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New knowledge

Mapping mental health services for looked after children under five in London


A series of studies has identified higher rates of mental health problems among looked after children and the possible benefits of early intervention towards mitigating mental health difficulties as children develop.  The NSPCC commissioned the Social Care Workforce Research Unit to undertake a rapid mapping exercise to look at services in London to complement other research that it had funded.



Research team

Jo Moriarty, Jill Manthorpe, Mary Baginsky (SCWRU), Sarah Gorin and William Baginsky (independent researchers)




Telephone and email interviews with representatives from organisations commissioning or providing mental health services for looked after children in London.


The mapping exercise suggested that there was increasing recognition of the benefits of providing services to this group of children but developments were hampered by historic under investment and funding constraints in children and adolescent mental health services and children’s social care. However, a number of promising developments were identified.


A report of the mapping has been published and other outputs are now in preparation.


Work is taking place on co-ordinating results from this work with other relevant studies that are due to publish shortly.

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