Child health

Our work encompasses both the physical health and mental health of all children and young people and all health related topics. It incorporates other policies which contain references to health, integrated commissioning and delivery.  

1 in 10 children and young people aged 5 - 16 years suffer from a diagnosable mental health disorder. Since 2010, A&E visits by children and young people with mental health illness have almost doubled and the NHS have cut the children’s mental health budget by £50 million. This is more than 6% in real terms. Our mental health services are in crisis. We know from our work how important early intervention is to ensure vulnerable children and young people get the help and support they deserve.

Our work focuses predominantly on children and young people:

  • living in secure and forensic settings,
  • living away from home,
  • with a neuro-disability,
  • and looked after children.

Our health policy is not project led, but instead provides consultation across the breadth of all policy areas, including the project work of Amplify, our young people’s advisory group.

Our priorities

  • Investment in children and adolescent's mental health services

It is vital that there is greater investment in mental health services for children so children and young people can get the help and support they deserve.

  • Joined up approach

We welcome the Department for Education and the Department of Health statements about the importance of working together and integrating local services that will benefit families. This must translate from government to local services.

  • Early intervention and prevention

We will continue to champion the need for early intervention and prevention and health promotion in order that families are supported and that any inteventions help build emotional resilience and attachment.

Our health work

  • Amplify's mental health project

We will complete desk research to find out from children and adolescent mental health service areas and mental health organisations what information, help and advice they provide for children and young people and where this information can be found. We will also be conducting a short questionnaire for children and young people to identify any potential gaps.

  • Neurodisability

We published a report about the prevalence of neurodisability in young people who offend. It found that there are likely to be large numbers of young people currently in secure settings in England who have undiagnosed neurodevelopment conditions which have directly contributed to their offending behaviour.We jointly hosted a roundtable with the Royal College of Psychiatrists on the impact of neurodisability based on the findings of our report.

  • Young people's experiences of mental health facilities

We published a report: ‘Pushed into the Shadows’: young people's experiences of mental health facilities, which received a response from the then Secretary of State for Health, Alan Johnson. A number of NHS and Primary Care Trusts responded and outlined the actions they would take to address the deficits. The Government made a commitment, underpinned by section 31 of the Mental Health Act 2007, to end the inappropriate admission to adult mental health wards of all children and young people.

  • Children and Young People’s Health Outcomes Forum

We are a member of the Children and Young People's Health Outcomes Forum. Children and young people meet with and contribute to the work of the forum.



Our work on health has particular focus and relevance to the following Articles of the UNCRC: 24, 25, 36, 12, 19, 23, 37 and 39.

Find out more about the UNCRC.

Learn more about our work on health...

Below are some questions about health. You can find more questions and information on our Get Advice pages.