Collaborations and partnerships are crucial to our research. Our research units and collaborative projects pool expertise around particular priorities or areas of work. We collaborate with academic institutions to carry out research and we partner with national and international organisations committed to improving the mental health and wellbeing of children and families to maximise our impact. Staff at the Anna Freud Centre chair and sit on expert groups and committees seeking to investigate and improve the mental health of children, young people and families and the support available to them.
Our research units and project partners
Child Attachment and Psychological Therapies Research (ChAPTRe)
ChAPTRe focuses particularly on evaluating psychological therapies for children and young people and their parents and carers.
Evidence Based Practice Unit
The Evidence Based Practice Unit conducts research, develops tools, provides training, evaluates interventions and disseminates evidence across four themes: risk, resilience, change and choice.
Child Outcomes Research Consortium (CORC)
CORC is a membership body of organisations and individuals committed to collecting and using evidence to improve support for children and young people. CORC builds and shares expertise about gathering, understanding and using outcome information as part of day-to-day work, research and evaluation.
UK Trauma Council (UKTC)
The UK Trauma Council is the first UK-wide platform bringing together expertise in research, practice, policy and lived experience in the field of childhood trauma.
Working in collaboration
- The National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Children and Families Policy Research Unit (CPRU)
The NIHR Children and Families Policy Research Unit (CPRU) conducts high-quality research to support the development of evidence-based policy that improves the health and wellbeing of children and families.
CPRU has three research themes: early interventions for children and families, responding to vulnerable children and families and long-term conditions and disability.
Professor Jess Deighton, Director of the Evidence Based Practice Unit and Director of the Applied Research and Evaluation Division at the Anna Freud Centre, co-leads the ‘early interventions for children and families’ theme. This theme aims to produce an infrastructure for evaluating early interventions for children and families across the life course.
- The NIHR Mental Health Policy Research Unit (MHPRU)
The NIHR Mental Health Policy Research Unit (MHPRU) at University College London (UCL) and King’s College London (KCL) was established in 2017. Its aim is to help the Department of Health and Social Care, and others involved in developing nationwide plans for mental health services, to make decisions based on good evidence.
The MHPRU makes expert views and evidence available to policymakers in a timely way and carries out research that is directly useful for policy development. It is managed by academics at UCL and KCL in partnership with collaborators from City University, Middlesex University, the Centre for Mental Health and the Mental Elf.
Professor Julian Edbrooke-Childs, Director of the Evidence Based Practice Unit and the Anna Freud Centre’s Head of Evaluation, provides expertise on children and young people’s mental health to the MHPRU and leads a study on research priorities for the role of screen use in young people’s mental health.
- TREATme researcher network
TREATme is building a European researcher network to improve knowledge on individualised psychotherapy treatment for young people with mental health conditions. The network is accumulating research on:
- the specific markers of youth psychotherapy
- the mechanisms of change in youth psychotherapy
- measuring change
- designing relevant studies
- disseminating results and communicating with stakeholders.
The network promotes collaborative funding applications and meets societal challenges related to mental health. It paves the way for the matching of mental health research to the needs of young people in Europe. The network aims to exchange and disseminate knowledge about important factors that improve outcomes in youth psychotherapy, as well as about how to best design studies that can increase knowledge about what works for whom, and how, in psychotherapy with young people.
Professor Julian Edbrooke-Childs (Director of the Evidence Based Practice Unit and the Anna Freud Centre’s Head of Evaluation) leads Working Group 4, which examines how to support young people to be involved in psychotherapy research and interventions. Professor Nick Midgely (Co-director of ChAPTRe) and Nicholas Morgan (Participation Officer at the Anna Freud Centre) are also members of Working Group 4.
- The Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition (CYPMHC)
The Children and young People’s Mental Health Coalition (CYPMHC) brings together leading organisations to speak with a collective voice on behalf of children and young people’s mental health. The Anna Freud Centre is a member of the coalition.
More information on the coalition’s work and current priorities can be found on its website.
- Schools’ Wellbeing Partnership
The Anna Freud Centre is a member of the Schools’ Wellbeing Partnership, hosted by the National Children’s Bureau (NCB). The partnership’s vision is an education system with good mental health and wellbeing at its centre. Its activities include responding to government consultations, producing guidance for schools and reviewing policy and practice developments surrounding mental health and wellbeing. Find out more about the Schools’ Wellbeing Partnership.
- What is the THRIVE Framework?
The THRIVE Framework for system change is an integrated, person-centred and needs-led approach to delivering mental health services for children, young people and their families. It was developed by a team of authors from the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust and the Anna Freud Centre.
The THRIVE Framework provides a set of principles for creating coherent and resource-efficient communities of mental health and wellbeing support for children, young people and families. It aims to talk about mental health and wellbeing help and support in a common language that everyone understands. The framework is needs led – this means that mental health needs are defined by children, young people and their families, alongside professionals, through shared decision-making. Needs are not based on severity, diagnosis or care pathways.
The THRIVE Framework thinks about the mental health and wellbeing needs of children, young people and families through different needs-based groupings: ‘getting advice and signposting’, ‘getting help’, ‘getting more help’, and ‘getting risk support’. Emphasis is placed on prevention and the promotion of mental health and wellbeing across the whole population. Children, young people and their families are empowered through active involvement in decisions about their care, which is fundamental to the approach.
- Who is the THRIVE Framework for?
- All children and young people aged 0–25 within a specified locality.
- All families and carers of children and young people aged 0–25 within a specified locality.
- Professionals in any setting who seek to promote mental health awareness and who help or support children and young people with mental health and wellbeing needs, including those at risk of mental health difficulties.
- The National i-THRIVE Programme
i-THRIVE is the implementation of the THRIVE Framework, translating the principles of the THRIVE Framework into local models of care using an evidence-based approach to implementation.
Sites are supported through implementation via the i-THRIVE Toolkit and the i-THRIVE Academy, a set of learning and development modules created for cross-sector professionals that support children and young people’s mental health. The i-THRIVE Academy modules are in the process of being translated into five e-learning modules. If you would like to find out more about the support offered via the i-THRIVE Toolkit and i-THRIVE Academy, please visit implementingthrive.org or contact the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The i-THRIVE Partnership Board holds strategic oversight of the National i-THRIVE Programme. Leading experts in child mental health include representatives from the Anna Freud Centre, the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice and UCLPartners.
- National i-THRIVE Community of Practice
A core element of the National i-THRIVE Programme is the National i-THRIVE Community of Practice, a community of organisations and local areas that are using the i-THRIVE approach to implement the key principles of the THRIVE Framework. If you are interested in joining the National i-THRIVE Community of Practice or would like to find out more about the support that you can access through it, please contact the team at email@example.com.
- Getting in touch
If you would like to find out more about the THRIVE Framework, visit implementingthrive.org. You can also find us on:
LinkedIn: National i-THRIVE Programme
YouTube: National i-THRIVE Programme