Delivering psychological services for children, young people and families with complex social care needs



  • Services for children and young people within the social care system must also provide support to these children’s carers to be effective as most therapeutic change comes within their relationships.
  • Services should focus on promoting the carer’s understanding of the impact of complex developmental trauma on young people and their own ability to manage and respond to this in a skilled and attuned manner.
  • Barriers should be removed to young people accessing support from CAMHS and other Tier 2/3 provision and consideration given to how difficult access can be for young people in the looked after system. Specialist support is also required.
  • Issues of cross sector or cross border funding should be planned for to avoid unnecessary delays in accessing local services for young people placed far from their area of origin.
  • Services should be proactive – offering support and training as standard in order to try to prevent crises leading to placement breakdown.
  • More robust evidence in relation to interventions for this population needs to be developed.
  • Formulations need to take into account the multiple interwoven neurodevelopmental, biological, psychological and social factors that impact upon these young people, and offer more than just ‘good enough’ placements and sporadic therapeutic input determined by what is available in the locality.
  • The health economic case indicates that investing in these young people during childhood pays dividends in adulthood, and these services require much greater investment in the future.

Publisher: The British Psychological Society

Date: 2015

Editors: Julia Faulconbridge, Duncan Law & Amanda Laffan

Journal: Child & Family Psychology Review

Volume: Summer

Issue: 3

Page(s): 119-129

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