A child referred to you is a 'looked after child.' As a speech consultant what would you hold to consider?


Answers:
The legislation is that the foster parents are contained by 'loco parentis' therefore must be consulted on all matters in connection with the child, you also have to inform social services that the child is entitled to speech therapy and it is their duty to inform the birth parents if they still have access to the child
What do you mean "looked after child"? Are you referring to a child who is in foster precision or the like due to the parents being unable to diligence for him/her for whatever reason or do you mean a child who is referred by an organisation such as a child thinking program.

If you are referring to a foster child, or a child who does not live with the parents and is looked after by family or friends then it depends on whether the those looking after him/her have any legal responsibilities in regard to the child such as guardianship, authority to make medical decisions etc about said child.

If the child is referred by a child keeping organisation then you need to contact the parents/guardians and get their consent
The child may have been moved between carers and had to adjust to different relatives groups so may have found interaction with these groups difficult. This may have delayed speech. Also the carer may not be capable of give a history of speech progress (or lack thereof) for a significant length of time, nor may they be able to report on allied problems beside feeding etc.
Nothing really, in recent times like any other child, but they do not stay with parents rather care for by social work. So just be careful on discussing family issues and be aware of the expectations beneath child protection, otherwise just carry on.


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