The Royal College of Nursing has issued a new position statement calling for improved services for children in care.
The RCN wants all clinical commissioning groups to employ full-time designated nurses for looked after children as a cornerstone for improving health outcomes for children in care.
“Designated and named nurses can provide vital expertise in supporting children in care”
It follows a survey by the RCN, which found a lack of service capacity and clarity around roles and responsibilities was letting down looked after children in England.
The position statement, published today, aims to reinforce the existing guidance around designated and named nurses for looked after children in order to improve services and achieve better health outcomes for children in care, said the RCN.
Fiona Smith, RCN professional lead for children and young people’s nursing, highlighted that looked after children were “some of the most vulnerable children” in the country.
They were more likely to experience mental, physical and emotional health problems than other children, as well as “facing disadvantages that often continue long into adult life”, noted Ms Smith.
She said: “The government needs to ensure that CCGs have the funds and resources to improve the health outcomes of looked after children.
“Designated and named nurses can provide vital expertise in supporting children in care and can bring together key partners to commission and deliver strong, integrated support for those in the care system,” she added.
“Only with these measures in place can we deliver the help and support that children in care truly deserve,” stated Ms Smith.
Drawing on the feedback and frontline experiences of specialist nurses gathered via its survey, the RCN said it would be submitting evidence to the Commons’ education committee on improved services for those currently in and leaving the care system.