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Parent, carer and professional views of specialist child and adolescent mental health care during the COVID-19 pandemic

Philip John Archard (Philip John Archard and Emma Giles are both based at the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service of Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, Leicester, UK)
Emma Giles (Philip John Archard and Emma Giles are both based at the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service of Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, Leicester, UK)
Isobel Moore (Isobel Moore is based in the Adult Psychology service of Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Derby, UK)
Sewanu Awhangansi (Sewanu Awhangansi is based at the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service of Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, Leicester, UK)
Siobhan Fitzpatrick (Siobhan Fitzpatrick is based at Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology, University College London, London, UK)
Leanne Kulik (Leanne Kulik is based at the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service of Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, Leicester, UK)
Michelle O’Reilly (Michelle O’Reilly is based in the School of Media, Communication and Sociology, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK and the Families, Young People and Children Directorate, Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, Leicester, UK)

Journal of Children's Services

ISSN: 1746-6660

Article publication date: 30 August 2022

Issue publication date: 1 December 2022

60

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report findings from a service evaluation undertaken within a single specialist child and adolescent mental health service (CAMHS) team. The team works closely with local authority children’s services to serve specific populations recognised as experiencing higher levels of mental health need, including children living in alternative care and with adoptive families. The evaluation sought to better understand the experience of this provision during the COVID-19 pandemic and concomitant increase in remote and digitally mediated care delivery.

Design/methodology/approach

Analysis of the accounts of 38 parents, carers and professionals involved with the team gathered via telephone interviews and email and postal questionnaires.

Findings

Similar views were expressed from participants involved with the team before and following the onset of the pandemic. Overall, satisfaction was high; however, changes in care appeared more challenging for those already involved with the team before the pandemic. Differences in experience between groups were also evident. Whereas foster carers’ accounts were generally appreciative of the involvement of clinicians, particularly regarding clinician–patient relationships, amongst adoptive parents and members of children’s birth families there were more mixed and negative impressions.

Originality/value

Locally based service evaluations can help inform care pathway planning in specialist CAMHS provision as part of wider quality improvement initiatives. This is especially relevant considering the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic and as the longer-term acceptability of remote working practices is appraised.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The service evaluation reported received no specific grant from any funding agency, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

Citation

Archard, P.J., Giles, E., Moore, I., Awhangansi, S., Fitzpatrick, S., Kulik, L. and O’Reilly, M. (2022), "Parent, carer and professional views of specialist child and adolescent mental health care during the COVID-19 pandemic", Journal of Children's Services, Vol. 17 No. 4, pp. 251-264. https://doi.org/10.1108/JCS-09-2021-0036

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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