Speaking in parliament education minister Lord Nash announced last month that the Department for Education will test new approaches to mental health assessments for looked-after children.
The trial will run in as many as 10 pilot areas in parallel to the considerations of an expert working group, co-chaired by former president of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services Alison O’Sullivan, which has been tasked with developing care pathways for looked-after children with mental health difficulties.
The pilots are set to launch by May 2017.
The announcement comes two months after the government rejected calls from the education select committee for all looked-after children to be assessed by a mental health specialist when they enter care.
Lord Nash’s announcement was made during the third reading of the government’s Children and Social Work Bill in the House of Lords.