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CAMHS Innovation Programme

Looked After Children’s Pilot Project

Marie Latham Jones

Betsi Cadwadladr University Health Board

It is widely understood that the Mental Health of Looked after Children (LAC) is poorer than that of the general population. The experience of children and young people in care is often fractured, with multiple placement moves, placement breakdown, and interrupted education/changes to schools & interrupted treatment from therapeutic services. This further compounds the young person’s sense of isolation and loneliness. The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on looked-after children, young people’s mental and emotional health and wellbeing, as well as their educational progress, cannot be underestimated. Although children have been less affected by the virus in terms of infection and mortality rates, multiple statutory agencies have raised concerns about lost learning and greater safeguarding risks to this vulnerable group during lockdown. COVID-19 has disrupted practitioners’ relationships with children and families and the longer-term impact on children and young people, is not yet known.

The Project:

To offer Children’s residential care homes mental health training, education and support for young people requiring urgent mental health and social care support in North Wales.

The project’s goal is to provide a core-training programme to a pilot cohort of residential Childrens homes in the BCUHB central area.