https://socialcare.blog.gov.uk/2016/10/27/ncas-2016-a-chance-to-share-perspectives-on-improving-mental-health-support-for-children-and-young-people-in-care/

NCAS 2016: A chance to share perspectives on improving mental health support for children and young people in care

Policy session: Improving the mental health and wellbeing of looked after and adopted children, young people and care leavers

Wednesday 2 November, 3.45 – 4.45pm, Charter 2

Former Association of Directors of Children's Services (ADCS) President Alison O’Sullivan joins psychiatric experts and DH policy colleagues at NCAS 2016 to participate in a session focusing on the mental health and well-being of children in care. She explains why this will be a well-timed opportunity to shine a light on the issue and the work of the expert reference group she now chairs with Professor Peter Fonagy.

Alison O'Sullivan: We all share a passion for finding the right way of improving the help children in care so badly need
Alison O'Sullivan: 'We all share a passion for finding the right way of improving the help children in care so badly need.'

“We formed the expert group over the summer and are delighted to have a very wide range of members reflecting many perspectives. We all share a passion for finding the right way of improving the help children in care so badly need. We are working to a wide definition of children in care and need to consider many aspects – so it's a tall order – we only have eight meetings over 18 months to bring this work together.

And we must make recommendations as well as describing the help that young people should get (an entitlement, if you will). We are all determined to make an impact – none of us want our work to sit on the shelf and not be used!

The work is being supported by the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) and all the workings of the group are available on this website.

We are at an early stage and our focus and approach is still being shaped. So it's a good time to test the beginnings of our work with the well-informed and diverse delegates at NCAS. It's really important to us that we are well connected to the sector – we want contributions and we really need both challenge and feedback as the work goes forward.

It will be great to share our thinking so far for the first time with a wider audience.

And to hear what they think…!"