Healthy London Partnership > Resource > REPORT: Mental health services for looked after children and care leavers

REPORT: Mental health services for looked after children and care leavers

6th July 2020

This report gives the findings from a survey of mental health services for Looked After Children and Care Leavers undertaken across London by the Healthy London Partnership (HLP) Children and Young People’s Programme. It provides recommendations to support service improvement and highlights areas of best practice.

Looked After Children and Care Leavers are identified within Future in Mind and the NHS Long Term Plan as one of the most vulnerable groups in terms of their emotional wellbeing and mental health. Due to their circumstances, such as the number of placement moves, traditional health services have not always best addressed their needs. The survey was developed to gain a greater understanding of how local authorities and CCGs are developing and transforming services in the context of Future in Mind.

The content of the survey was based on the recommendations from the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) Expert Working Group. 18 questions were developed in line with these recommendations and the main report gives findings against each of these areas, and where appropriate, gives examples of areas of positive practice.

In addition, Looked After Children, Care Leavers and foster carers from a number of local authorities across London provided feedback as to the support they would like to receive from services.

The survey determined is that there is a high level of variation across London in both the extent of the offer that is made to Looked After Children and Care Leavers and in the nature or model of the offer.

A summary of key recommendations directed at CCG’s, Local Authorities and service providers include:

  1. Relevant commissioners should undertake a review of strategic needs assessments to ensure that there is an adequate assessment of need and investment in core and specialist services
  2. Relevant services should develop outcome measures for the wide range of interventions that exist in order to inform effectiveness as well as review the training and support needs of staff.
  3. Opportunities for shared learning should be strengthened as well as should the involvement of CYP and patients in shaping services.
  4. Possibilities of agreements to provide specialist services for children placed out of area should be explored.
  5. The needs of Care Leavers should explicitly be addressed in STP plans for 0-25 services as a high needs group.

Download the full report here

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