Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)

Health and Wellbeing Team Co-ordinator

Our Health and Wellbeing Team Co-ordinator oversees the day-to-day running of the Health and Wellbeing services within the home, working closely with the Principal Clinical Psychologist to ensure consistent, high-quality care delivered within an integrated framework of clinical governance.

Principal Clinical Psychologist and Clinical Lead

Our Principal Clinical Psychologist works four days a week and oversees the therapeutic services across the home, while working closely with the Senior Management Team in implementing the therapeutic ethos and vision for the home. In addition, the Clinical Psychologist provides Clinical Supervision to the CAMHS team and has a pivotal role in promoting staff wellbeing across the home.

Our Clinical Psychologist has significant experience in neuro and learning disabilities and so will often take the lead in assessing young people where this is a concern. They are able to offer some psychometric assessment, where this is indicated.

Our Clinical Psychologist works closely with colleagues across Health, Care and Education to ensure we have a well-rounded, holistic approach to young people’s care that is founded on excellent communication with all the professionals in the home.

Consultant Psychiatrist

We have a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist who works at Atkinson one day a week and is able to provide excellent clinical support to the CAMHS team. He oversees the case management of all the young people in our care and offers diagnostic and clinical advice in order to support and guide the professionals who are caring for the children daily.

Advanced CAMHS practitioners

Our two advanced CAMHS practitioners (one full-time, one three days a week) both have extensive experience of working with young people in care who have experienced both developmental and acute trauma, and who present with a range of mental health difficulties. They can assess, formulate and deliver psychological interventions, both directly with young people and their families and indirectly through their Care and Education colleagues.

They facilitate team formulation meetings, helping the wider system understand each young person’s story and the impact that it has on their day-to-day functioning. In understanding the story and in making sense of their behaviour, we can promote empathy and emotional attunement as well as improve resilience amongst the staff team.

Speech and language therapy

Our Speech and Language Therapist aims to meet with every young person who comes into the home in order to undertake basic screening and to develop a ‘Communication Passport’, which young people can use to inform others of their strengths and needs.

Atkinson works under the assumption that most young people who stay with us have some form of communication need, which can be a significant factor in their overall development and impacts how young people make decisions and contribute to society. As such, our Speech and Language Therapist works across the home to promote a ‘communication friendly’ environment.

All staff have received training in order to increase their awareness of speech and language needs and how to put in place basic interventions to improve communication.

Our Speech and Language Therapist is also able to offer more in-depth assessment on a case-by-case basis if this is indicated.

Occupational therapy

Our Occupational Therapists (OTs) work with the young people alongside their key people at the home. They aim to help young people understand how they experience different sensations and manage their bodies and emotions, while learning about the things they can do that help them feel ‘just right’. 

They also support young people in thinking about things that they can do to help them with everyday activities, such as getting to sleep and supporting learning in school.

In addition, our OTs support staff wellbeing, which we recognise as an important part of therapeutic parenting.  When our staff team are well regulated, they are better able to support the complex needs of the young people in the home.  

Strategies utilising regulation and co-regulation approaches are explored, discussed and identified as part of the whole teams’ needs. This is at an individual and wider team level, recognising the influence and impact of working with young people who have a history of complex developmental trauma.

Exploitation work

We recognise that many of our young people have experienced exploitation in the community, which can be a significant part of their risk profile. Atkinson has a Barnardos worker who works both directly with young people and in-directly through the staff team.

Young people are helped to explore their understanding of healthy and unhealthy relationships and patterns of grooming behaviour, leading to a greater insight into their own risk behaviours.

All our residential support workers have received awareness-raising training on child sexual exploitation and training in resources to use with young people to help them explore this difficult topic.

Substance misuse work

Many of our young people have a history of misusing substances, which again can be a significant part of their risk profile. Our Y-SMART workers visit Atkinson at least twice a week and work with young people individually as well as in-directly through the staff team, focusing primarily on assessment, psycho education and harm minimisation. In addition, Y-SMART provides group psycho education sessions in school when required.

All our residential support workers have received awareness-raising training on substance misuse.


Young people have access to a GP twice a week through our drop-in clinic and have the choice of a male or female GP.

Our lead GP also attends our monthly Health and Wellbeing Team Meeting, which helps to ensure integrated care planning around our young people’s physical health needs.


Our nurse works in the home three days a week, helping to support the physical and sexual health needs of the young people in the home. They liaise with external health providers and support the care planning process. They offer both individual and group sessions, as needed.