Adoption UK welcomes greater emphasis on mental health support for young people

Published: 18.02.16

Young people will be trained to spot the signs of mental health issues in a £1.5 million government funded project.
Adoption UK welcomes greater emphasis on mental health support for young people

Adopted children are significantly over-represented among young people who suffer from mental health issues. Many children who are adopted from care have experienced significant early trauma/loss, often in relation to parental neglect/abuse and this will often present barriers for them socially and when they enter into full time education.

The project will see young people urged to speak out and help the government shape new ‘peer-to-peer’ networks so they can talk openly about mental health and support each other.

Adoption UK’s chief executive, Hugh Thornbery CBE said: “Adopted children’s early experiences can lead to emotional, behavioural, educational and developmental difficulties and indeed impact on their mental health and wellbeing for many years so we are fully supportive of this project.”

Mr Thornbery also welcomes the setting up of a new advisory group which will gather evidence from young people about their experiences and work with schools that are running peer to peer support networks. He urges young people to get involved and tell the government what help they would need to set up peer support networks.

The information gathered through the call for evidence, will be used by the advisory group to develop peer support pilot schemes – setting up projects learning from those that are already doing it well – to inspire other young people.

Adoption UK contributed to the recent NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) consultation on attachment. You can read more about it here.

Mr Thornbery continued: “We hear from our members that their children often struggle to get the support they need through over stretched Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).  The introduction of the Adoption Support Fund in 2015 is now helping adoptive families by funding  therapeutic interventions. But more still needs to be done to ensure CAMHS can be properly accessed to help and support all children with mental health concerns.”

He added: “We have been calling on policy makers across the UK to ensure adopted children have priority access to CAMHS. The services they receive must be appropriate to their needs and delivered by adoption aware professionals and those with experience of trauma.”


The call for evidence has been launched on social media platforms such as Twitter and sites such as Sugarscape to make it easier for young people to get involved.