The COACHES study is a four-year research collaboration which will examine data from over 70,000 young people across two NHS trusts.
The research will be undertaken by the University of Cambridge, Kingston University, King’s College London, the National Children’s Bureau (NCB), the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) and the Care Leavers Association.
At the heart of the project will be qualitative contributions by young people and parents with direct experience of mental health and wellbeing interventions within the social care system, facilitated by the Care Leavers Association.
The role of the National Children’s Bureau will be to connect and engage with policymakers and parliamentarians and share the objectives and findings of the research and provide crucial evidence on what works and what is less effective when it comes to CAMHS interventions with children and young people with social work involvement.
The project partners hope that the research findings could have a significant impact on how social care and mental health services are shaped and delivered to children and young people over the next two decades.
It follows the acknowledgement from the Independent Children’s Social Care Review that mental health is a key issue facing young people who are in or leaving care.
Specifically, the project aims to provide answers to the following questions:
- What factors influenced whether a young person’s referral to CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) is accepted or rejected?
- What CAMHS treatments prove helpful for young people?
- What is the cost effectiveness of these treatments?
- How are young people with social care involvement depicted within CAMHS case notes?
- What are the experiences of young people with social care involvement of their treatment by CAMHS?
The study will look at examples of children and young people with social work involvement in two areas of the UK - South London, and Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.