All local authorities have a statutory requirement to provide information on the psychological and emotional health of children in care, and specifically emotional and behavioural difficulties.
This information is collected using a Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). This is a widely used tool for assessing a child’s emotional well-being, looking at the likelihood of problems being already present or of developing in the future.
All children or young people aged between 4 and 17 years old inclusive must have a questionnaire completed by their main carer. A SDQ questionnaire may also be completed by a member of school staff who knows the child well e.g. the designated teacher and young person themselves. This will give a triangulated score and this approach provides a more rounded picture of the young person and enables a decision to be made about what, if any, further services they may need to address the difficulties identified. From September 2022, VSK are starting to collect scores from school staff and secondary school aged pupils to enable us to do this.
The SDQ information will be considered within the health assessment by the Looked After Children’s Nurses. The health assessment, health plan with recommendations and SDQ score will be sent to the social worker.
Please also take a look at our VSK SDQ Video which explains what an SDQ is and how it benefits a young person
SDQ forms translated into other languages can be found on the SDQ Website