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Promoting Excellence In Psychological Health & Wellbeing

Children's Wellbeing Practitioner (CWP)

Children's wellbeing practitioners (CWPs) are trained to assess and support children and young people (CYP) with common mental health difficulties, particularly mild to moderate symptoms of anxiety, depression and behavioural difficulties. They offer a range of low intensity interventions that are based on cognitive behavioural therapy and guided self-help. They aim to help CYP and their parents/ carers in the self-management of their recovery.

As a CWP you will be working with a large number of CYP and their parents/ carers from many different backgrounds. Interventions are either delivered on a one-to-one basis in person, via telephone or online, or, to groups. CWPs work within a variety of CYP mental health settings, including statutory child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS). They also work in 3rd sector and private organisations commissioned by the NHS. These can be based in GP practices, healthcare centres or other community venues.

As a CWP you will be working alongside other clinicians delivering evidence-based psychological therapies. You will be supervised in your work by more senior practitioners. Managing referrals and signposting to other agencies is also a core part of the job role. This requires working closely with other healthcare professionals, employment and education advisers, and, support staff.

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Required Training for this Role

In order to be a qualified children's wellbeing practitioner (CWP) you will need to complete a Graduate / Post Graduate Certificate training course that is commissioned by Health Education England (HEE). Currently the training courses for CWPs are not accredited, but this is being actively pursued. Training courses are offered by a number of universities and training provides; course titles vary. They typically consist of 30-35 days of training distributed over an academic year, up to 12 months in duration. Whilst in training as a CWP you will be employed by a local children and young people's (CYP) mental health organisation and spend the majority of your time in the service working with CYP as part of your supervised practice.

The CWP training is open to people with a range of experience. Those with a degree will typically undertake a postgraduate certificate, and those without a degree will normally undertake an equivalent undergraduate-level qualification. For both routes you will need to apply for a position as a trainee CWPs in a CYP mental health service to access the training. You can search for vacancies on the NHS jobs website (see useful links) or other local platforms.

The training route for CWPs may develop over time to allow for further specialism in relevant settings or clinical presentations. It is possible that the training may be extended to diploma level in due course. It is also likely that an apprenticeship training route for CWPs will be developed in due course. This would be a great opportunity for people without a degree but with relevant life experience, or for those who would like to make a career change and contribute to the local community.

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Entry Requirements to Train for this Role

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Training places are open to either people from the local community with a wide range of life experience, who have maths and English skills; or graduates, or those who can demonstrate that they can meet the academic requirements of the post graduate level qualification.

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Experience of working with children and young people with mental health problems is desirable, excellent interpersonal skills are essential.

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Salary Expectations

Some children's wellbeing practitioners (CWPs) work for NHS organisations, others for third or private sector organisations that deliver NHS services. CWP trainees are typically appointed at Band 4 or equivalent on the NHS Agenda for Change pay scales. Once qualified, they will typically progress to Band 5 or equivalent. In time the development of a senior CWP role would allow the progression to Band 6 and above, and the ability to undertake supervision, additional management and leadership responsibilities within the mental health setting, or in relation to a clinical specialism.

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Future Career Options

The role of children's wellbeing practitioner (CWP) is in development. Options to specialize are likely to include working in areas such as paediatrics and neurodiversity or with particular groups of children and young people (CYP); such as CYP with long-term health conditions, or from black and ethnic minority communities. You may, subject to national and regional developments, have opportunities to progress into more senior CWP roles, where you may supervise other CWPs or manage aspects of a service, depending on the mental health setting. As a CWP it is an expectation that you will work in the role for a minimum of two years before you can progress into another funded psychological professional training.

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Registering or Accrediting Body

There is currently no individual accreditation or registration scheme for children's wellbeing practitioners, although this is being actively pursued at present and, it is intended, will be implemented retrospectively.

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Professional Organisation

Many children's wellbeing practitioners (CWPs) and trainee CWPs join the British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP) and/or the British Psychological Society (BPS).