This is a specialist tier 3 NHS Child and Adolescent Mental Health service (CAMHS) for children with disabilities and emotional/behavioural and mental health concerns. Our work is with children and young people with moderate to profound learning disabilities.
The service based at Hackney Ark is a multidisciplinary team including clinical psychologists, consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist, play specialist, systemic family therapist, child and adolescent psychotherapist, and administrators.
Clinical Psychologists help to understand concerns about behaviour, emotions and learning abilities in children and young people, and enable families to work towards making positive changes. Clinical Psychologists also work as part of diagnostic teams. Clinical Psychologists are trained in a range of assessment, therapeutic and research skills to treat children and adults across the lifespan using evidence based practice.
Child and adolescent Psychiatrist
A child and adolescent psychiatrist is a medical doctor who specialises in the assessment and treatment of conditions that affect children and young people’s behaviour, thinking and emotions. Their knowledge of biological and medical factors, alongside a range psychological, social and other factors, is used to confirm a mental health diagnosis and/or prescribe medication where appropriate.
Child and adolescent Psychotherapist
Child psychotherapists meet with children/young people at regular times and places, giving a safe space and developing a trusting relationship in which they can express their view of the world, through words or actions. Over time, the child/young person is supported to begin to understand their own feelings and behaviour.
Family therapists help those in close relationships to better understand and support each other. They enable family members to express and explore thoughts and emotions safely, understanding each other’s experiences and views. This can help families to appreciate each other’s needs, strengthen resources and work together to make useful changes in their relationships.
The Play specialist at the Ark uses structured play sessions to help children explore their surroundings, and develop skills like social awareness through turn-taking, memory and attention through games and independence and self-esteem through creative tasks. Play Specialists can offer consultations to parents and carers who would like to develop a child’s level of play and interaction. They can also model play skills with parents and siblings, offer play ideas for development and may bring toys to the home, for families to borrow from their Toy Library.
We are open 9am – 5pm weekdays
Pathways and Multi-agency partnership working/Alliance
This integrated service is provided in partnership with Specialist CAMHS, ELFT (East London Foundation Trust).
CAMHS Disability is part of Homerton’s Community CAMHS Service along with First Steps (short term intervention work).