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21st March 2021

We are delighted that the Child Wellbeing Practitioner (CWP) team working in Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service (run by Virgin Care in partnership with Barnardo's) were regional winners for the recent NHS Parliamentary Awards for Excellence in Mental Health Care. The team, who were part of Cohort 4 of the UCL-Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families (AFNCCF) CWP programme, and the PG Cert in Child and Young Persons Psychological Wellbeing Practice, were nominated by Minister for Children and Chelmsford MP, Vicky Ford.

The UCL-AFNCCF CWP programme is part of a national project funded by Health Education England, aimed at developing the CAMH workforce to increase provision of evidence-based interventions for common low intensity difficulties in children and young people (anxiety, low mood and child behaviour problems). In collaboration with King’s College London, the UCL-AFNCCF programme provides training for CWPs across London and the South East, and support for sites as they develop their CWP services. A highly successful collaboration between both Universities, the sites and the trainees, it has grown from strength to strength from its beginnings in 2017.

Evaluation of the CWP programme has found some impressive outcomes, with clear impacts on levels of difficulties reported by young people accessing services, and high levels of satisfaction. A recent audit also illustrated that the programme had been able to reach a wider, more diverse population of children and young people than comparable programmes.

Vicki Curry, CWP Programme Director, said “This NHS Parliamentary Award is a reflection of the creativity and hard work of the CWP trainees, supervisors and service leads in the Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service. It also acknowledges the importance of the CWP role within services and the child mental health workforce, and how the provision of preventative and early intervention makes a difference to the lives of children, young people and their families”.

In further good news, the CWP lead for the Essex service, Rebecca Scott-Williams, also recently completed the PG Cert in Leading Transformation and Change: Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Services (LTC) – a fantastic link to other postgraduate training opportunities at the Centre.

Lesley French and Duncan Law are Joint Programme Directors of this programme aimed at site leads and managers. Lesley said: “The Leadership & Transformation programme trains colleagues in effective leadership in services across all sectors, for managers committed to the delivery of high-quality care for children and young people. Rebecca’s leadership of the CWP workforce and this award reflects both her commitment to service transformation and the main objectives of the course.”

You can find out more about the CWP programme here, and the LTC programme here.

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