible as possible to ensure you feel as comfortable as possible.
You will need to be present for your health assessment.
Being in care
Why am I in care?
You may be in care for different reasons, such as your parents or other adults looking after you were not able to keep you safe or meet your needs. Your Social Worker will explain the reason to you.
New words and phrases
- In care – Being in care is when arrangements are made for you to be cared for, possibly in with other members of your family, foster carers or in a residential placement.
- Placement – Your placement is where you live when you are in care. This may be:
- Foster Care – This is where you live with a carer in their home.
- Residential Home – Where several young people who are also in care live together and are looked after 24/7 by support workers.
- Support/Semi-Independent Accommodation (SIA) – Where several young people, usually age 16 years and over, live together and are provided with various levels of support by staff in order to prepare them for independence.
- Family or friends placement – also known as a kinship placement, where you are ‘looked after’ by someone in your family or a family friend.
- Children In Care Nurse – We are responsible for making sure that your physical and emotional health needs are being met. We can also offer you health promotion advice and signpost you to other services in order to try and support you with your health and wellbeing.
- Health Passport – This provides you with a record of your medical and health care history and useful health care contacts. This will be given and discussed with you at your last Review Health Assessment or just prior to your 18th Birthday by your CIC Nurse.
- CAMHS – This stand for the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service. This service offers mental health and emotional support for those up to the age of 18 who are living in Essex.
- Strengths and difficulties questionnaire (SDQ) – This is a brief behavioural screening questionnaire which helps identify if any extra support will be helpful to you.
- Transition – This means the movement from child to adult services. For example if you see a Paediatrician, they will refer to adult health services around your 16th Birthday and you will be supported with this change.
- Care leavers – this is defined as a young person aged 25 or under who has been in the care of a Local Authority and spent time in foster or residential care.
- Local Authority – This is the council that are responsible for you, so in this area it is Essex County Council.
- Social worker – Your Social worker is responsible for making sure that your needs are being met and that there is a plan for your future.
- Personal Advisor – Will provide advice and support and keep in touch with you.
- Keyworker – If you live in a Residential placement, you will have at least one allocated key worker who will work with you, your family, Social worker and other professionals to make sure things are as good as they can be for you.
- Personal Education Pan (PEP) – This is there to help you with your education. Meetings are held regularly.
- Statutory Review Meetings (LAC Review) – This meeting includes you, your Family, Social Worker, Health, Education and other Professionals involved in your life to discuss how things are going for you and to make sure that the care plan meets your needs.
- Independent Reviewing Officer – Or IROs are responsible for making sure that you are ‘looked after’ in the best way possible. They work for the Council but are independent of your Social worker. They chair your Statutory Review meetings and make sure that your care plan meets your needs. You will have your first meeting when you first come into care, then 3 months following this and then they usually take place every 6 months.
- Independent Visitor – This is a volunteer who supports young people in care. They can visit you regularly and help with various activities.
- Advocate – These are Independent people who ensure that the rights of children and young people are respected and your wishes and views are heard and acted upon. Advocacy is about speaking up for you and helping you to take part in decisions that affect their lives.
Children and Young People in care have the right to confidentiality. Your Doctor or Nurse will discuss this with you and information will only be shared in the care plan with your consent. We would only pass on information in order to protect you or someone else from serious harm and when possible, we would discuss this with you first.