Taking care of young people’s health and well-being is paramount to helping them achieve successful outcomes in many other areas of life. It should always be your policy to ensure staff know how to support children and young people’s health and well-being.
Make it your policy to ensure you help young people have an understanding of:
- their right to good health
- how to access services that can support their health and well-being needs (especially as they prepare to transition to adulthood)
- the need to take personal responsibility for their own good health and that they are supported to develop the skills to communicate their needs to others.
To achieve this policy, ensure that each child or young person,
- has the opportunity to live in a learning environment that promotes health and well being including in the wider community
- has appropriate access to general practitioners, dentists, opticians and other services relevant to their individual health needs
- feels respected and supported in their cultural beliefs and personal identity
- is provided with opportunities to develop personal and social skills that help them to understand that taking personal responsibility for their own health and wellbeing i.e. nutrition, sleep, exercise, and personal hygiene will play a vital part in their overall health, both now and in the future
- is provided with opportunities to choose a range of cultural and leisure activities and develop their talents and interests
- receives effective healthcare, assessment, treatment and support through early identification and vigorous and appropriate action.
Responsibilities of staff
It is the responsibility of the staff team to ensure they monitor the physical, mental and emotional health of young people and report any identified concerns to the young person’s key worker, the manager, therapist, social worker and others working with the young person.
This monitoring should include:
- early identification of health related problems
- ensuring young people who self-medicate do so responsibly and appropriately
- overseeing the young person’s diet and lifestyle
- support to young people with self-harming behaviours
- specific concerns around mental health and substance misuse
Staff will ensure they are alert to the specific health care needs of children from ethnic minorities and have sufficient information and understanding about specific health conditions such as malaria, epilepsy, Hepatitis B, and sickle cell disease.
The key to successful outcomes for young people’s health and well-being is to keep it at the centre of everything you do.