New Project: Human Rights in Children's Inpatient Mental Health Services About the project: Children and young people should expect their rights will be respected when they seek help from mental health inpatient services, that they will be safe and supported; the reality can often be very different. We recognise large-scale change is needed within these services. So too is the disruption of the everyday decisions and practices that have become ingrained, disruption of the day to day thinking and conversations that impact experiences of services. This project focuses on building staff knowledge and capacity to positively and proactively uphold human rights when supporting children and young people with mental health issues. This is alongside support for young people, their families, carers, supporters and advocates to raise their concerns with services not simply as a matter of what is right, but what is legal, to self-advocate and find practical solutions. We know from our work with staff, young people, families, supporters and advocates that meaningful change can be achieved, shifting power, by putting human rights at the heart of these everyday discussions and decisions in mental health services. Who is involved in the project: This project is funded by NHS England’s Quality Improvement Taskforce for Children and Young People’s Mental Health Inpatient Services. The Taskforce was established in July 2019 as part of the NHS’s long term plan to transform mental health, autism and learning disability services. You can read more about the Plan and the Taskforce here. The project is led by the British Institute of Human Rights (BIHR). BIHR is a leading provider of human rights support needed by people working within, and leading, public services, as well as those relying on such services and their advocates. We have twenty years’ experience of working with a range of health, care, housing, and education services, together with advocates, community groups and people directly to use a human rights approach to deliver positive changes that improve individual outcomes, staff relationships, and organisational culture. You can read more about BIHR here. The project will work with children, young people and parents/loved ones and advocacy and community groups who have experience of NHSE Children and Young People’s Mental Health Inpatient Services. These groups have been put forward by NHS England, however, there will also be open access workshops available for groups who haven’t yet been involved in the project. The project will also work with staff and leadership working within NHSE Children and Young People’s Mental Health Inpatient Services. Background: A number of recent interactions between BIHR and NHSE working groups and provider forums have revealed a significant human rights knowledge and confidence gap. This gap is in understanding how human rights set down both a legal compliance framework and a practical decision-making tool which enables staff to make rights-respecting decisions both operationally and strategically. The urgent need to address poor quality services and negative outcomes for children and young people with mental health issues is a clear national priority. Working with children and young people, their parents and loved ones to build human rights knowledge and confidence and create and deliver human rights learning materials for staff provides an important opportunity to ensure every child is treated with dignity and respect. BIHR brings our expertise in human rights in public service delivery, our experience working to create change in Children and Young People’s Mental Health Inpatient Services and our approach to ensuring project planning, delivery and evaluation centres on lived experience. Project aims: The aims of the project are: Address the national priority of improving outcomes for children and young people with mental health issues. A human rights approach offers an opportunity for change within services, ensuring every child is treated with dignity and respect. Involve and learn from children and young people and parents when taking steps towards embedding a culture of respect for human rights within children and young people’s inpatient mental health services. Support staff and leadership to better understand why and how to use a human rights approach, and to embed this within services. Support sustainable, long term policy and practice human rights change within children and young people’s mental health services.