Families that have alcohol and mental health problems: a template for partnership working

Example from practice 1: Give instructions and requirements

Instructions and requirements about role and task tackle the "where does my job end?” anxiety that many workers face. The examples in this section aim to make the unfamiliar more familiar and clarify individual and agency responsibilities.

Any assessment of a patient should always take account of whether he or she has children or otherwise has significant contact with children…. Standard questions to be asked of every patient: Do you have any children or have you ever had children? Do you care for/look after or have contact with any children?

County of Nottinghamshire and City of Nottingham ACPCs Mental Health and Child Protection-Practice Guidance for Assessment

Joint working protocol: mental health and child care: All records should show all workers and services involved with any member of a mental health client’s family who is under 18 years old. Children’s records should show the involvement of the mental health services

Hampshire, Portsmouth and Southampton SSDs and relevant Health Trusts

The goal is to determine whether there is the need to refer to Social Services Children’s services team due to child protection concerns, and if not, how the parent can be assisted and supported so that other identified needs in the child can be met. Unless child protection concerns are evident, an assessment can be paced over several contacts with an initial outcome from the assessment being reached normally within a month.

Bournemouth, Dorset, Poole ACPCs and Dorset Drug Action team Inter-agency child protection policy and practice guidance

Some protocols had flow charts giving a quick and useful alternative to text. The example shown is Camden’s joint service protocol, which has been adopted by anumber of agencies.

Camden Joint Service Protocol for Children and Families Affected by Mental Illness

Figure 1: A Model of Referral/Initial Response for Children and Families Affected by Mental Illness.

Flowchart: Figure 1: A Model of Referral/Initial Response for Children & Families Affected by Mental Illness

Figure 2: A Model of Assessment and Care Planning for Children and Families Affected by Mental Illness.

Flowchart: Figure 2: A Model of Assessment and Care Planning for Children and Families Affected by Mental Illness.

Figure 3: Assessment and Care Planning: Levels of Intervention.

Referral/Assessment Along Continuum of Need Response/Assessment and Care Planning
Urgent: Acute Concerns: explicit child protection concerns and/or mental health emergency. Urgent Needs: At the most urgent or severe level of need, there should be a conjoint assessment by both children and families and mental health workers working together closely. Plans should be developed together and reviewed jointly.
Significant: Parenting or Mental health Concerns: care of children causes concern but does not require urgent child protection response and/or parental mental health is cause for concern but does not require urgent assessment. Significant Needs: Children and families and mental health workers should make separate assessments of need but work together to formulate care plans with the family.
Concerning: is sue s about Parenting/Mental health: there is a need for support to the family and/or for mental health service support for the parent. Concerning: Either children or families or mental health services could assess needs and provide support either family support services (such as day care) and/or supportive mental health services (such as counselling).
Coping: Self-Supported Families. There is no concern about the welfare of children and parent is managing own mental health with family and primary care support. Coping: These are parents with mental health problems who are able to function adequately and to care appropriately supported by universal and primary care services as well as family.