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The Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families receives over £850,000 funding to support improvement in voluntary sector services for children and families with mental health problems

The Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families has received £858,628 new strategic development funding from the Department of Health.

The funding will be used to further develop the centre’s work aiming to improve voluntary services for children and young people with mental health problems. The Centre will set up a national collaboration to bring to together voluntary sector organisations, share best-practice, and develop and guide principles to assess the impact of services.

As highlighted in the recent Future in Mind report, the voluntary sector is playing an increasingly important role in supporting the mental health of children and young people. But the impact is often blunted by a lack of co-ordination and collaboration. And many services struggle to keep up to date with and use the most effective and recent evidence-based tools and approaches.

Dr Miranda Wolpert, Director of Service Improvement and Evaluation at the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, said: “In the voluntary sector there are many brilliant and committed individuals and organisations striving to improve mental health care for children and families. This strategic development funding will help us to bring the voluntary sector together so we work in partnership to deliver the step change we really need.”

The Centre believes a step change is needed to radically improve the state of children’s mental health care in England. And this strategic funding will be used to build on the Centre’s existing development work with the voluntary sector. There are four key lines of work:

  • Facilitating virtual and face-to-face skills-based training to share cutting edge practice and support service
  • Building multi-sector partnerships to collaborate and coordinate in line with agreed best practice standards and to work towards shared data infrastructures to support integration
  • Supporting voluntary sector providers to make use of and collaboratively refine best practice tools and approaches
  • Bringing together the expertise of children, young people and families  with that of professionals, to ensure services are built by and for those who use them.

 The funding came from the Department of Health’s Voluntary Sector Investment Programme 2015-16: Innovation, Excellence and Strategic Development Fund (IESD) Fund.

Our project title is: The Anna Freud Centre facilitating the Youth Wellbeing Collaboration.