Mental health is a serious risk to children in, or on the edge of care. Children in care are currently at significant risk of mental ill-health and traditionally have less success in education systems than their peers. Because of this, they are far less likely to go on to further education and employment.
Priory Education Services and Suffolk County Council have established a local 5 bed children’s home for young people in, or on the edge of care, with high levels of mental ill health. Belhaven integrates health, care and education delivery.
Young people at Belhaven are supported to continue attending their current school and are supported by a range of services appropriate to their needs, including CAMHS, Suffolk Connect, psychologists and counselling services.
The DfE-funded independent evaluation published in 2017 found that:
- Belhaven has led to fewer episodes of hospitalisation for 3 young people.
- Educational attainment, mental and emotional health and wellbeing improved during young people’s time at Belhaven.
- Based on intended lengths of stay, the service may offer value for money in comparison with CAMHS tier 4 services in some cases.