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Public Health. 1997 Jul;111(4):225-9.

British agencies for adoption and fostering in Scotland--Scottish Medical Advisers' survey.


Children in local authority care (The survey was conducted before the term 'in care' was replaced by 'looked after' on The Children (Scotland) Act coming into force in October 1996) come from backgrounds of high incidence of mental illness, substance abuse and learning difficulties and have often suffered from neglect and/or abuse. They have a high incidence of medical problems affecting both physical and mental health. The Committee of the Scottish Section of the Medical Group of British Agencies for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF) were concerned about the provision and co-ordination of medical services for children in local authority care. The aim of the survey was to identify the current and evolving practice among medical advisers across Scotland. Questionnaires were returned from 40 Medical Advisers representing each of the local authorities in Scotland. The responses highlighted a variation in the implementation of practice in clinical services provided to children in care and by whom. It confirmed that difficulties in follow-up did exist and revealed widespread confusion surrounding co-ordination of medical services, absence of procedures and ignorance of legal requirements. The study confirms that involved medical practitioners need to have a pro-active role in co-operating closely with social work colleagues to provide a well co-ordinated service of medical supervision providing a comprehensive assessment of health care needs as part of the overall child care plan.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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