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Wed, 06 Jul 22 11:59

Comment: Mental health of children in care survey

Commenting on a survey on the mental health of children in care in England in 2020 and 2021 Charlotte Ramsden, ADCS President, said:

“We welcome the study’s focus on the mental health of children in care, and the factors associated with improved mental health outcomes in this cohort. These include positive relationships with friends, carers and social workers and being satisfied with the frequency of contact with social workers. Living with a relative or sibling, spending less time on screens and not being excluded from school were also seen to be positive factors. The forthcoming Schools White Paper must have inclusion at its heart, not only is this important for the mental health of children in care but for all children.

“There are some important messages in this report, captured through the surveys of children and young people, I’m sure the findings will be of interest to all those working with and supporting children in care. While the impact of successive lockdowns and ensuing restrictions on children and young people will have varied, we cannot ignore that there is a rising tide of poor mental health amongst children and young people. Most mental health problems begin in childhood so ensuring children get the right help and support at the earliest opportunity is crucial. Over the years much focus has been placed on improving mental health support for children and young people but too many children continue to face long waits to access appropriate help and accessing mental health support for children has long been an issue for children in care - we must do better for them.

“Local authorities are absolutely committed to finding stable, loving homes for the children in our care and recruiting and retaining enough social workers so that we can meet children’s needs, but we need government to support us with this via a nationally led and funded campaign to encourage more social workers into the profession and to want to stay.”


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