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Family safeguarding and mental health services for families

Our service

Our aim is to support parents, and adults in parenting roles, when you are struggling with your mood (emotions) and managing your children. These difficulties might also occur alongside experiences of domestic violence and drug and alcohol problems.

To access our service your child or children will be on a Child in Need or a Child Protection Plan and under the Family Safeguarding Service. A referral will be made by the social worker working with your family.

We are a small group of mental health professionals employed by Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

We are:

  • Mental Health Practitioners, Adult Mental Health Nurses and Adult Mental Health Social Workers
  • Clinical Psychologist

Our story

We work with the family safeguarding service as part of a multi-disciplinary team which aims to help families stay together and improve outcomes for children and their families.

The family safeguarding initiative is a project designed to address the needs of the family and uses a motivational approach to assess the risk of harm to children, family members’ capacity to change and to offer interventions to help families find safer ways forward for all family members.

What we offer

We offer assessments to help identify and make sense of the mental health difficulties that you might be experiencing. This will also help us to understand the ways in which:

  •  these difficulties influence your relationships with your children
  • your relationships with your children influence your emotions and the ways you cope

Based on these assessments, we will offer interventions or refer on to other services where these might be more appropriate.

Interventions

We offer a range of mental health interventions and the types of problems we can help address are:

  • anxiety, worry, panic or stress
  • depression, low mood or low self-esteem
  • anger or a tendency to become overwhelmed or have rapid changes in mood
  • traumatic experiences (where threat to life is experienced)

The interventions will be most effective if you have some wish to make changes to how you are currently coping with the stressors in your life and are willing to think about your thoughts, feelings, behaviour and environment.

Mental health practitioners

The mental health practitioners offer the following services:

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy based approaches:
    • behavioural activation
    • graded exposure
    • anxiety management
    • depression management
    • motivation/goal setting
  • relaxation and stress management strategies
  • psychoeducation
  • solution Focussed Brief Therapy
  • emotion management strategies
  • medication management
  • risk assessment
  • comprehensive mental health assessment
  • crisis aversion
  • carer support and education
  • social inclusion
  • consultations and liaison work with other professionals and/or agencies
  • group based interventions
  • health promotion, that is physical health and wellbeing

Clinical psychologist

The clinical psychologist offers psychological assessments and therapy. The assessments are based on helping determine what type of psychological intervention would be most useful to you.

Psychological therapy can be offered on an individual, family and group basis. The following types of therapy can be offered:

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to address, for example, experiences of depression, anxiety, social anxiety, panic, obsessive compulsive symptoms, low self-esteem
  • trauma-focused therapy, where you have experienced traumatic events that are continuing to cause anxiety and distress
  • family therapy, where parental mental health is impacting on family relationships
  • skills to help tolerate distress and regulate emotions, including supporting you with underlying difficulties in expressing and recognising emotions in relationships (for example, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy)

Recording

It is important you are aware that we record a brief summary of our work together both on your personal NHS record and also on the Local Authority records of the child / children you care for and whom are under either a Child in Need or Child Protection Plan.

Resources

The following resources may be useful: