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1.16 Children in Placements Accidents, Serious Illness, Infectious Disease and Hospital Treatment

This chapter should be read in conjunction with Safe Caring Policy for Looked after Children in Foster Care and Policy on the Storage of Medicine and Administration of Medicine or Treatment.

This chapter was added to the manual in January 2014.


  1. Accidents
  2. Notification and Recording
  3. Hospital Treatment
  4. Accompanying Children / Young People to Hospital

1. Accidents

If a child / young person does have an accident, it is essential carers respond quickly and efficiently.

Carers will be given training in first aid and carers should have a first aid kit and instructions on its use.

If the accident is slight (e.g. cut finger, bruised shin) and carers feel they can deal with it, appropriate treatment should be given and a record made. Your Supervising Social Worker should be informed.

2. Notification and Recording

All accidents, injuries, medical treatment and illnesses must be recorded by the foster carer in their records.

All accidents, injuries and serious illnesses must be reported by the Foster Carer to the Family Placement Service, via the Duty Worker.

The Duty Worker or SSW must complete the Notification of Accident and Emergency Treatment Form or the Notification of Events Form depending on the circumstances. These must be logged with the Information Officer in the Administration Team for logging and for the Fostering Managers monitoring.

All serious illnesses to a child or serious infectious disease (considered by a GP as requiring notification), must be reported as set out below using the Notification of Events form.

The Foster Carer should also inform the child’s Social Worker.

3. Hospital Treatment

If the incident is more serious and needs an admission to hospital, this should be done without delay. The safety of the child / young person will always come first and, if in doubt, carers should be guided by the child’s individual circumstances and medical staff including paramedics and doctors.

It is the social worker’s responsibility to inform parents as soon as possible. It is therefore the foster carers responsibility to immediately inform the social worker (or duty officer if not available) or EDT if the incident happens out of normal office hours.

While most parents have given permission for medical treatment to be administered while the child / young person is looked after, it is always best to involve parents, by bringing them to the hospital, or involving them in decision making.

Note: A child / young person has a right, depending upon age and understanding, to agree to or refuse treatment. 

If a child / young person appears to have an illness which concerns carers or the child / young person themselves, it should be reported to a GP and their advice taken.

Carers should then follow the above procedures and inform parents and Supervising Social Worker.

4. Accompanying Children / Young People to Hospital

Whenever possible, carers should accompany children/young people to hospital and stay with them until a parent arrives or it is safe to leave. It would be good practice to arrange a visit in the absence of a parent e.g. if they are on holiday.

When accompanying children/young people to hospital, carers should take information about the child, date of birth, home address, next of kin, any medication etc. Also the medical consent form signed by the parents. (Refer to Hospitalisation - Procedure for Social Workers.)

An incident form needs to be completed if the child / young person attends hospital following an accident or injury.