Trial Mental Health Assessments
The Department for Education has announced that their plans to trial mental health assessments for children entering the care system, delayed due to the election, will get underway in 2018. The scheme will identify a child’s mental health and wellbeing needs and if referral to more specialist services is needed. Current statistics indicate that 50% of all children in care meet the criteria for a possible mental health disorder, compared with one in 10 children outside the care system. The pilot areas, yet to be announced, will benefit from a share of £650,000 to deliver the programme. £150,000 has also been awarded to carry out an independent evaluation to look at the effectiveness and impact of the pilot schemes. The University of Huddersfield is to carry out a survey of 10,000 children and young people across the UK in a major study to investigate whether being a victim of child abuse can lead to mental health problems. Professor Daniel Boduszek, a co-director of the project, has stated ‘We strongly believe that (child abuse and neglect experiences) can link not only to anxiety, depression and self-harm, but also to development of psychopathic traits.’ The UK survey is one of five taking place across the world, with the research team carrying out similar-scale exercises in China, Uganda, Jamaica and India and the team hope to complete their analysis of the 50,000 responses in 2019.
SSS Learning Safeguarding Director