Following assessment we design a package of care around a child which links in with the support currently being provided to the family by other agencies and professionals. To this aim we often take part in, or initiate meetings to plan care and gain the perspectives of others involved with a family (for example, ‘Team Around a Family’ meetings’).
We believe strongly in good inter-agency working.We work directly with children, families and parents, sometimes at our CAMHS base and sometimes in the community (for example, at schools or in the home). We also work indirectly, providing consultation and training to those involved with supporting children and families, to help understand their emotional and behavioural needs better, and to develop strategies that can be implemented consistently to help them progress. This can be on a case-by-case basis, or as support to an organisation.
CNWL provides CAMHS services in the London boroughs of Brent, Harrow, Hillingdon, Kensington & Chelsea, Westminster, and Milton Keynes. Find services
Who can make a referral?
Professionals involved with children and young people, including GPs, teachers, youth workers, educational psychologists, school nurses and social workers can make a referral to CAMHS. Please discuss the referral with the young person and parent or carer first, and get their consent before making the referral. Some CAMHS are able to accept self-referrals.
How to make a referral
If you have concerns about a child or young person’s mental health, contact your local CAMHS to discuss making a referral. Different clinics have different referral processes, however, it is useful to have certain key information when making a referral, including:
- The full name(s) of the child or young person being referred
- The surname of their parent/carer if different from the child or young person
- Date of birth
- Address, including postcode
- Telephone numbers; for young people aged over 16 this should include a mobile phone number (if they have one) so that CAMHS can contact them directly (if appropriate)
- Names and ages of family members
- Name of school
- Name of registered GP
- Other agencies known to be involved (e.g. Connexions, education, social services)
- Significant medical problems/medication
- A brief history of presenting problems, with your opinion of the effect these have on the child and their mental health and his/her family members
- An indication of your opinion of the degree of risk to self or others and to what degree the problem is affecting everyday life for the individual and family
Even if a referral is not appropriate, they may be able to point you in the direction of useful support services for the young person/ family.
It is not possible to give absolute definitions about which children or young people should be referred to CAMHS. CAMHS supports children, young people and families whose social, emotional and behavioural needs are not met by universal services, such as those in the community and primary care.
Contact your local CAMHS to discuss whether a referral is appropriate
What happens after the referral has been made?
New referrals are discussed by CAMHS teams at their weekly referrals meetings. Each referral is prioritised according to the information given in the referral.
The family and referrer are then contacted with information, either about an appointment or alternative next steps. A CAMHS worker may contact you for further information, or to think with you about the best way of engaging the family in an assessment.
If a family or young person’s problems worsen whilst you are waiting to hear the outcome from a referral, please contact the CAMHS team and provide them with an update. In cases where someone’s safety may be at risk, either as a result of self-harm, potential harm to others or child protection issues, please contact the relevant agency immediately and directly (for example, accident and emergency (A&E), police, social care). Please update us if this has happened, but do not wait until you are able to talk to us/ hear the outcome of a referral before taking action.
Routine Outcome Measures
Once a referral has been accepted at CAMHS, we sometimes ask professionals involved in families lives to fill out Routine Outcome Measures. These questionnaires will help us understand families from the professionals’ perspective. They will include questions about difficulties they may have in a particular environment e.g. a teacher may complete them about a child’s behaviour in school. A professional will only be asked if the family give permission for contact to be made.
CAMHS works directly with children, families and the professional network around them, and can provide consultation to professionals in this context on a case-by-case basis.
Training and consultation can also be provided on a broader level to other agencies, such as social care and education. The aim of this work is to support their understanding of emotional and behavioural problems in children, and to develop relevant skills in order to support often very complex work with children and their families.
The type of training and consultation provided depends on local need and so varies across CAMHS. Please contact the manager of your local CAMHS for more information about consultation and training services. Information about some CNWL forthcoming training events is also provided via our Twitter feed.
Alternatively, MindEd provides free e-learning on child and adolescent mental health issues.
St Mary’s Higher Training Scheme in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, London
St-Mary’s Child and Adolescent Psychiatry specialist and higher training scheme is for any psychiatrist wishing to pursue training in this field offers training for psychiatrists wishing to pursue specialist training in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. Find out more on their website.