Family Ambassador service

Here to help parents

When a child or young person needs highly specialised mental health care, it can be a difficult and confusing time for families. Family Ambassadors provide practical and emotional support for parents and carers of children who are admitted to a Tier 4 service (usually inpatient). What’s unique about our team is that we have all parented a child who has needed inpatient mental health care in the past.

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We aim to:

  • Support you throughout your child’s stay in Tier 4, so you can be fully involved in the co-production of your child’s care plan, and plan for the time when your child is discharged
  • Help you understand the roles in the hospital care team
  • Help you know identify concerns and work alongside the clinical team to resolve them
  • Explain the purposes of different meetings, and help you prepare for these meetings
  • Explain the legal processes that you may come across, such as the Mental Health Act and Section 117 Aftercare
  • Support you with planning your child’s education, such as applying for or reviewing education, health and care (EHC) needs assessments
  • Provide help if you want to apply for Disability Living Allowance (DLA), Personal Independent Payments (PIP), or make travel claims
  • Support you if your child needs to move to a different setting/unit
  • And we can provide a wealth of information on topics from supporting siblings to understanding mental health conditions

You can access our parent leaflet here:

Parent Leaflet – Introducing the Family Ambassadors TVPC March 2024

How does it work?

As soon as possible after referral to Tier 4 CAMHS, a Family Ambassador will contact you to support you through the initial stages of your child’s assessment and, where relevant, admission. We will then offer support throughout the admission until discharge. Most of this is via phone calls or Microsoft Teams calls, and we can also use email and text, depending on your preference.

Confidentiality

What will be recorded about our meetings with the Family Ambassador?

Some brief information will be recorded by the family ambassador service, such as dates of contact with parents and carers and the nature of support offered.

This information will be shared between the family ambassadors so that support offered to families is consistent. The team caring for your child will know you are supported by our service, and will be kept up to date with a summary of information and support we have offered. We will agree with you what will be shared during your appointments.

What information will be shared with other professionals?

With the exception outlined below, no information will be shared outside of the family ambassador service without the consent of the parent / carer.

Where there are significant concerns about the welfare or safety of a member of the family being supported, these will need to be shared, confidentially, with a member of the hospital team.

Wherever possible this will be discussed with you in advance.

What happens after my child is discharged?

Family Ambassador contact usually ends up to two weeks after your child is discharged. If your child has been kept in hospital under the Mental Health Act, they may be able to get Section 117 Aftercare.  The Regional Family Ambassador will arrange for a follow-up call (if you agree to this) so that you can offer feedback about the service.

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Page last reviewed: 4 April, 2024