Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services CAMHS

Standard 9 of the National Service Framework is devoted to the Mental Health and Psychological Wellbeing of Children and Young People. The importance of effective partnership working is emphasised and this is especially applicable to children and young people who have mental health problems as a result of abuse and/or neglect.

In the course of their work, child and adolescent mental health professionals will therefore want to identify, as part of assessment and care planning, whether child abuse or neglect, or domestic violence are factors in a child’s mental health problems and to ensure this is addressed appropriately in their treatment and care. If they think a child is currently affected they should follow the child protection procedures laid down for their services within their area.

Consultation, supervision and training resources should be available and accessible in each service.

Child and adolescent mental health professionals have a role in the initial assessment process in circumstances where their specific skills and knowledge are helpful. Examples include: children and young people with severe behavioural and emotional disturbance, eating disorders or self harming behaviour; families where there is a perceived high risk of danger; very young children, or where the abused child or abuser has severe communication problems; where the parent or carer fabricate or induce illness; and where multiple victims are involved.

In addition, assessment and treatment services may need to be provided to young people with mental health problems who offend. The assessment of children with significant learning difficulties, a disability, or sensory and communication difficulties, may require the expertise of a specialist learning disability or child and adolescent mental health service.

Child and adolescent mental health services also have a role in the provision of a range of psychiatric and psychological assessment and treatment services for children and families. Services that may be provided, in liaison with social services, include the provision of reports for Court, and direct work with children, parents and families. Services may be provided either within general or specialist multidisciplinary teams, depending upon the severity and complexity of the problem.

In addition, consultation and training may be offered to services in the community including, for example social services, schools, primary health care teams, and nurseries.