4.1.4 CAMHS


  1. Roles and Responsibilities of Carmen Team
  2. Pathways to Other CAMHS Teams
  3. How Carmen Works With Young People
  4. Referrals of a Named Young Person
  5. How Carmen Works With Carers and Professionals
  6. Audit and Evaluation

1. Roles and Responsibilities of Carmen Team

The Carmen Team (Carmen) is a designated Child and Adolescent Mental Health team (CAMHS).

It works with young people living in Walsall who are aged under 17 where there are concerns regarding their emotional and psychological wellbeing and mental health and are 

  1. Looked After by Walsall Social Care and Supported Housing and are placed in residential, foster care, or are placed at home with family/friends
  2. are on Walsall's Record of Children with a Child Protection Plan 
  3. are in a pre-adoption or adoption placements in Walsall and experiencing difficulties that are linked to their pre-adoption history. 

CARMEN also has a preventative, advisory and teaching role. It aims to contribute to an increased understanding of the mental health needs of young people within its remit in Walsall.

2. Pathways to Other CAMHS Teams 

Carmen has strong links with other CAMHS professionals in Walsall including child psychotherapists, family therapists, psychiatrists and psychologists. It is able to joint work or onward refer to these specialisms. When necessary, specialist (Tier 4) residential in-patient services may be accessed via the psychiatry team.

3. How Carmen Works With Young People 

To ensure the most appropriate service for a young person, Carmen is able to offer a consultation to the referrer and other relevant professionals. See Section 5, How Carmen Works with Carers and Professionals.

An assessment may then be undertaken to determine a young person's mental health and therapeutic needs.

Appropriate therapeutic work may then be offered, including: art psychotherapy, attachment reparation work, child psychotherapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, systemic family therapy, parent/carer work, post-abuse therapy, psychiatry, psychodynamic and person-centred therapeutic work and therapeutic play.

In complex cases, more than one CARMEN practitioner or other CAMHS practitioner may work with the young person and their family.

4. Referrals of a Named Young Person 

4.1 Who may refer

Referrals of young people Looked After by the Local Authority need to be made by the young person's social worker or by another professional with the agreement of the social worker. Young people in adoptive placements may be referred by their GP, paediatrician, or the Children's Services Adoption Support Team.

4.2 How to refer

All referrals for CARMEN should be addressed to Walsall CAMHS, Ablewell House, 30 Birmingham Road, Walsall, WS1 2LT.

When referring to CARMEN the following information is needed:

  • current mental health concerns
  • history of concerns
  • early history of young person
  • chronology, including placement chronology when relevant
  • any assessments already undertaken, including Single Assessments
  • whether referral to other therapeutic teams/agencies has been made

4.3 Appropriateness of referral

If in doubt about the appropriateness of a referral to CARMEN, the referrer may request a face-to-face or telephone consultation. (See Section 5.1 below)

In respect of older young people who might prefer a non-referral-based service they may be advised to contact a walk-in counselling service such as operates at Walkways or Electric Palace. 

Where a young person may not be able to access therapeutic work, due to their age, instability or placement situation, it may be possible to target intervention to the carer.

Where a young person is on the Record of Children with a Child Protection Plan a consultation only is likely to be offered until the Single Assessment has been undertaken unless a young person's mental health is of grave concern.

Carmen regrets that it is not able to undertake direct work with a young person placed outside the borough of Walsall unless:

  1. the placement is temporary and accessible to Walsall or
  2. the young person was living in Walsall when the work was begun and the placement is accessible. 

Where young people are placed or about to be placed outside Walsall, CARMEN may be able to offer advice about placement needs and local CAMHS services. 

Carmen practitioners are not able to undertake mental health assessments for court proceedings, or other stand-alone assessments, including assessments of risk of abusers or mental health of carers

4.4 Waiting Lists

Carmen operates a waiting list system, prioritising according to the severity of mental health needs, age and placement needs of an individual young person. Where a young person is on the CARMEN waiting list a professional working or caring for a young person may request a consultation in order to seek advice about management of their mental health needs.

5. How Carmen Works With Carers and Professionals 

5.1 Consultations/Advice

  1. Face-to-face consultations with referrers and other related professionals 

    A referrer and/or other relevant professionals will be offered a consultation when a young person is first referred to Carmen or is on the waiting list in the following circumstances:
  2. Telephone consultations with referrers and related professionals

    Carmen practitioners may be consulted by phone where advice is sought about:
    • the appropriateness of a referral,
    • how to refer a young person out of borough,
    • management of a particular young person or care situation
    • the therapeutic needs of a young person
    • the placement needs of a young person
    • available non statutory services
    • how to manage a situation when a young person is on a CARMEN waiting list
  3. Consultations/advice to residential units

    Carmen practitioners offer regular consultations to the staff and managers of residential units in order to promote the mental health of the young people, make recommendations about their care, support staff and contribute to training.
  4. Consultations/advice to foster carers and related professionals

    Carmen offers consultations and support to foster carers about the emotional needs of the young people in their care and the parallel emotional impact on themselves. This may be relative to one or more referred young person in their care where the young person's emotional needs are complex, contributing to the instability of the placement, or the placement is transitional. Carmen practitioners also contribute to the training of foster carers via group work, induction and child protection training.
  5. Consultations/advice to adoptive carers and related professionals

5.2 Networking

Carmen has links with relevant and/or designated Children's Services, health and education personnel, teams and voluntary and statutory organisation. It works at both a strategic and a practice level to ensure a holistic service that prioritises the mental health of young people who are looked after, on the Record of Children with a Child Protection Plan or adopted.

5.3 Direct Teaching

Carmen shares with Walsall's Primary Care CAMHS team an educative role towards foster carers, residential workers, social workers and other Tier l professionals relative to the mental health needs of young people

6. Audit and Evaluation

CARMEN follows the audit and evaluation procedures of Walsall CAMHS and the Walsall CCG, and seeks to develop evaluation and audit methods and outcomes relative to the specific needs of its user group.