Think child, think parent, think family: a guide to parental mental health and child welfare

A strategic approach

  1. A multi-agency-led review and development of services.
  2. Senior-level commitment to a strategic review and implementation of new policy and practice.
  3. Training and development of the workforce.

Multi-agency-led review

Implementing these recommendations requires more interagency working, joined-up services and pooling of resources. We therefore recommend conducting a multi-agency, strategic review that involves:

Children's Trusts and local commissioners of adult mental health services are well placed to initiate, manage, monitor and report on the development and implementation of a strategy. They will need to take the lead in coordinating and managing change.

Senior level commitment

There needs to be support from the top of organisations so that these changes become a 'must do' rather than an optional extra. Staff have found that the absence of a 'must do' incentive or lever centrally and locally has contributed to the difficulties in mainstreaming family-focused protocols.

Specific organisation or management targets are also necessary for these changes to become a priority for mainstream practice. Embedding the changes in culture and practice requires strong leadership and high-quality management. Managers and supervisors have a responsibility to ensure that the changes happen in practice by:

We therefore recommend that:

Workforce development

Frontline managers and supervisors in all services are in a unique and important position to develop and lead practice change within and across services, but investment is needed in training and staff development before these roles can be used to their best advantage. There appears to be a need for training, particularly joint training, in this area.

We therefore recommend that in terms of professional qualifications:

In terms of continuing professional development we recommend that: