Skip to content
  • General news
  • Media coverage

Centre announces pilot sites for project to improve mental health and wellbeing assessments for children entering care

Nine areas from across England will work with us to pilot new mental health and wellbeing assessments for children entering care.

Following a competitive application process we are delighted to announce nine areas from across England that will work with us to pilot new mental health and wellbeing assessments for children entering care:

  • Brighton & Hove
  • Devon
  • Doncaster
  • London Borough of Merton
  • North Yorkshire
  • North Tyneside
  • Salford
  • Staffordshire
  • West Berkshire

Funded by the Department for Education (DfE), The Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, along with a consortium of partners including Action for Children, Research in Practice and the Child Outcomes Research Consortium (CORC) will work with the nine sites over a period of two years.

Dez Holmes, Director of Research in Practice said:

“The calibre of applications received showed local areas are making great strides towards improving the mental health assessments for children entering care through innovative practices, partnership working, as well as a strong operational and strategic commitment to improving the lives and outcomes of children and young people. Areas selected for this project demonstrated a high level of expertise and commitment to innovation and we are delighted to be working with them on this important project. 

"As the consortium starts working with the selected sites, we look forward to sharing the learning from the pilot with colleagues nationally.”

Sheila Redfern, Head of Service, Specialist Trauma and Maltreatment, Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families said:

“We’re excited to begin working with sites on this important project. A new assessment framework is to be introduced, with the child or young person at the heart of these assessments. The approach will be more relational, include the young person’s carer, and bring together views of those around the child. The aim is to increase awareness of the level of the young person’s mental health needs and create a shared understanding of these needs across the important people in the child’s network.”

The project follows the publication of the Improving mental health support for our children and young people expert group recommendations and the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Green Paper.

The DfE has also commissioned SQW Ltd to undertake an evaluation of the pilots to understand what works, or does not, and what other factors affect outputs and outcomes to improve health assessments.