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‘Right on your doorstep’ – embedding psychological practice in children’s social care

11 October 2018

In a new approach for children and young people, psychologists are working as part of local authority children and young people’s services, including safeguarding social work teams and those for looked after children and care leavers.

Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust is working with North Yorkshire County Council to place psychologists in the local authority children’s and young people’s team across the age range from 0-25s.  The new initiative has 14 clinicians embedded in teams from early help to residential settings and leaving care.  The psychologists provide consultation and formulation to support frontline staff and can also work directly with the children, young people and their families and carers.

 The service is deliberately designed to be as flexible as possible depending on the needs of the children and young people, seeing them wherever they feel most comfortable, for example at home, school or college

Emma Lonsdale, Clinical Psychologist and Chartered member of the Society, who presented a poster at the Faculty for Children, Young People and their Families (CYPF) Annual Conference yesterday about this innovative service said:

"Being embedded in the children’s social care team gives enormous flexibility in how we can contribute a psychological perspective to our social work colleagues and support children and families.

For example, we can respond to a brief question about an aspect of mental health or attachment-focused therapy, provide consultation on LAC and safeguarding cases and also in real time contribute to the team’s thinking about complex high risk cases as issues develop. In this way we can combine the best of both of our disciplines in the ongoing challenge of supporting families where children are at risk and children who’s trauma histories present difficulties for them, and for those who love and care for them."

The service has been initially funded by the Department for Education’s Partners in Practice Programme (PIPA).

"I'm passionate about PIPA and about practical psychological approaches to help people with shame and trauma. It's so important we work holistically with colleagues in social care and education, the CYPF conference was jam packed with exciting conversations about these topics" continued Ms Lonsdale.

 

 

 

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