How can services be improved to effectively address the mental health of vulnerable children and young people?

Victoria Lidchi & Andy Wiener - Child Abuse & Neglect


This discussion article describes a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) in the United Kingdom developed to meet the mental health needs of children and young people particularly those vulnerable children and young people at risk of actual or potential harm through child abuse and neglect, but may not be therapy ready. The aim was to improve the level of access to CAMHS for vulnerable groups and the quality and effectiveness of services for children, young people and their families.The model of service delivery is underpinned by the THRIVE Framework for System Change (THRIVE) which builds on the resilience of families and the skills of the workers who have the closest relationships with them. The article describes how a redesign was accomplished in the London Borough of Camden between 2016- 2018 to do this. Qualitative evidence of the positive impact of the changes for service users and key workers and quantitative evidence of the increased service capacity are presented. Challenges and opportunities provided by the new service model are discussed