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Emotional wellbeing in children and young people

A range of organisations currently support children across Staffordshire with their mental health and emotional wellbeing. 

From 1 April 2020, this will change and support will be provided by one organisation called Action for Children. 

Action for Children will focus on providing early help so that children are supported to be well and so that any challenges they face do not get worse.

By having one organisation support Staffordshire’s children with early help, the same type and quality of support will be available wherever they live in the county.

Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and specialist autism services will still be there to support those children who need more intensive support.

What’s more, families and professionals will find it easier to understand the support available and to access it.

What is changing?

A range of organisations currently support children across the county with their emotional health and wellbeing and these contracts are coming to a natural end.

The county council, in partnership with Staffordshire’s Clinical Commissioning Groups have recently awarded the contract for future provision to an organisation called Action for Children.

This means that from 1 April 2020, Action for Children will be supporting Staffordshire’s children with their emotional and mental health.

Who will be providing the new service?

Action for Children will provide the service from 1 April 2020.

Why are services changing?

A range of organisations currently support children across the county with their emotional health and wellbeing and these contracts are coming to a natural end in March 2020.

By commissioning Action for Children to support children across the county, rather than several smaller organisations, children and young people will receive the same type and quality of support wherever they live in the county.

Families and professionals will also find it easier to understand the support available and to access it.

Who are Action for Children?

Action for Children offer a wide range of support around mental health and have a dedicated, experienced team of expert staff. 

Helping more than 386,000 children and young people in the UK each year, they protect, support and provide practical and emotional care. 

They also ensure children and young people’s voices are heard and campaign to bring lasting improvements to their lives.

Here in Staffordshire they will be delivering a new emotional health and wellbeing service for children and young people from April 2020.

When will the service begin?  

From the 1 of April Action for Children will begin support children and young people’s emotional health and wellbeing across the county.  

What will the service offer?

Some of the support offered by Action for Children is face-to-face and some will be through a new digital e-therapy service, depending on the type of support a family needs.

In particular, they will offer a range of therapies and intervention programmes, peer support groups, a digital support platform via a web page and an e-therapy support programme from SilverCloud for those aged 11 year plus.

Who can access the service?

Children and young people living in Staffordshire between the ages of 5-18 years (up until their nineteenth birthday).

Children who are Looked After, previously Looked After and/or have an Education Health and Care Plan will have the option to access the service until their twenty fifth birthday.

If I’m currently receiving counselling or therapy what will happen? 

The key thing to know is that if a child or young person needs support, they will get it.

For many children who are currently receiving counselling or therapy, the support they need will be completed before Action for Children launch their new service in April.

A small number of children may need longer term support and with the permission of their parents or carers, their support will be transferred to Action for Children. 

A letter has been sent to parents and carers of children currently receiving support (163 KB). 

We have written to the parents and carers of young people who currently receive support to let them know about the change, help them understand what it means for them and reassure them that those who need ongoing support will be welcomed by the Action for Children team.

If you feel that you or someone you care for may need ongoing support from Action for Children then you or your parent/carer will need to consent to your information being shared with them. We cannot pass information on without your permission. 

Who do I give consent to if I am happy for my details to be shared with Action for Children? 

It is important that you give written or verbal consent to the organisation that is currently holding your information or is supporting you.  They will not pass information on to Action for Children without your permission to do so. 

What is the referral process?

Our aim is for one referral form to be in place for the new service and one assessment process.  This is currently being developed. 

Can people be re-referred if they have had support from another service?

Yes, if you have had support from someone or somewhere else you could still be supported by Action for Children. 

Is there a waiting list?

Action for Children will offer an assessment for children who are currently waiting for support so that they can get the help they need.

We have written to the parents and carers of young people who are waiting to let them know about the change and to ask for their permission to share their information with Action for Children so that they can get in touch as soon as possible. 

A letter was sent to parents and carers of children waiting for an assessment (178 KB)

If I’ve got any further questions who can I contact to find out more?

In the first instance you can contact:

Sarah Newton (Commissioning Officer – SCC)

Sarah.newton@staffordshire.gov.uk

Josephine Bullock (Strategic Commissioning Manager for the CCGs) –

Josephine.bullock@northstaffs.nhs.uk

As we get closer to the launch of the new service we will provide further details.

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