SCIE consultation response: Joint policy review: children and young people (HMT/DfES)
Published: December 2006
SCIE welcomes the HMT/DfES focus on a preventative approach to supporting children and young people. In our response to this call for evidence we have drawn on our work around parental mental health and child welfare to illustrate the importance of early intervention and of a whole family approach.We firmly believe that the needs of the whole family should be viewed separately but also together in the ways that the different needs and behaviours of different family members interrelate and impact on each other. However, specialisation in health and social care services mean that families are not treated as a whole and their interrelatedness is not recognised. This separation has led to a situation where staff in adult mental health services focus on the adult with insufficient attention paid to the adult as a parent and his/her dependent children. Staff in children's services put insufficient emphasis on the mental health needs of parents and the potential adverse impact on children.