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Children's mental health beyond the Green Paper: the role of practice based evidence

The recommendations as listed below have already been shown to work in practice across a range of real life conditions. Implementation time scales will vary between one and four years and the proposals include:

  • A complete revision of what is considered to be ‘evidence based practice’ taking account of the different ‘hierarchies’ of evidence required for children’s mental health with an emphasis upon practice based evidence and to support the recommendations of the National Audit Office
  • More effective coordination of government departments’ and agencies’ responsibilities by means of a permanent inter-departmental body which will create parity between the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and the Department for Education (DfE). The new body will have a power of co-option
  • Recognition of the need to safeguard children by restricting employment to practitioners who are registered through the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) or Health and Social Professions Council (HCPC). Registrant training must include the collection and use of practice based evidence
  • An extension of the definition of the Children and Young People’s Health Service Data Set (CYPHS) to include all locations that deliver children’s mental health services through the Data Co-ordination Board
  • The extension of responsibility for the children’s mental health workforce development beyond the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to encompass the Department for Education (DfE) and other departments with a demonstrable interest
  • A substantial extension of the range of interventions beyond the current limited compass of behavioural family therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
  • The alignment of learning objectives with practice based evidence as well as to other forms of evidence based practice and a revision and streamlining of training content and evaluation
  • A commissioned authority to ensure the establishment of unified policies and standards for the inspection of children’s mental health
  • A requirement for the Charity Commission to review its rules for Public Service Delivery to ensure that the delivery of services for children’s mental health regular report on the application of funds, the activities and the resulting outcomes are provided
  • The weaknesses displayed in consultations upon children’s mental health and evidence gathering by government departments must be rectified by a more proactive consultation process with the professional organisations involved in working therapeutically with children. The registrants of these organisations should be co-opted into the communication of policy changes and methods of implementation at local level.