Response to the Prime Minister's speech on mental health

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Following the speech today by Prime Minster Theresa May regarding mental health services, Kevin Williams, Chief Executive of The Fostering Network, said: ‘We welcome a focus on mental health services, especially the review of children and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS), as we regularly hear from foster carers who tell us that the children they are looking after cannot get the support from CAMHS that they so desperately need.

‘A recent House of Commons Education Select Committee's recent report, Mental Health and Wellbeing Among Looked After Children highlights the fact that looked after children are four times more likely than their peers in the general population to experience mental health problems but that they face a number of challenges in accessing the appropriate mental health support. It is therefore imperative that this group of children are given a mental health assessment as they come into care. CAMHS is, however, currently crumbling under the weight of demand meaning that there will need to be a significant reinvestment in the service. If the Government wishes, as the Prime Minister stated, to ensure “that children and young people get the help and support they need and deserve”, this must start by ensuring that CAMHS is sufficiently resourced to enable looked after children and young people get the mental health support they need and deserve.

‘Our children are the best investment this Government could ever make both in terms of outcomes for young people and society and in terms of reducing the need for expensive interventions later in life. We therefore welcome the Prime Minister’s speech and would urge the Government to continue to show clear leadership in this area.'