Think child, think parent, think family: a guide to parental mental health and child welfare

Document type
Diggins, Marie
Social Care Institute for Excellence
Date of publication
1 December 2011
Families and children's services guide; 30
Mental health services, Children and Young People, Families, Social Work, Social Care and Social Services
Social welfare
Material type

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Parents with mental health problems and their children are a group with complex needs. Not all parents and children will need the support of health and social care services but those that do can find it difficult to get support that is acceptable, accessible and effective for the whole family. This guide identifies what needs to change and makes recommendations to improve service planning and delivery, and ultimately to improve outcomes for families.

Parents with mental health problems need support and recognition of their responsibilities as parents. Their children’s needs must also be addressed. There are important public health implications of not addressing the needs of these families, as parental mental health problems can have an impact on parenting and on the child over time and across generations. In general, parents and children want appropriate understanding and support based on the different needs of individual family members. This support needs to be sustained over time, but should also vary to reflect any change in circumstances

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