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Delivering the Healthy Child Programme for young refugee and migrant children

Of all children living in England, refugee and migrant children are among the most vulnerable to poor health and development. This is both as a result of the effects of their, or their parents’, experiences in their country of origin and during migration, and due to their social and economic circumstances in this country.

In October 2015, local authorities in England took over responsibility for the provision of health promotion and protection services for young children from pregnancy to age 5, delivered through the Healthy Child Programme 0-5. Local authorities are required to spend funds allocated by central government for public health services (the public heath grant) with a view to tackling health inequalities.

This report, based on a scoping study undertaken by the National Children’s Bureau (NCB) as part of the Health and Care Strategic Partnership Programme, explores:

 - The barriers and enablers refugee and migrant families experience in promoting the health of their young children (from pregnancy to age 5)
- How local authorities, in shaping their Healthy Child Programme 0-5, are addressing the needs of young refugee and migrant children and their families, and what lessons can be shared across areas
- Recommendations for how national and local government can promote a healthy start for young refugee and migrant children in England.

As part of the scoping study, NCB: conducted a review of the evidence on public health issues affecting young refugee and migrant children aged 0-5 in England; reviewed the policy framework underpinning public health provision for refugee and migrant families; undertook a desk-based review of local authority public health work targeted at refugee and migrant children; and carried out a focus group with parents of young refugee and migrant children.