Priority 9: Have a Strong Mission Statement

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A mission statement or charter about the involvement of children and young people in the service is in place, accessible and used to review progress.

In involving young people in this programme, we (and before us Young Minds) look to work to four core principles:

  • Children and young people’s participation is a visible commitment that is properly resourced.
  • Children and young people’s participation is valued.
  • Children and young people have equal opportunity to participate.
  • Children and young people’s participation is supported in the programme and partners organisations by effective policies and systems.

Case study 18: Running the service well in Bexley

Oxleas Foundation Trust has had a Trust ‘PROMISE’ that it displays in services for all care groups except for children’s services for some time. Staff at Bexley CAMHS had wanted to develop a similar promise for children and young people, to outline what they should expect from services and how they can expect to be involved.

They consulted informally with some young adults and parents who have used CAMH services and came up with a draft version. This was shared with professionals who work with children and young people in other settings and the wording was revised slightly, with an emphasis on what children and young people can do if they feel the service is not living up to its promise. The next stage of the process is to have the Promise formatted into a young person-friendly design and displayed in the waiting room and treatment rooms.

This is part of an overall move within Bexley to changing the way young people are experiencing the service, especially the way in which they are involved in their own care. Although the CAMHS Promise is a relatively small and simple thing, it is a fundamental part of this progress. Ideally this is something that will be brought to life by young people’s further involvement – it is a fantastic statement of what the service promises to provide but the main barrier currently is an absence on ongoing opportunities for young people to review it. When this barrier is overcome it will be of benefit to both the service and young people, with the Promise providing guidelines and shared values for the way in which both work together.

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