Tailored information for mental health staff

The UASC health project has been working closely with stakeholders using an action research process to develop ways of working that take into account the complexity of need, the bespoke nature of care required and the mechanisms that support multi-agency and clinicians working with this cohort of children.

Our aim is to share our learning and the resources we have developed to support other authorities and health systems in the UK working with UASC. We have drawn up the following pages from which you can access the resources to support the work you are doing.

 Key documents

Questions to consider

There will be a Director of Children’s Social Services who will have the overall responsibility for the care of UASC. There is likely to be Assistant Directors with specific areas of responsibility. There is likely to be a LAC/UASC Service Manager and the young person’s social worker.

This will depend on what type of appointment you have with the child/young person.

For example it is important to have a translator at the initial health assessment, but it may not be possible when a young person is accessing emergency care. If you do not have a translator available, you can use language lines or the hospital communication book.

You will need to liaise with your contact within the Local Authority, to confirm whether they have a duty to provide an interpreter. In Kent, interpreters were provided for all Fitness to travel, Initial and Review Health Assessments. There is a section on working with interpreters in the clinical guidance document.

A UASC is a Looked after Child and is afforded the rights as any LAC.

This means that all aspects of promoting the health and wellbeing of LAC (statutory guidance) applies.

Consent needs to be sought for UASC in the same way as for any Looked after Child, but ensuring that information has been given to them in an accessible format. See Initial Health Assessment Consent translated materials and videos.

If they are Gillick Competent, they can provide their own consent, as long as this has been informed. Otherwise the Local Authority responsible for the child would give consent.

Information about Blood Borne Infection consent and immunisation consent is also available on this website.

This should be discussed/referred via your local safeguarding team in just the same way for any other child/young person. You need to pay particular attention to child sexual exploitation, trafficking and human slavery, missing, female genital mutilation and PREVENT policies for your area.

Kent Safeguarding Children Board website

As any Looked after Child, an unaccompanied child is eligible for free treatment.

For further information please see the clinical guidance for clinicians undertaking IHAs.

There are no validated screening tools for UASC. We have devised the UASC Distress screening tool which is part of our fitness to travel work. In our Initial health assessment we have been using the Moods and Feelings Questionnaire, a generic tool used by CAMHS.

For a full description of the sleep packs and sleep work please see the Sleep Pack Training Information

In the work we have done with UASC in reception centres, we found that many were experiencing re-feeding symptoms due to being semi-starved on the journey thought Europe. For further information on how to manage these symptoms, please see the Sleep, Eat and Hope Section.

 Video resources

 External links

The health needs assessment was undertaken by Rachel Coyle, Public Health Registrar and Samantha Bennett, Public Health Consultant in Kent County Council. The health needs assessment was supported by the Kent UASC Project Team. The assessment is the most detailed and in-depth research into the health needs of the current population of UASC in Kent. The findings have helped to inform and focus current and future resourcing and commissioning.

The Kent Transformation Plan for Children, Young People and Young Adults  outlines how all partners in Kent will transform emotional wellbeing and mental health services between 2015 and 2019. The transformation programme across Kent has funded the  Emotional Health and Wellbeing Action Research Project – so that we can better understand the emotional health and wellbeing needs of our UASC population.

Freedom from Torture, formerly the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture, has been working for more than 30 years to provide direct clinical services to survivors of torture who arrive in the UK, as well as striving to protect and promote their rights.

Since its inception, over 50,000 individuals have been referred for help. Thanks to the dedication of staff and volunteers – as well as scores of passionate supporters and funders – thousands of torture survivors have been able to rebuild their lives in incredibly difficult circumstances.

Advice and information for professionals working with children in Kent.