Health and happiness

Being happy, fit and well is very important for your overall health. There are many things you can do to make sure you are fit and well, such as eating healthy food, exercising and keeping yourself clean. Children's Social Care are responsible for doing all they can to make sure you are as healthy and happy as possible.

How should your carers help you to be fit and well?

Your carers should get lots of information about you and your health. They will need to know if you have been ill before and what things make you better. If you are disabled, there may be things that need particular attention. If you have to take any medicines regularly, or have any special injections, your carers will make sure this happens.

It is really important to be registered with a doctor so that you can see a doctor whenever you need to. This should be done as soon as you become looked after. Your carers or social worker should sort this out for you. Your carer should also make sure that you're registered with the opticians and dentist so that you can have regular check ups and treatment when you need it.

Your annual health MOT.

As part of keeping yourself happy, fit and well, you'll be offered an appointment with a doctor or nurse when you first become looked after and every year after that. This is an opportunity for you to discuss anything about your health that interests you or you may be worried about. It is part of making sure that your health is being looked after properly and that you are getting all of the advice and support you may need about health and personal care issues. If you are old enough to understand why, you can say no to this if you really do not feel you want this chance to talk about your health and wellbeing.

Am I allowed to see a doctor or nurse without my carers knowing about it?

You are allowed to get medical treatment on your own if the doctor (or nurse) thinks you are mature enough to decide for yourself. If they agree to see you without the permission of your carer, they should keep this private and not tell anyone else. The only time they can tell other people about seeing you is if they are worried that you or someone else is in danger of being seriously hurt.

Giving consent to medical treatment or examination

You can give your own consent to being examined or treated if you are 16 to 18 years old. The doctor or nurse does not have to ask or see your parent or carer as well. If you are under 16 you may still be able to give consent for yourself as long as you are able to understand what is involved in the proposed treatment. If you are able to give consent for yourself, the doctor or nurse will not tell your parent or carer without your permission except in exceptional circumstances to protect you or someone else from serious harm.

Eating Well

Eating the right food helps keep you fit and well and you should have a varied diet which is health and fits in with your culture or religion. You should be able to ask if you can sometimes have your favourite foods while you're in care and you should tell your carers what you like and don't like.

When you get older, you will become more responsible for making your own meals. Your carer should give you the chance to help prepare meals or make your own. You should also be given the chance to take part in shopping for food.

Your Happiness - Talking things through

Staying healthy also includes not letting things that are bothering you build up until you feel ill.

Finding someone to talk things through with is really important. Try to find someone you trust. You can always talk to your social worker, foster carer, independent visitor or other professional, or you might prefer to talk to your friends. For some people, it is useful to talk to someone who has been specially trained to listen to you and helps you to sort things out. There are people at Lime Trees who work specifically with children who are looked after, who you may find it helpful to meet with. Find out more about Lime Trees.

Your Happiness – Bullying

Sometimes young people can be bullied by other young people. This is not right and the people looking after you – your social worker, carers and teachers are responsible for finding ways to stop it from happening.

Bullying is where anyone tries to upset you on purpose and can include:

  • Hitting and kicking.
  • Stealing things from you.
  • Threatening you.
  • Calling you names.
  • Stopping you from making friends.

You should always try to tell someone if you are being bullied.

Where can I get information and advice about my health?

You can talk to Castlegate to get information and advice about your health. They can also give you information about education and careers.