The development of a community child and family mental health service

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The Community Child and Family Service is a primary care and community-based child mental health service working in a socio-economically disadvantaged area of inner London. This paper outlines the strategic framework and value base from which the service has developed. The clinical projects set up by the service in general practice, community and education settings are described, as are the training and supervision programmes that have been undertaken. The framework for evaluating the clinical and economic outcomes of the projects is outlined. There has been a positive response from purchasers, providers and clients to the introduction of this Service. The relationship between community- and hospital-based child mental health services is discussed, as is the future direction of the Service.

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