Children in Care: Health Services

Department for Education written question – answered on 13th February 2019.

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Photo of Geraint Davies Geraint Davies Labour/Co-operative, Swansea West

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 30 May 2018 to Question HL7925, how the organisation that is managing the integrated physical and mental health assessments for looked-after children identifies and meets the speech, language and communication needs of those children.

Photo of Nadhim Zahawi Nadhim Zahawi The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

We have appointed a consortium of partners, led by the Anna Freud Centre, to support delivery of the mental health assessment pilots. The pilots will test improved approaches to the mental health and wellbeing element of the health assessments looked-after children receive on entry to care.

The improved assessments will be child-centred and needs-focused. They will support timely identification of needs and inform whether more comprehensive assessment and support is needed. For some children, this will result in referrals to specialist services, such as speech, language and communication services. The pilots will also explore the range of professionals that should be involved in the assessment process.

We will be conducting a full evaluation of the pilots, which will consider how effective the mental health assessments are at providing an accurate and thorough diagnosis of the child’s needs.

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