Keep me posted

Our free email alerts service will help keep you connected to the things that matter to you.

Enter your email address to get started or to edit your account.

Think Family

What is it?

In July 2009 Liverpool was chosen by the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) to be an implementation site for its guide: Think child, think parent, think family: a guide to parental mental health and child welfare.

Work already achieved by Barnardo's Action with Young Carers led to the city's involvement with this project. The aim was to explore ways of working with the whole family when parents are identified as having mental ill health.

The project reached its formal conclusion in 2011. You can read the final report on the SCIE website.

What happened?

In Liverpool we made sure that we took a multi-agency approach to the project involving Liverpool City Council, Mersey Care NHS Trust, Barnardo’s Action with Young Carers, Liverpool Mental Health Consortium, Liverpool PCT and CAMHS (child and adolescent mental health services).

Some of our achievements include:

  • Making sure that all newly qualified social workers receive a Think Family session as part of their induction.
  • Training adult and children’s practitioners in using the children’s CAF (common assessment framework) and team around the family process.
  • Piloting the pre-CAF in one community mental health team (CMHT) with a view to rolling out to all teams.
  • Recruiting four family support workers, one for each CMHT, who work closely with children’s centres.
  • Developing a half-day training for schools around identifying young carers as well as a set of posters to be displayed in schools.
  • Improving our care pathways for young carers.
  • Developing pathways that support professionals working with both adults and children when they identify a child who might have additional needs. Download and view the pathways.

 Want to know more?

If you are a professional, parent or a young person affected by a parent's mental health and would like more information on our work, please contact

Throughout the project a regular bulletin, Think Family: Update, was produced.  If you would like copies please email us above.