What Works for Children’s Social Care (WWCSC) and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Service and Delivery Research Programme are pleased to announce a new opportunity for funding and evaluating interventions to improve the quality of care, support and access to services for children and young people with mental health conditions, who have a social worker.
Early childhood and adolescence are critical times when it comes to an individual’s mental health. Experiencing mental illness in childhood can have long-term consequences, including for educational attainment and employment opportunities. Research carried out in the UK and internationally shows that the mental health of children in care is generally poorer than that of their peers. However, there is currently very little evidence on how to best support children and young people with mental health conditions who have, or have had, a social worker, and how their needs might differ from their peers.
In order to improve this evidence base and better support vulnerable children and young people, WWCSC and NIHR will fund the roll-out and evaluation of promising interventions. Both new interventions and expansions of existing programmes will be considered.
WWCSC and NIHR are keen to encourage sector professionals (including, but not limited to, children’s social care professionals in local authorities, CAMHS, other multi-agency partners or third sector providers) and researchers to submit joint applications. Further information about the joint funding opportunity, and the additional support WWCSC is providing to facilitate these collaborations, can be found on the WWCSC website.
The partnership will consider funding applications with a focus on children and young people with mental health conditions that currently have, or previously have had, a social worker. Applications that do not involve children with experience of children’s social care will be considered for funding by NIHR alone.
Louise Jones, Director of Programmes, What Works for Children’s Social Care, said:
“This partnership is an exciting opportunity for us to collaborate with NIHR and to do our utmost to ensure that both funding and research benefits young people who have had a social worker. I’m thrilled to be working with sector professionals, researchers and evaluators in what I’m sure will make a lasting difference. ”
Professor Jo Rycroft Malone, Programme Director and Chair of the Health Services and Delivery Research (HS&DR) Programme, National Institute for Health Research, said:
“Early childhood and adolescence are critical times when it comes to an individual’s mental health and wellbeing, therefore we are delighted to be working with What Works for Children Social Care on such an important area. This is an exciting opportunity for us to share research expertise and knowledge across our organisations.”