Agenda item

Children and Adolescent Mental Health Support - Children Looked After

Report of the Chair requesting that the Panel considers the appended briefing paper on mental health support for children and adolescents in Southampton and discusses the content with the invited guests.


The Panel considered the report of the Chair of the Children and Families Scrutiny Panel, which recommended that the Panel considered the appended briefing paper on mental health support for children and adolescents in Southampton and discussed the content with the invited guests.


Robert Henderson, Executive Director of Children and Learning, Southampton City Council; Alasdair Snell, Operations Director, Child and Family Services West - Solent NHS Trust; and Chantal Homan, Service and Quality Manager, Solent NHS Trust were present and, with the consent of the Chair, addressed the Panel.


In discussions with the officers, the Panel noted the following:

·  Factors which influenced the higher rate of mental health needs in the City were the high level of deprivation and the high level of domestic abuse in the City.

·  Children needed services that delivered more than just the Children and Adolescent Mental Health Support Service (CAMHS) and investment in strong partnership working was required.

·  The I-Thrive framework was a national approach looking at the whole system of intervention to provide a forum to look at what role everyone can play in the prevention and early promotion of mental health and well-being.

·  Mental Health and Wellbeing services had been developed to include a broader range of pathways for support in addition the specialist support of the CAMHS service, which included Mental Health Support Teams in schools, a specialist Building Resilience and Strength service and workshops with parents and carers to encourage them to think about how they can support young people and family outreach services as research had shown that intervention was most effective when the whole family received support.

·  The Mental Health Support Teams in Schools would cover 90% of the whole city’s school and college population by January 2022, their mandate would be to promote a whole school approach to mental health and increase the tool kit for teachers through a solution focussed reflective forum.

·  Autism and ADHD required more that just a CAMHS assessment and support service.  Pathways had been streamlined to make them more effective at getting the right support to children based on need, by reinforcing the focus on early intervention and providing schools with the level of expertise to provide support early and prevent the needs from escalating.

·  There had been investment in dedicated resources for meeting the emotional and mental health needs of children who are looked after, this included staff in specialist CAMHS teams dedicated to working with Looked After Children as well as specialist CAMHS practitioners based within the Children’s Services Teams.

·  There were also workstreams to:

o   develop a Shared Training and Assessment for Wellbeing (STrAWB) initiative,

o  review the consultation model to ensure the service was accessible to teachers, carers, social workers, and children alike

o  develop an emphasis around emotional and mental health with children and families in Strength and Difficulties Questionnaires that were used in assessments by Children’s Services.

o  develop a digital offer for self-lead support


RESOLVED: That, reflecting the overview of the innovative STrAWB initiative that was referenced in the Virtual Headteachers Annual report, the Panel requested details relating to how this initiative would work with other services that support the mental health of Southampton’s care experienced children and young people.



Supporting documents: