Our Care Experienced Children and Young People Services (CECYPS) offers health and wellbeing services designed to support Kinship Carers. There are often additional complex healthcare issues for a child in Kinship Care, for example, around the mental health and wellbeing of birth parents, or the fear of inherited conditions, or challenges relating to consent and confidentiality and interfamilial tensions relating to the child coming into care in the first place. We have been successfully supporting Kinship Carers for 15 years, so we understand that the children and young people in their care have particular healthcare needs and rights.
To support these we offer a range of training which is currently delivered free of charge to Kinship Carers (subject to demand) thanks to funding we receive from Trusts and Foundations. This training is delivered in partnership with local authorities and health professionals and based on topics often requested by carers themselves. We can deliver training either in person or virtually using Zoom or Microsoft Teams. The topics we cover include:
Adolescence can be a confusing time for young people and possibly very challenging for those caring for them. We know that during this time there are significant changes in the brain development of an adolescent, which may give rise to some of the reasons why this period in a teenager’s life can be challenging. We also know that for teenagers in the care system, there can be additional pressures placed on them. This training looks at why adolescence matters to the health and wellbeing of young people in care.
Calming techniques for carers and their children and young people
Practically every carer has been confronted by a situation when their child and young person ‘loses it’ and has a ‘meltdown’. Whether this is in the home or in the middle of a busy supermarket this training will help explain why this might be happening, how to avoid it in the first place, and provide some practical techniques for coping with it when it does happen.
Consent and confidentiality in healthcare settings
Confidentiality is central to the trust between doctors and patients and an essential part of good care. Without assurances about confidentiality, children and young people, as well their carers, may be reluctant to get medical attention or to give doctors the information they need to provide good care. Children and young people should be asked for their consent if they have the capacity to give it. This training looks at consent and confidentially are important in healthcare settings.
Getting it right for care experienced disabled children
Getting it right for every child supports the wellbeing of our children and young people and their families or carers by offering the right help at the right time from the right people. It is important that Kinship Carers have the knowledge to get it right for disabled children in their care and to understand their responsibilities so that they can support their child’s physical, mental, and emotional health.
Managing the healthcare needs and rights of care experienced children and young people
Children and young people in Kinship Care have a right to good health. Professionals working with them have a responsibility to promote and support this while recognising that it is the Kinship Carer who can make the biggest impact on the child’s experiences and environment. This training looks at managing the healthcare needs and rights of care experienced children and young people.
Mental health and emotional wellbeing for children in care
Our mental health impacts how we feel and think and can also affect how we behave. For children in Kinship Care mental health problems can be debilitating, negatively impacting on the quality of their lives and possibly impacting on their physical health too. However, it can be difficult to know if someone’s struggling. It might also feel awkward or challenging to offer help or know how to respond and support a loved one in your care. This training will look at ways of fostering positive mental health and emotional wellbeing for children in your care.
Play techniques to help children and young people cope with dental, medical and hospital treatment
Sometimes children or young people may find dental, medical or hospital treatments challenging, uncomfortable or distressing. They may express their feelings in various ways including becoming anxious, crying, shouting or physically resisting staff. This is not only distressing for them, but also for Kinship Carers, and staff attempting to carry out treatment or consultations. Children and young people can be helped through painful or difficult procedures with support, including distraction and health-related play techniques.
The impact of loss and change
For children and young people in Kinship Care, their placement may often give rise to complicated feelings associated with loss and change such as shame, relief, or guilt. How does loss and change impact on the emotional health and wellbeing for children in care and how can Kinship Carers best support their child to manage feelings which flow from loss and change? This training gives insight into understanding loss, change, grief and trauma in relation to care experienced children and young people, whilst looking at the unique challenges facing Kinship Carers.
Understanding trauma and supporting recovery
It is vital that Kinship Carers are given the knowledge and skills they need to help children and young people through the complexities of understanding trauma and/or abuse and supporting their recovery. Our training has been developed to support Kinship Carers who look after children and adolescents who have been impacted by trauma. This trauma may include a range of stressful experiences which are typically chronic and interpersonal and which may affect many different areas of a child or adolescent’s life.
Research consistently shows that the health of many children and young people in care is poorer than that of their peers. Through regular conversations with carers and via our research we know that children and young people in care are known to have significantly poorer physical/mental health outcomes than peers not in care.
According to the Children’s Social Work Statistics Scotland, 2019-20 a total of 14,458 children are in care, with Foster Caring remaining the most common type of care whilst Kinship Care is continuing to rise: 33% Foster Care; 31% Kinship Care (friends/relatives); 25% Looked after at home; 10% – Residential care (includes secure care); and 1% – With prospective adopters.
We have been successfully supporting Kinship Carers for 15 years, so we understand that children in Kinship Care have particular healthcare needs. Some may have specific medical conditions or disabilities whilst others may need support with their mental health and emotional wellbeing. Also, some children may have moved frequently meaning that the details of their medical history are difficult to find. When a child is in care, health-related responsibilities are not only shared between birth families and carers but also with social workers, specialist nurses, paediatricians, youth services and teachers who have responsibility as the ‘corporate parent’. With the right training and support, carers can make a real difference to the lives of children and young people, not only by helping to care for their health and wellbeing but also by acting as role models in the way they look after their own health and emotional wellbeing.
Read our privacy information notice for carers.
FIND OUT MORE
To find out more or talk to us please contact:
Anne Wilson, Head of CECYPS
Call 07485 462435 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org