1.4.10 Children at Risk where a Parent has Mental Ill Health
AMENDMENTThis chapter was reviewed and updated throughout in December 2023. It should be re-read.
|The mental health of a parent or carer does not necessarily have an adverse impact on a child but it is essential to assess the implications for the child. If any agency has concerns that a child is at risk of harm because of the impact of the parent/carer's mental health, they should first assess the risk and then take appropriate steps in accordance with the identified risks such as interagency information sharing, consideration of an Early Help assessment or referral to Children’s Social Care. Agencies should also check to see if the child is subject to any multi-agency safeguarding or support plan e.g., Child Protection, Child in Need or Early Help - see Recording that a Child is the subject of a Child Protection Plan Procedure.
Children are at risk when:
Children are at greatest risk when:
2. Implications of Parent/Carer Mental Health Difficulty
To determine how a parent/carer's mental ill health ay impact on their parenting ability and the child's development the following questions need to be considered within an assessment:
3. Guidelines for Joint Working
|It is essential that staff working in adult mental health and those providing services to children childcare work together within the application of safeguarding/child protection procedures to ensure the safety of the child and management of the adult's mental health.
Joint work will include mental health workers providing all information to inform risk assessment with regard to:
|Child protection workers must assess the individual needs of each child and within this incorporate information provided by mental health workers.
Mental health professionals must attend and provide information to any meeting concerning the implications of the parent/carer's mental health difficulty on the child. These will include:
|Mental Health services convene Care Programme Approach (CPA) and other meetings related to the management of the parent's mental health. Childcare professionals should be invited to and attend these meetings.
|All plans for a child including Child Protection Plans and other multi-agency plans will identify the roles and responsibilities of mental health professionals and other professionals. The plan will also identify the process of communication and liaison between professionals. All professionals should work in accordance with their own agency procedures/guidelines and seek advice and guidance from line management when necessary.
4. Contingency Planning
Childcare and mental health professionals should always consider the future management of a change in circumstances for a parent/carer and the child and how concerns will be identified and communicated. This may include:
|Professionals need to carefully consider the implications for children when closing their involvement with parents with a mental ill, health Consideration should be given to informing the appropriate Children's Social Care Services team in order that the implications for the child are assessed.