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Child & Family Consultation Services (CAMHS)

Child & Family Consultation Services (CAMHS)

Child and Family Consultation teams (CAMHS) are part of a network of general practitioners, health visitors, education staff, social workers and voluntary sector workers, who engage children and young people with emotional, behavioural or mental health difficulties.

There is one CAMHS team for South Gloucestershire and one for each of the Bristol Areas (North, East/Central, South).
There is an emphasis in Bristol and South Gloucestershire on early intervention and prevention of the need for children and young people to be referred into the specialist CAMHS teams.

The CAMHS Teams use referral criteria, agreed with the joint commissioners, designed to improve easy access to CAMHS for those children and young people who need it most. At the same time making sure that other sources of help have been tried where appropriate.

All our CAMHS teams use a ‘choice and partnership’ system for managing waiting times and this means that, if a referral is accepted into CAMHS, then the wait time for a first appointment is short and takes only a matter of weeks.

In this first appointment, called the ‘choice appointment’, the aim is to get as good an understanding as possible of what the current difficulties are and how they have developed over time. This will enable us to let the child/young person know how we see the situation and what help we may be able to offer.

Sometimes we need extra information to help us understand things better.

Children/young people and parent(s)/carer(s) can be seen on their own, which helps us to understand the difficulties from everyone's point of view and work out with you the best way we might be able to help. 

Sometimes, one appointment is enough to enable someone to cope better with their difficulties, but more usually further appointments, called ‘partnership appointments’ are offered.

At the end of your appointments with us, we do our best to make sure that we have provided you with a helpful service. You will, therefore, usually be asked to complete a short questionnaire.

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