Mental health service transitions for young people

Planning and practice in transition: Involvement with parents, carers and families

As a general principle, parents and carers should participate in transition planning and follow-up where the young person gives their consent. However, a young person has the right to ask for family members 'not' to be involved and this should be respected as far as possible. Even where a young person does not give consent for information or plans to be shared with family members, it's important to consider how parents, carers and other family members who have anxieties about service transition can be supported. For example, they could be given information about the service the young person 'may' be making a transition to.

Practice examples

  • Leeds has a group of CAMHS and AMHS senior managers who meet every six weeks to review the transitions protocol and to change their practice in response to the views of young people and staff.
  • North Tyneside has developed a local community service centered on the needs of young people and families, with the aim of providing a seamless pathway, especially at points which have traditionally required transition.
  • The transition group in Peterborough meets every two or three months, and involves the early intervention in psychosis service (CAMEO) and the local CAMHS team to ensure the smooth transition of young people under the age of 18 with psychosis or possible psychosis. The teams share a culture of working with families and active engagement of young people. The group is open and has also been attended by youth offending and drug services.
  • The Camden and Islington Early Intervention Service (EIS) invites young people to a service users' group to give feedback. Young people are relieved to meet a professional who can answer some of their questions and provide reassurance and information about illness, treatment and services available in the community. Peer groups can link young people to others with similar experiences. Parents have been given the opportunity to provide feedback to care co-ordinators during regular meetings, as well as through a formal carer's assessment. There has been a carers' support session.