Online services and the mental health and wellbeing of care-experienced children and young people

Good mental health and wellbeing is important particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. With the new restrictions around social distancing, there has been a move to deliver mental health services online. However, as yet, we do not know the best ways to develop online services, or how to successfully adapt programmes that have been delivered in person to now be delivered online. Research is required to understand how interventions can transition to online or blended (a mixture of face-to-face and online) delivery, what models are perceived to work most effectively, and which approaches warrant additional development, adaptation, and evaluation.

This new study funded by the TRIUMPH network aims to explore how to best develop online programmes for care-experienced young people. A team from Cardiff University and Voices from Care Cymru are working with The Fostering Network in Wales to improve online services to better support mental health and wellbeing.

We will interview and run consultations groups with care-experienced young people, foster carers, and social care professionals to explore their experiences of online programmes and understand what they want from online services. This will help us to consider the best way to develop or adapt services and discover what types of programmes participants would like to see in the future.

The research findings will enable us to develop a set of guidance and principles to support policymakers, practitioners, and researchers in developing and or adapting programmes for delivery online. If you are a care-experienced young person, foster carer or practitioner and you would like to contribute to developing online services to support mental health and wellbeing please contact us to register your interest.

Rhiannon Evans
DECIPHer (Centre for Development, Evaluation, Complexity and Implementation in Public Health Improvement), Cardiff University

Dawn Mannay
School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University