Young People At-risk (Adolescent At-Risk and Forensic Service team)
The CAMHS Adolescent At-risk & Forensic Service assesses and treats young people who are engaged in, or present significant risk of, serious violence, fire-setting and/or who are at risk of harm or exploitation from others. The service also works with young people who are suicidal or repeatedly self-harm. The team is seen as the ‘end of the road’ and cases referred to us are those who often cannot be helped by local CAMHS teams. We tend to take the most serious or complicated cases including those at risk of gang exploitation, criminal offenders or those with a combination of issues including neurodevelopmental disorders (e.g. autism).
Our clinical work
A lot of the young people we work with are leading, through no fault of their own, very chaotic lives. We know they will often find it difficult to come to the clinic and so often reach out to them in the community. Treatment is tailored to each young person, who is assigned two clinicians. One clinician works with the young person and a second supports the young person’s relationships with parents and guardians, teachers and friends.
We have impressive outcomes with 79 per cent of those seen by the Adolescent At-risk & Forensic Service avoiding repeat offences in the 12 months they are in treatment. By providing an outreach service we retain 76 per cent of young people in treatment and by the end of treatment 79 per cent are engaged in education and 77 per cent report being in a more stable placement. The service has consistently helped the vast majority of young people seen reduce or desist their self-harm behaviours.
Our partnership work
Several of the clinicians in the Adolescent At-risk & Forensic Service also hold academic positions in IoPPN/KCL and so bring together the scientist-practitioner approach in their everyday work. The team and has been successful in gaining a number of significant research grants. Team members have a variety of research interests that are related to the core service and allow for collaboration with external researchers. An example of the collaborative works includes Imagining Futures – a three year ongoing research study working with theatre company Ovalhouse.
Our future vision for children and young people
The service always looking to develop new services to address gaps in provision. It is hoped that these studies will provide evidence for future service developments including a transgender service, VR interventions for high-risk youth, mental health and the arts.
Meet the team
Dr. Duncan Harding