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St Christopher’s shapes mental health services for children and young people

Colleagues from St Christopher’s London and Isle of Man services have been supporting a project by the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) to find better ways of supporting the mental health and wellbeing of children in care.

SCIE have been commissioned by the government to run a project called “Improving mental health and emotional wellbeing support for children and young people in care”. This is a 15 month project set to conclude in October 2017, where SCIE aim to publish a final model of practice, pathways and quality statements alongside products and events to support providers in delivering the recommendations.

Clare Maud, Wraparound Therapeutic Manager, and East London Regional Manager Pam Robinson both submitted examples of effective practice relating to models of care and / or care pathways to inform the review. Clare focused on the work her team do on the Isle of Man working with children in all types of care placements, whilst Pam gave examples from our Safe Steps children’s homes for girls at risk of exploitation.

All contributors to the call for evidence were invited to the stakeholder event to share learning with other professionals in the sector and hear about SCIE’s progress to date. They listened to other organisation’s views on existing mental health services before hearing three ideas suggested by a panel of young people to improve provisions.

This emphasis on partnership working is something St Christopher’s already does on a daily basis in our work with children and young people, so we are well-equipped to work in this way.

Clare said: “It was great to talk about our Wraparound Therapeutic service and how we connect many systems together, resulting in open lines of communication for Looked After Children. Working with residential, fostering, adoption and aftercare means we can therapeutically follow a child’s journey, which is a key element of the emerging ideas from this event.

“For me the day highlighted how St Christopher’s is forward-thinking in our approaches and implement change ahead of other organisations.”

Four young people from the Isle of Man will be accompanying Clare to a further research day in April so they can share their experiences of mental health services.

Find out more about SCIE’s project and see their next steps.