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A large mural created by young people of York in care.

Health and wellbeing

We all know that we can see a doctor when we're not feeling well. As well as seeing a doctor when you need to, all children and young people in care can have a health assessment.

A health assessment is a regular check-up that all children and young people in care have. This usually happens once a year, or twice a year for children under the age of 5 years. Review health assessments are usually carried out by a health visitor or school nurse.

At your very first health assessment you will be seen by a doctor. The doctor will ask you some questions about your health and any worries you may have. You can decide if you want someone else to come along to the appointment with you and choose whether to be examined or not, this is completely up to you.

To find out more about health assessments we've produced a health assessment leaflet, or you can watch a short animation made by young people in care:

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As well as being physically healthy, it's also important that you take care of your emotional wellbeing and mental health.

We all need support with our emotional wellbeing from time to time. You might already have ways of managing your own emotional wellbeing.

Sometimes you might want to talk to a trusted person who you find supportive; this could be a friend, carer or a worker that you trust. Sometimes you might feel you need support from specialist services.

We know that young people in care are more likely to experience difficulties with their mental health because of the experiences before coming into care and all the different emotions and feelings that leaving your family can leave you dealing with. It's important to let people know that you need support when you are having a difficult time or would like help with how you’re feeling.

Show Me That I Matter have created a booklet called 'You Are Not Alone', to help other young people in care understand the feelings and emotions they might experience when coming into care:

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In the UK, health care is free and is provided by the National Health Service (NHS).

Let your foster carer/key worker know if you have any worries about your health and they can support you with this by making sure that you get support with your health when you need it.

Your health care will cover:

  • physical health, provided by a doctor (called a general practitioner) or a nurse
  • mental health and emotional wellbeing, provided by doctor or a nurse
  • eye health, provided by an optician
  • dental health (teeth), provided by a dentist

Your foster carer, key worker or social worker will help you register with the different health professionals listed above, so you can get medical help from them when you need it.

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