Julia is undertaking a part-time Psychology MPhil at the University of Cambridge.
She is currently working as a researcher at Dartington Service Design Lab where she blends research methods, service design and systemic thinking. Her primary research interests are in mental health, family relationships and safeguarding. Julia is passionate about working with young people, communities, and other organisations to create systems and supports that are needed, wanted and equitable.
Award Title: Masters Scholarship
Start Date: October 2022
End Date: September 2024
Project title: Sociodemographic and referral characteristics of social care experienced young people referred to child and adolescent mental health services: a quantitative study of referral decisions and outcomes
Brief Summary: In 2022, 22% of children and young people in England who received social care assessments (CYPwSW, n=404,310) were characterised as having mental health problems that constituted a primary factor necessitating social work involvement (Department for Education, 2022). Some CYPwSW experiencing mental health difficulties will be referred to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). These referrals may then be accepted, rejected, or accepted after re-referral.
Currently, there is little information available in the literature about the factors that influence referral decisions. Exploring these decisions is vital on two grounds: understanding access to CAMHS for CYPwSW, and discerning inequalities in this access. This topic has been identified as urgently requiring further research by our experts-by-experience collaborators, and the recent Independent Review of Children’s Social Care (McAlister, 2022). This study will explore how sociodemographic characteristics, referral characteristics, and social care status relate to CAMHS referral outcomes.
This study uses around 10,000 anonymised CAMHS records of children with social work involvement from the South London & Maudsley Foundation Trust (2007-present).
Findings will describe the social care needs, referral, and sociodemographic characteristics of CYPwSW referred to CAMHS. Multinomial regression modelling will be used to estimate associations between these factors and referral acceptance. Repeated measures ANOVA will be used to explore the impact of personal and contextual factors on referral status.
Benefits anticipated: Findings will have direct implications for the organisation and delivery of health and social care services, contributing to their quality and effectiveness by redressing inequalities in access.