Gaps in the identification and understanding of the mental health needs of adopted children and young people were identified by both NHS Eastern Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS South Cheshire CCG. They commissioned a mental health needs assessment to support the development of a greater local knowledge base in order to improve services.
Delivery of the mental health needs assessment was managed by Michael Lloyd Research & Associates and Anne worked with them to deliver journey mapping workshops with strategic stakeholders followed up by service user engagement with seven parents/carers of adopted children and young people.
Issues that emerged included:
Communication and information sharing
- Raise awareness & understanding of the issues of adopted children and young people for example by doing more with teachers.
- Develop a more integrated communications strategy, for example between Cheshire East and the Local Authorities which pass over responsibility for children and young people being adopted into the area and between Cheshire East and adoptive parents.
Promotion of training / learning resources
- Build on good practice, for example an attachment course received positive comments in a recent Ofsted review.
- Promote the basics across all stakeholder groups through, for example 5 minute tips and how to guides.
- Share more detailed monitoring intelligence between service partners and the CCGs and Local Authority.
- Identify and track mental health needs as adopted children and young people move between Local Authority areas.