Promoting the health of children in public care

Promoting the health of children in public care

Florence Merredew, Carolyn Sampeys


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With contributions from experienced medical and social work practitioners, this is an essential guide to good practice in the field of the health promotion of looked after and adopted children.

For many years health services have struggled to meet the needs of looked after and adopted children. The majority enter care due to neglect and abuse, with the consequent effects of these experiences on their health and well-being, exacerbated by the effects of separation from birth family and subsequent placement moves.

Promoting the health of children in public care provides comprehensive advice on all aspects of the health of looked after and adopted children and their families, along with summaries of the relevant legislation, regulations and guidance.

Whilst the legal information contained in the book specifically covers England, Northern Ireland and Wales, the wealth of practical advice will be of equal benefit to workers in Scotland and outside the UK.

Who is this book for?

All health and social work professionals and others working with looked after children, encompassing health advisers, designated doctors and nurses as well as workers in commissioning, social care, education and CAMHS.

What you will find in this book

The book’s chapters follow a child’s journey through care and include information on:

  • the health of looked after children, including mental health and well-being
  • pathways through care and issues of consent
  • the particular needs of groups of vulnerable children, including black and minority ethnic children, unaccompanied and asylum-seeking children, those who are privately fostered or adopted from overseas, and care leavers
  • the assessment of adult carers, and common health concerns
  • confidentiality, information sharing and management of health records
  • quality assurance, audit, clinical governance and commissioning


Florence Merredew:
Dr Florence Merredew was the Health Group Development Officer for CoramBAAF until her retirement in 2017.

Dr Carolyn Sampeys is a Community Paediatrician and Named Doctor for Adoption and Looked After Children for Cardiff and Vale NHS Trust. She acts as Medical Adviser in Adoption to Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan.