This community-based team provide assessments, intervention work, consultation, support and practical advice regarding children with learning disabilities who have emotional, behavioural or mental health problems and their families. The team will see children who are resident in the borough up to their 18th birthday.
- challenging behaviours (such as aggression, self-harm, tantrums, non-compliance, sleep, toileting, feeding issues)
- emotional/ mental health issues (such as anxiety, depression, phobias and anger)
- language and communication issues that underlie behaviour problems or affect emotional wellbeing
- sensory processing needs
- issues relating to adolescence
The team also provide training and consultation to staff, carers and professionals in relation to the above issues.
What do we do?
Intervention work, including:
- behavioural management advice (home/school/other settings)
- advice on strategies around communication issues underlying presenting behaviour problems
- occupational therapy advice on strategies regarding sensory processing issues underlying presenting behaviour problems
- emotional literacy and psychoeducation around managing feelings
- mental health assessments
- liaison and consultation with other services involved
- medication if appropriate
Assessments are provided for the following (as appropriate):
- challenging behaviours (including aggression, self-harm, sleep, toilet and eating problems)
- emotional/mental health problems like anxiety, depression and phobias
- language and communication issues
- sensory issues
- family and social aspects of presenting problems
- signposting for care or respite needs
How do we help?
After being approached for help, the team will invite the child and the parents or carers to meet with staff to explore the nature of the child’s difficulties. The team will discuss ways that we can help you and your child and will agree a treatment plan with you. Different members of the team might be involved, depending on the needs and difficulties of the child. They may also liaise with other support agencies or teams and will, where appropriate, work in partnership in order to achieve the best possible outcome. The initial meeting would often be followed up by observations within the home and school setting (and other settings if appropriate). Follow-up meetings will then take place at the team base or in the family home/school, depending on what seems most helpful. Any information you provide remains confidential within the service (unless we have concerns about safety). Your privacy, religious and cultural beliefs will be respected at all times. Interpreters can be provided for families who do not speak English as their first language.
The service is for:
A child with a moderate-severe learning disability and/or autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) between the age of 5 and 18 who presents with emotional/behavioural/mental health issues.
The BFST will contact the family and arrange a time to make an initial assessment.
How to make contact
You can contact the team to request help by telephone, or via your GP or school. Parents and professionals are welcome to contact the team directly. Referrals by professionals are made by completing and emailing a referral form available from the Behaviour and Family Support Team.
The Behaviour and Family Support Team is not an emergency service but is available for advice and consultation during normal working house (9-5 Mon-Fri). An initial appointment is usually offered within 10 weeks of receiving a referral, although we will do our best to respond more quickly when the need is urgent.