PAWS works alongside existing services including NELFT Children and Young People’s Mental Health Services (CYPMHS). The specialist support they offer focuses on mental and physical health, emotional wellbeing, resilience, offending behaviours and substance misuse through a simple programme of groups adapted to reach and strip back the emotional issues that may be troubling a young person.
The service delivers support directly to the young person rather than referring into CYPMHS ensuring a much closer relationship and reaping the benefits of true collaboration. This close working between services gives me the time to focus on intensive work with individuals.
The project was initially aiming to ensure young people’s wellbeing whilst addressing other issues, and when continued funding was confirmed by Thanet CCG in collaboration with NELFT CYPMHS in March 2017, developed into the Porchlight Adolescent Wellbeing Service. Secured funding until the end of March 2021 ensures there is time to further embed successful pilot schemes and watch the rehabilitation of young people come to fruition.
Local commissioner, Sue Mullin, is a great advocate for Porchlight and collaboration with NELFT CYPMHS and recognises the benefit of long term funding and the importance of consistency for young people using the service.
The service has reached out to schools in the area and Kim McCarthy, Adolescent Wellbeing Worker from Porchlight and I, are currently piloting the delivery of our popular Stressbuster sessions for Liberty (a local training provider for young people not in education employment or training (NEET). Every young person that attends is visited by Kim and I in their home to ensure they feel comfortable attending and to build some familiarity from the very beginning. There are no more than 8 young people in a session and Kim and I strongly believe that support in a smaller environment is invaluable for this group.
We are also running a series of consultation clinics with staff that support teachers, managers and welfare officers when managing particularly challenging or hard to reach young people.
We use the Adolescent Mentalization-Based Integrative Treatment (AMBIT) as a technique. AMBIT is based on the technique of stripping the emotions from the conversation, the young person and their family are invited to share their problem, it is discussed, then “stripped down and handed back” by the professionals in order to work toward a solution. The Mentalization approach gives young people and their families the resilience and tools to manage the way they cope and address any difficulties arising.
My daily work is a complete joy. We hope that this collaboration will be one of many in the future and hope that this work will show larger Trusts how easy the voluntary sector are to make connections with.
I was delighted that the Porchlight Adolescent Wellbeing Service (PAWS) has been awarded the Excellent Teamwork category for the yearly Porchlight Staff Awards 2018.
Several nominations were submitted for this category and put forward for consideration by the Porchlight Service User Panel. PAWS was awarded, as the finalists, in recognition of our hard work and joint working initiatives with other services including NELFT and especially our colleagues at Orchard House Clinic. The PAWS programmes of support were considered as a supportive and welcome service to the community.
If you would like to find out more about the NELFT/Porchlight Adolescent Wellbeing Service in Thanet, please email: email@example.com
If you would like further information on NELFT CYPMHS please click here: