New approach to mental health services for vulnerable children

An innovative approach to mental health services for some of the most vulnerable children in West Sussex will be introduced this summer.

Tuesday, 24th May 2016, 7:04 am
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 2:47 am
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services sign SUS-160523-092125001

Specialist clinical staff from Sussex Partnership Foundation Trust (SPFT) and social care teams from West Sussex County Council (WSCC) will be working closer together to create a more joined up approach and a continuity of care for individual families.

Improved waiting times and a central place to access mental health support will be offered to adopted children and looked after children, such as children in care, as part of the newly designed service.

Stephen Hillier, cabinet member for children’s - start of life at the county council, said: “This is a new innovative way of working which will create a multi-skilled hub of staff who are all working together to improve the wellbeing of fostered and adopted children.

“We hope the new integrated service will enable more specialist cases to be given the attention they need and also improve the referral processes and access.

“We would like to thank staff, parents and carers who have all come together to help us develop this service and we aim to continue this valuable dialogue.”

The new design will create a single point of access for the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and the support will be extended to special guardians.

A fortnightly Therapeutic Access Point will also be established to discuss needs and devise support and intervention plans for families.

Clinical governance will remain with SPFT.

Ruth Hillman, Sussex Partnership’s director for children and young people’s services, said: “We have worked hard with WSCC to ensure that the current high quality service continues to be delivered to families and young people who need it through this new way of working.

“We are committed to continuing to work in partnership to further improve the services provided across West Sussex.”

Children and families who currently use the service will be supported by the same key workers thanks to support for the new design by SPFT.

Plans to integrate the two teams, which were endorsed late last week by Mr Hillier, wit the changes to due come into effect from the start of July.

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