Community Forensic Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service


The Community Forensic Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service is a multi-professional team of Health and Social Care and Justice Professionals. The service has been developed in partnership between the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust and the Youth Justice Agency (YJA).
General Function

• Specialist forensic mental health triage, based on needs, urgency and prioritization, to include advice and signposting and formal consultation to a variety of agencies regarding cases of concern

• Support for local services to enhance delivery of responsive child-centred care in high-risk cases through multiagency care planning and promotion of user engagement in care and wider service provision

• Specialist forensic mental health assessment and intervention in high-risk cases where there is a need for specialist opinion to ensure that young people with high risk are managed in the most appropriate way

• Management and reduction of the potential risks posed by the young person to others and self through clinical risk assessment, development of individualised treatment and risk management plans

• Informing and developing strategic links between mental health services and the youth justice system.

Specific Function

The service is principally a CAMHS Step 5 tertiary referral service. The team will be accessible to a range of agencies (eg. CAMHS, Social Services, Beechcroft, Lakewood, Woodlands JJC, Community YJA services and LAC services) that may have contact with young people experiencing mental health problems and exhibiting risky behaviours. For this reason, initial contacts about possible referrals are welcomed from all agencies.

CAMHS In-Reach into Woodlands JJC

Provision of a comprehensive, multidisciplinary and age appropriate mental health screening, assessment and treatment service to young people admitted to Woodlands Juvenile Justice Centre. This service will be in line with other Step 2/3 Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service in the community. It will operate from 9.00am to 5.00pm, 5 days per week (Monday - Friday) and will not have emergency/on call service as part of its remit.

Wider Strategic Function

• Liaison with locality CAMHS and Community YJA services to promote working arrangements and training relationships

• Forging links with other community FCAMHS within the UK

• Providing support and practical input as required in cases where young people move out of area ( including, but not exclusively where a Hospital Order has been made), facilitating, where appropriate, return from secure custodial, welfare or mental health placements

• Providing professional training for individuals wishing to obtain the necessary experience to work in this area of expertise.

Inclusion Criteria

• Be up to and including 17 years old at the time of referral

• Living in the region of Northern Ireland

• Present with severe disorders of conduct and emotion, neuropsychological deficits or serious mental health problems or where there are legitimate concerns about the existence of such disorders

• The young person is involved in dangerous, high risk behaviours whether they are in contact with the youth justice system or not. This will include behaviours that present a high risk to others such as fire setting, sexual offending, use of weapons, physical assaults.

Referral Process

1. Initial verbal consultation with the team regarding potential referrals is required.
2. The team will make itself accessible to any professional who wishes to make initial contact or enquiries regarding a young person giving cause for concern.
3. The outcome of this initial discussion will result in feedback to the referrer and agreement about further action:
a) No further CFCAMHS input required.
b) Signposting to more appropriate service.
c) Referral appropriate and accepted for further more detailed formal consultation or assessment.
4. Specialist assessment and interventions are only undertaken when absolutely necessary.
5. Referrers will retain overall clinical responsibility for young people they refer and assume case co-ordination role irrespective of level of CFCAMHS involvement.
6. If the referrer is not from a local CAMHS team, the CFCAMHS team will ensure there is discussion of the referral with the young person’s local Step 3 CAMHS team so that there is a clear and joint approach to the referral from relevant mental health providers.
7. Completed documentation to be forwarded on cases where formal consultation and or assessment is requested with clear reasons for referral:

a) Referral Form
b) Case summary
c) Copy of FACE or other risk assessment.