09.00 - 10.00 Friday 31 October 2014

Title: Improving the mental health of looked after children - designing a system that improves wellbeing

Room: Charter 4

Main Participants:

Pete Dwyer, Director of Children and Young People's Services, North Yorkshire County Council 
Dr Kim Golding, Consultant Clinical Psychologist
Tom Rahilly, Head of Strategy and Development for Looked After Children, NSPCC

Chair: Sherry Malik, Director of Children's Services, Development and Delivery, NSPCC

Children in care have significantly higher levels of mental health difficulties than the general population; an estimated 45% (over 70% for residential care) have a diagnosable mental health difficulty. Despite this, significant problems exist in meeting this need, particularly providing preventative support that can avert placement breakdown.

This session will present the findings from four local authorities who, with their partners and supported by the NSPCC, have investigated how to improve their support for the mental health and emotional wellbeing of children in care.  Their work has looked at how to: 

  • Identify the principles of a system focused on improving the mental health of children in care, and how to put this into practice
  • How best to assess and understand the mental health needs of their looked after children
  • Improve support for carers, so that they are able to understand and support the mental health needs of children in their care
  • Understand the role of the range of services available in an area, not just CAMHS.

Alongside a presentation of findings and associated research, we will open a discussion to help other areas identify how to support their own improvement.