This protocol is for Research Question 1 (RQ1) of a rapid evidence review that has been commissioned by WWCSC into mental health provision and interventions for care leavers.
Care-experienced young people (CEYP) are disproportionately affected by mental health difficulties than their non-care experienced peers. Although there is no current prevalence data from a nationally representative sample of those who have ‘aged out’ from care, data is available for children currently in care, with recent estimates suggesting an eight-fold increase in diagnosable-level mental health problems than the general population.
Research has found the support for the emotional wellbeing of care-experienced young people (CEYP) is inconsistent and insufficient. With a transition out of care, young people have found that they are no longer eligible for support from mental health services, despite research showing a clear deterioration in mental health in their first year of leaving care. Over the last decade, there has also been an emergence of co-designed innovations in youth mental health care, including services which span a transitional age range from approximately 12-25 years.
This review will identify programs and interventions that seek to improve mental health outcomes amongst CEYP that have been tested using robust controlled methods. Primary outcomes of interest are mental health outcomes, mental health symptoms and mental health service use.
The primary research question for this review will be:
- What is the impact of interventions for care-experienced young people (CEYP) on their mental health in high-income countries?
Secondary research questions are:
- What is the impact of mental health interventions for CEYP?
- What is the evidence on the effectiveness of targeted services compared to universal services?
This protocol contains references to subject matters such as self-harm and suicide which some readers may find distressing.
This review will be completed by October 2022.