A child who has been in the care of their Local Authority for more than 24 hours is known as a Child Looked after (CLA).
Children who are looked after by the Local Authority may be:
- Living with foster parents
- Living in a residential children's home or
- Living in residential settings like schools or secure units and in exceptional circumstances
- Living with a biological parent whilst subject to an Interim or Full Care Order.
The NHS has a major role in ensuring the timely and effective delivery of health services to Children Looked After. Warwickshire North Clinical Commissioning Group is required by statute to have appropriate arrangements in place to meet the physical and mental health needs of Children Looked After. This duty includes:
- Ensuring they have access to a Designated Doctor and Designated Nurse for Children Looked After
- Ensuring that health services to Children Looked After are not disrupted or interrupted when the child or young person moves to a placement outside of Warwickshire
- Ensuring arrangements are in place to ensure a smooth transition for Children Looked After from child to adult services
Function of the Designated Professionals for Children Looked After
The Designated Doctor and Designated Nurse for Children Looked After are the strategic health leads for Children Looked After in Warwickshire They have a very important role in promoting the health and wellbeing of Children Looked After by:
- Assisting the Clinical Commissioning Group and other health service commissioners in service planning and development
- Advising the Clinical Commissioning Group on fulfilling their responsibilities to improve the health of Children Looked After
- Leading and supporting all activities necessary to ensure organisations within the Warwickshire Health community (both commissioner and provider) meet their responsibilities for Children Looked After
- Providing expert advice and support (including case focused support and supervision) to health staff at all levels who are delivering health services to Children Looked After
- Representing the health needs of Children Looked After at a number of single and multi-agency operational and strategic meetings and Boards.
LAC Primary care guide