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Place2Be presents evidence to House of Lords Public Services Committee

This week, Place2Be presented evidence on the role of public services in addressing child vulnerability.

screenshot of video call featuring Catherine Roche and House of Lords representatives

Our Chief Executive, Catherine Roche, joined Lucy Heller, Chief Executive of Ark (Absolute Return for Kids) and David Carney-Haworth OBE and Elisabeth Carney-Haworth OBE, founders of Operation Encompass, to discuss how to help vulnerable children and their families. The session focussed on supporting children and families with their mental health and supporting those at risk of abuse or crime.

The Lords Public Services Committee is a group of 12 Members of the House of Lords. The group considers issues relating to public services, including health and education.

Answering questions from the Committee, we emphasised the importance of:

  • Training and support for school leaders, teachers and school staff, so they have the knowledge and understanding to embed mental health and wellbeing in their school - and can recognise certain behaviours and changes in children;
  • A joined-up approach to supporting vulnerable children and families; with health and education and social care bodies working together;
  • Shifting resources and investment to focus on prevention and early intervention so that specialist services aren’t overwhelmed and we move beyond treatment;
  • A whole-school approach to mental health, which links into specialist services such as NHS CAMHS.
We need a common language across the systems. [This includes] the introduction of a measure of wellbeing across schools – to build an understanding of what we mean by ‘wellbeing’ – so we think about the development of the whole child, not just academic outcomes. Catherine Roche, Chief Executive

The panel also discussed the increasing prevalence of mental health issues among children and young people and the challenges around building the mental health workforce, particularly in relation to meeting targets in the NHS Long Term Plan. Watch the full session here.

Earlier this year, we also presented evidence to the House of Commons Education Committee and Health and Social Care Committee. Read more about our Policy and Public Affairs work.

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