Shared Training and Assessment for well-being (STRAWB)
This pilot project tests an innovative and potentially transformational approach to supporting the mental health and well-being of children who are looked after by the state (CLA, also known as children in care).
We have developed a training and assessment package for foster carers and schools that is designed to improve early identification of potential mental health difficulties, allowing professionals to support children with differing profiles of social and emotional needs. The STrAWB package involves three key elements: A. integrated training on mental health for foster carers and Designated Teachers; B. home-based assessment by trained foster carers, based on observations of key signs and indicators of potential mental health difficulties; C. school-based assessment by school staff and the children themselves involving measures of social and emotional functioning.
The project is unique in bringing together professionals from social care and education to increase awareness of the early signs of potential mental health difficulties, and in creating an in-depth, 360-degree comprehensive child profile across the home and school contexts.
The project opens the door to valuable long-term follow-up work that can build new knowledge about the longitudinal trajectories of mental health characteristics in this vulnerable group, as well as the most effective intervention/support approaches.
External team members include, Professor Robin Banerjee (Co-I, University of Sussex) and Dr Helen Drew (University of Sussex).