Self-Management of Medication
If a child or young person in foster care is assessed as being capable of looking after and administering their own medication, foster carers should monitor that they keep the medicines with them or store them in a lockable space.
Medication policies of the child’s school, where relevant, should be requested by the child’s social worker or foster carer by agreement.
If there is concern about a child or young person’s ability to administer their own medicines safely, the foster carer together with the young person should consult with the social worker and the child’s parent(s) if possible and agree how much responsibility the young person is able to undertake. Where it is assessed as safe to do so, the young person should be given charge of their own medicines for a trial period. A risk assessment should be put in place.
After this, the foster carer should check whether or not the young person has taken the medicine as prescribed, and a decision should be made by the involved professionals (e.g. GP or consultant) and recorded in the child’s personal file as to whether or not they can cope with their medicines in the long term. The child or young person’s ability to administer their medicines should be reviewed on a regular pre-planned basis. A risk assessment should be put in place.
The age at which children are ready to take care of, and be responsible for, their own medicines, varies. There is no set age when this transition should be made, and there may be circumstances where it is not appropriate for a child of any age to self-manage.
In all situations discuss the management of medication in supervision with your fostering social worker who will be able to support you. Also, in all cases you should seek consultation of the Looked After Children Nurse as in some cases it may be appropriate for them to meet and discuss self-medication with the young person.