Exploring the Views of Voluntary Community Sector Professionals on Partnership Working and Community Engagement with Clinical Psychologists in an NHS Child and Family Service

Prof Doc Thesis


Haynes, S. 2021. Exploring the Views of Voluntary Community Sector Professionals on Partnership Working and Community Engagement with Clinical Psychologists in an NHS Child and Family Service. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology https://doi.org/10.15123/uel.89y37
AuthorsHaynes, S.
TypeProf Doc Thesis
Abstract

Background: There is increasing recognition that effective partnership working is fundamental to improving access to Children and Young People’s Mental Health Services and helps to better meet the needs of ethnic minority children and families. With growing expectations that Voluntary Community Sector professionals should work in partnership with Clinical Psychologists to bridge culturally accessible support, it is essential that their voices and perspectives are heard.
Aims: This study explored Voluntary Community Sector professionals’ views and experiences of partnership working with Clinical Psychologists within Children and Young People’s Mental Health Services. A critical realist epistemological position explored Voluntary Community Sector professionals’ perspectives regarding facilitators to partnership work and whether co-production and community engagement approaches improved culturally accessible support within Children and Young People’s Mental Health Services.
Method: Semi-structured interviews were facilitated with ten Voluntary Community Sector professionals working in partnership with Clinical Psychologists in a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service. Interviews were analysed using Thematic Analysis, producing three key themes: ‘Establishing Trusted Relationships’, ‘Reciprocity’ and ‘Breaking Down Systemic Barriers’.
Analysis: Findings showed that building trusted relationships, with long-term connections enabled Clinical Psychologists to earn communities’ trust and develop a shared language. Voluntary Community Sector professionals emphasised the need for reciprocal, bi-directional partnerships, based upon shared need, cultural respect and flexibility to meet families’ needs. Partnerships were perceived to break down systemic barriers to accessing Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. Understanding how fear and stigma impacted help-seeking and acknowledging the partnerships’ frustrations regarding funding uncertainties were key systemic challenges. Providing reassurance, increasing knowledge and promoting awareness of services were considered key to improving community engagement.
Conclusions: This is the first known qualitative study to identify facilitators to partnership work and community psychology approaches between the Voluntary Community Sector and Clinical Psychologists within Children and Young People’s Mental Health Services. Findings suggest Voluntary Community Sector professionals perceived that partnership work improved engagement and enabled more culturally appropriate Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services support. Implications are multi-level including recommendations for: commissioning, policy, psychology training, community psychology and Children and Young People’s Mental Health Services.

KeywordsPartnership work; community engagement; co-production; voluntary community sector; clinical psychology
Year2021
PublisherUniversity of East London
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.15123/uel.89y37
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Publication dates
Online28 Oct 2021
Publication process dates
Submitted19 Aug 2021
Deposited29 Oct 2021
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