Championing the interface between mental health and child protection: evaluation of a service initiative to improve joint working in Northern Ireland

Gavin Davidson, Joe Duffy, Liz Barry, Patsy Curry, Eithne Darragh, Judith Lees

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The importance of establishing effective interagency working between adult mental health services and child care services in order to safeguard children has been repeatedly identified by research, policy, inquiries and inspection reports. This article reports on the evaluation of an initiative in one Health and Social Care Trust in Northern Ireland that aimed to facilitate joint working and so improve service provision and protection for children and families. The Champions Initiative involved identifying a champion in each multi-disciplinary community mental health team and in each family and child care team who would have responsibility for providing information, promoting joint working and identifying any obstacles to better co-operation. The evaluation of this initiative assessed levels of experience, training, confidence, understanding and awareness in the Champions and their team members at baseline. The Champions and their Team Leaders were then followed-up after six months to obtain their qualitative views of the impact of the initiative. The results include comparisons between mental health and child care staff, and crucially, views about whether the initiative has had any impact on working together. This study also generated recommendations for further service development in this complex and important area of practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-172
Number of pages16
JournalChild Abuse Review
Volume21
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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