Young people in care often cannot live with their family because it is too unsafe. They might not have had enough food to eat or a safe space to sleep. Some might have been abused or seen lots of violence.
Many of these children are struggling with mental health difficulties. One such difficulty is post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). People with PTSD experience symptoms that include “flashbacks” - memories of their trauma that make them feel like they are in danger again, worrying thoughts, difficulty with listening in class, and problems with sleeping. If they don’t get help with these symptoms, they can become worse and more difficult to manage.
We have very good treatments available that research shows can support young people to recover from their PTSD, called trauma-focused cognitive behaviour therapies (CBT). However, at the moment many services do not give this treatment. Our project aims to support young people by advocating for the best, evidence-based treatments. This project aims to work with services who give mental health treatments to children in care to help them look at whether their children have PTSD and, if so, give them the best evidenced treatment.
This project will also help to understand why services might or might not use evidence-based treatments and how this can be changed, to better support young people's mental health.