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3.8.5 Infestations


This procedure applies to children placed in Southwark's foster homes, but the principles apply to the placement of all Looked After Children. Therefore, where Looked After Children are placed with parents, kinship carers or in placements not managed by the authority, the social worker must ensure these or other adequate procedures are applied.


  1. Monitoring and Checks
  2. Head Lice
  3. Fleas or Scabies
  4. Notifications

1. Monitoring and Checks

It is acceptable for routine precautions to be undertaken to avoid infestations of head lice, fleas, scabies etc. However, this may not include the undertaking of routine checks of children, for infestations, unless Consent has been given.

This Consent should normally be incorporated into individual children's Placement Information Records.

2. Head Lice

If it is suspected that children may be infested with head lice, the following measures should be taken:

  • The parent(s) and social worker should be informed and advice taken from a doctor, nurse or health visitor before treating it.
  • Children do not have to be separated or kept back from school or other activities but care should be taken to inform teachers or other staff/carers, so that they can take reasonable precautions.

Should anyone else in the placement become infested with head lice, the carers must inform their fostering social worker, who will decide what actions are necessary.

3. Fleas or Scabies

If it is suspected that a child may be affected by fleas or scabies, the same measures as those described above for head lice, must be followed.

Additionally, the medical practitioner may decide that it is necessary to initiate fumigation procedures in the home. Where this is necessary, the foster carers can agree to the fumigation and should inform their fostering social worker of this as soon as possible afterwards.

4. Notifications

Infestations must be reported to the fostering social worker, the child's parent(s) and social worker.