The Family Law Week Blog is a companion site to Family Law Week. It complements the news, cases and articles published on Family Law Week with additional comment and coverage of the wider aspects of family law.
I am increasingly frustrated by the seeming inability of local authorities to organise any kind of therapeutic help for children in care, but particularly puzzled by the insistence within the local authority of 'exhausting' the CAMHS option before making any other kinds of referral. It has been my universal experience that CAMHS will refuse to offer any kind of service to families as long as proceedings are on foot on the basis that therapy - or at least the therapy they offer - is best embarked on when children are settled in placement. Furthermore CAMHS will never provide reports for court purposes and are not usually willing even to provide oral feedback to independent experts. I am sure there are all sorts of good reasons for the CAMHS approach but my point is that it is a well known one and LAs seem to waste an awful lot of time asking them to take a different approach which they must know will meet with refusal. Is it really not possible to identify some kind of therapeutic resource which can be offered to children at least to help them through the (increasingly long) period of time that they are in the care system before decisions about permanence can be made?