New service set up to prevent mental health crises

29th September 2022

  • A new keyworker service has been set up to prevent children and young people with autism and/or a learning disability being unnecessarily admitted to mental health hospitals.

    The service currently supports children and young people up to the age of 25 who are inpatients in a mental health hospital or at risk of being admitted to one.

    In the future, the service hopes to support a wider group of autistic and learning disabled youngsters, such as those who are adopted or looked-after, or in transition between services.

    Each keyworker holds a small caseload of families that they support directly. They work with young people and their families to find out what they need and work alongside services to make sure the right help is found.

    The support looks different for every family, but can include arranging reasonable adjustments to help a young person attend an appointment. It can also include attending meetings alongside a family, making necessary referrals, offering advice to supporting professionals, and raising challenges and barriers faced by families at a senior level.

    To access the service, you need a referral from a professional who knows your child, such as a social worker or CAMHS professional. The keyworker service can be contacted at