Lead Practice in Promoting the Wellbeing and Resilience

036 Lead Practice in promoting the wellbeing and resilience of children and young people
      1.1 Explain the importance of wellbeing for children and young people
The health and wider wellbeing of looked after children and young people is of fundamental importance. Good health makes an active and enjoyable life possible, as well as underpinning achievement in school and in due course in the work place. This is why promoting health is an integral part of care planning. Looked after children and young people share many of the same health risks and problems as their peers, but often to a greater degree. They frequently enter care with a worse level of health than their peers in part due to the impact of poverty, abuse and neglect. The way in which health needs should be considered alongside the other things which are important in a child’s life – where they live (placement), where they go to school or college (education), where they are going to live in the longer term (permanence) – is vital to their welfare. Promoting the health of looked after children is not the job of any one person. Effective multi-agency working between social workers, health professionals and careers is essential. Foster careers frequently report that there are problems associated with the emotional well-being and mental health of the young people in their care. Evidence from some previous studies suggests that looked after children are nearly five times more likely to have a mental health disorder than all children. This clearly indicates a need to improve the mental health of children and young people who are looked after. From April 2008 all LAs in England have been required to provide information on the emotional and behavioral health of the children they look after. The emotional well-being of children is just as important as their physical health. Good mental health allows children and young people to develop the resilience to cope with whatever life throws at them and grow into...