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Strengthening health assessment responses for children and young people in care

Dec. 16, 2020

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Brisbane North PHN is delivering the Queensland wide project Strengthening the health assessment response for children and young people in care. Known locally as the Out of Home Care Project, the Caboolture Child Safety Service Centre has been selected to implement the local response. Children in out of home care are likely to have complex health needs such as poorer physical, mental and developmental health than their peers, and also may not be accessing the full range of options within the health service system.

The National Clinical Assessment Framework for Children and Young People in Out of Home Care recommends that a preliminary health check is completed within 30 days of a young person entering care, and a comprehensive health and development assessment be completed within 90 days. The localised health assessment pathway for children entering care within the Caboolture Child Safety Service Centre has been co-designed by key stakeholders from the child safety and health sectors within the Caboolture region. A trial of the local pathway commenced in November 2020 and will be modified and updated from learnings throughout the trial.

We aim to:

  1. improve access, timeliness and quality of health assessments for children entering care
  2. improve GPs and primary health staff knowledge and understanding about working with children in care
  3. improve primary health/child safety integration and case coordination.

How the PHN can support general practice:

  • development of a coordinated local health assessment pathway
  • age based health assessment templates and screening tools
  • HealthPathways available for children and young people in care (recently updated) • channels to address barriers and concerns for GPs
  • education and peer support opportunities on working with children in care and trauma-informed practice
  • support from a passionate group of health and child safety professionals.

How GPs and practice staff can be involved:

We are seeking expressions of interest from committed and motivated GPs to provide comprehensive health and developmental assessments for children in care. We also require advice from primary care to inform and improve clinical case co-ordination, integration and knowledge of working with children in care.

For more information about the Out of Home Care Project, or to be involved, contact Brisbane North PHN Project Officer, Michele Hayes on 07 3490 3430 or email michele.hayes@brisbanenorthphn.org.au.

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