The role of the health visitor is incredibly varied and you will find yourself working with a range of different people and in a range of settings.
Having a child comes easily to some parents, where for others, the adjustments can be difficult. Health visitors work with all parents to assess the support they need and develop appropriate programmes to help give the child the best possible start in life.
Health visitors support and educate families from pregnancy through to a child's fifth birthday. Common tasks include:
Health visitor also work closely with other professionals such as nursery nurses and Sure Start children's centre workers and retain the overview of the health and well-being of children and families in your area. You will also provide leadership to the child services team.
Being skilled at identifying vulnerable families means health visitors can enable parents to express their needs and decide on the support they receive. The type of support can include:
Health visitors are trained in recognising the risk factors, triggers of concern, and signs of abuse and neglect in children. They also know what needs to be done to protect them.
Often, they are the first to recognise whether the risk of harm to a child has increased to a point where actions needs to be taken to protect them. They'll also maintain contact with families while formal safeguarding arrangements are in place, ensuring families receive the best possible support during this time.
As they are involved in every stage of the child protection process, including serious case reviews, they are sometimes called upon to appear in court to explain the action taken.
Health visitors are also involved in delivering a wide range of health services in the children's centre, including:
Health visitors see parents and families in a variety of settings, including:
They also spend a lot of time working with other agencies and healthcare professionals who share a common commitment to children's development. These include: