Response to the Report of the Task Force of the Child and Family Agency (CFSA)

The College welcomes the establishment of the Child and Family Support Agency and would welcome the opportunity to work closely with the agency. Members of many College specialties, and in particular the Faculty of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, would like to be involved in development discussions & decisions to ensure the mental health services provided to children now and in the future are of the highest standard.

The College supports the recommendations of A Vision for Change, including the introduction of programmes addressing health promotion and primary prevention early in life, targeted at child populations at risk. The introduction of services within primary care and community care to provide assessment, monitoring and support services for children who are at risk of mental health difficulties or in need of care and protection, is supported.

The College also supports the need to develop clear links between the mental health services and all primary care /community resources, including the Child and Family Support Agency.

However the College does not agree with the proposal that specialist mental health services should be provided by the CFSA.

In order to ensure all children have a right to the enjoyment of the highest standard of mental health care, the College recommends specialist mental health care remains under the remit of the Department of Health and the services continue to be developed as recommended under A Vision for Change. The reasons are contained in this document.