Social work and child and adolescent mental health
By Steven Walker

The role of social work in a comprehensive child and adolescent mental health service (CAMHS) is crucial as the prevalence of emotional and behavioural problems increases. This book is therefore timely. It addresses, thoughtfully and comprehensively, the input that social workers and other staff need to make to support the mental health of vulnerable children and young people.

"This book is a significant contribution towards ensuring that the troubled and troubling young people, for whom social workers are given responsibility, are strong enough in their minds to manage the difficulties of their lives. This resilience, this precious and inadequately understood quality, is something a skilled social worker can promote and support in a child." From the foreword by Dinah Morley, Deputy Director, Young Minds.

Located at the heart of how a modern social work practice should be, it embraces a wide theoretical panorama rooted in social justice, evidence-based practice, and the psycho-social core of social work. The author helps social workers to use it effectively, collaborating with others in the field, employing appropriate techniques, and in so doing ensuring that the mental health of the most vulnerable children is developed and safeguarded. Using case illustrations and up to date evidence of what works you will be provided with a key resource to promote reflective practice consistent with the latest occupational and workforce standards and a children's rights perspective.

This crucial book for all child and family social workers and for other professionals who work alongside them will also be invaluable to lecturers, students and PQ candidates.

Paperback. 176 pages. 978-1-903855-22-5. 2003. £16.95.


The policy and legislative context
Definitions and prevalence
Assessing and understanding
Culturally competent practice
Social work intervention
Interprofessional and multidisciplinary care
Socially inclusive practice
Effectiveness and evaluation
Useful resources and organisations


"Argues that children and young people must be related to as active agents in their own lives… A focus on their potential for resilience rather than preoccupation with their vulnerability and risk is at the heart of how Walker believes modern social work practice in the arena of mental health should be." Young People Now.

"A structured, explanatory approach to the role and perspective of the social worker in multidisciplinary child and adolescent mental health services. This perspective is grounded in an understanding of the pressures of practice, with realism and honesty that will enable practitioners to gain encouragement to achieve competent practice. The role of structural inequality, the psychological effects of social exclusion and inadequate resource allocation are addressed and linked to social work ethics and values to challenge oppressive practice in all its forms, including the rationing of scarce resources." Community Care.

"Argues that we do not need to defer to other 'experts' but to continue our role as advocates, as champions of social inclusion and of anti-discriminatory practice… Social work needs and deserves a place at the table in CAMHS debates." Rostrum.