In 2007, the Government commissioned an independent review of child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS). The review (published in November 2008) made 20 recommendations to improve the quality and consistency of services. This is relevant to all practitioners involved in child care/protection work.

A focus of the Government’s response, following the review, is ensuring clarity around what an effective overall local service should look like. The mutual reinforcement of physical and mental health is also emphasised, along with the need for targeted services in early intervention for defined groups of vulnerable children and young people.

The package of support proposed by the Government includes:

  • an enhanced national support programme for practitioners, providers and commissioners, building on the work of the National CAMHS Support Service and related field forces;
  • the allocation of approximately £58 million to support the co-location of health services incorporating mental health provision alongside schools or youth centre type settings through the co-location fund.; and
  • a programme of action to support the workforce, including the announcement of new training support in relation to children with learning disabilities and children at risk of self harming.

The response can be found here.