Our work

Early intervention and prevention

The National Workforce Centre for Child Mental Health recognises that the best way to support infant and child mental health is through early intervention and prevention. To do this, our focus is on building the capacity and strength of our workforce so that professionals can better support parents to support the mental health outcomes of infants and children.

There is substantial research documenting the association between adult problems and poor outcomes for children. Parental alcohol and substance misuse, mental health problems, family violence and homelessness are commonly described as ‘key risk factors’ for child mental health. Therefore it is important to engage the workforce to influence attitudes and beliefs about child mental health by building understanding of the impact of adult problems on parenting, the parent-child relationship and the mental health outcomes for infants and children.

The aim will be to engage with organisations to promote quality improvement strategies so that parenting practices can be enhanced, infant and child mental health supported and the effects of trauma and harm reduced.

By nominating your interest you will be linked with a Child Mental Health Workforce Consultant who will support your organisation to gauge readiness and to develop action plans to enhance organisational practice to support mental health outcomes of children (0 to 12 years). Free online training and development will be enhanced through the delivery of face to face workshops and workforce development support.

State and regional support and collaboration

The individual needs of adults can dominate a service response; so attending to the experience of adults as parents and to the needs of children requires deliberate attention and effort at all stages of intervention whether the entry point is an adult focused service or a child focused service. To support these changes the National Workforce Centre will have small teams of Child Mental Health Workforce Consultants to work at a state and regional level to support the uptake and implementation of the workforce development learning products and resources from the National Workforce Centre for Child Mental Health.

This will involve building and supporting an organisational and workplace culture to embrace a range of practices and attitudes that aim to keep ‘child mental health in mind’. The development of high level relationships with Primary Health Networks (PHNs), key stakeholders and organisations engaged in the delivery of services to children (0 to 12 years) and/or their parents/guardians will be a key feature.

Child Mental Health Workforce Consultants can:

  • engage with key state/regional based stakeholders and/or organisations delivering clinical and non-clinical services to infants, children (0 to 12 years) and/or their parents/guardians.
  • provide advice to mental health and child/family welfare initiatives and other major state/regional based stakeholders regarding quality workforce development in the field of promotion, prevention and early intervention as it relates to the mental health of infants and children including how parents/guardians can effectively care for their children.
  • provide innovative and interactive scaffolded learning and development though face to face training and support.
  • identify and implement opportunities for integrated workforce development planning and delivery including organisational, systems change and continuous quality improvement.
  • support the development of a sound implementation strategy that can promote organisations to keep the mental health of infants and children in mind, where early intervention and prevention strategies (supporting families when problems or vulnerabilities first emerge, to strengthen parenting and therefore supporting the needs of children) are strengthened using evidence based interventions.

If you are keen to collaborate or would like to find out more, get in touch via the Contact Us form below to register your interest or hear more about our National to Local strategy and how our Child Mental Health Workforce Consultants can work with and support you, your organisation, your local Primary Health Network (PHN) and your region.

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