Aims Looked After Children (LAC) are a vulnerable group. UK numbers have increased 1% annually for the past 7 years and services are thought to be variable. Our aim was to produce a comprehensive profile of LAC’s health and wellbeing needs.
Methods Systematic review of published literature 2000–2015 relating to LAC health, following references thereafter and review of relevant national publications on problems facing LAC.
Sexual Health LAC are twice as likely to become pregnant compared with peers[11,12]. 25% of female care leavers become pregnant or give birth within one year of leaving care. Males are more likely to be teenage fathers; 5%–6%% Vs 0.7% teenagers who have never been in care
Youth Offending Care leavers comprise 35% of the prison population under 21 years and 27% overall[15,16]. 50% of women and 25% men in Young Offenders Institutes have spent time in care.
Substance Misuse 10% of 16–17 year olds report substance misuse issues, despite this only 50% receive an intervention their problem. Cannabis is the most frequently used substance, tried by 73% of LAC.
Conclusion All examined aspects of LAC’s health and wellbeing are worse than the non-LAC population. There is significant need within the LAC population, and services for LAC should reflect the high levels of need.
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