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Lincolnshire Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) LN

Location: UK » East Midlands » LN
Sector: Health, Social care

Lincolnshire CAMHS is an NHS service providing mental health assessment, therapy and intervention to children, young people and families.

We see children with a wide range of difficulties including depression, anxiety disorders, eating problems, self harm, and behavioural and developmental difficulties due to previous trauma or abuse.

We are a multidisciplinary team - comprising a mixture of staff from different disciplines, including social work. We have been able to offer medical, psychological and social care-based intervention and support to children and families. This is important because we know that children and adolescents develop mental health difficulties for a wide range of reasons, so they need a wide range of treatments and supports to help them. This could include anything from individual or group therapies, family therapy, medication, in-patient care, parenting courses, or joint work/support between CAMHS and other agencies such as schools.

Sadly, Lincolnshire County Council (LCC) has decided, after more than two decades, to terminate its portion of funding to CAMHS, which means the CAMHS social workers will have to leave the service and be redeployed to vacant posts in LCC Childrens Services. They are due to leave at the end of March.

This will result in a staff loss for CAMHS of around 30% (in some teams, 40% or more), across Lincolnshire. The “social care” aspect of our work will be lost altogether. The years of mental health training and experience built up by social work staff over their years in the service, enabling them to understand and work with children with some of the most complex and challenging difficulties - will probably be wasted.

Our fear for children in Lincolnshire who need mental health services is that this is like taking a step backwards into the distant past - a return to an exclusively “medical” way of assessing and treating mental health difficulties, with services and professionals - who SHOULD be working in a coordinated and integrated way, providing a whole service for a whole child, at a “one stop shop” - separated and fragmented instead.

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