Adopted children's and adolescent mental health services

Who we are

The adopted children and adolescent mental health service (also known as AdCAMHS) is a specialist service in East Sussex. We are a partnership between Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and East Sussex County Council’s Post Adoption Support Team.

We provide consultation, assessment and treatment for adopted children, young people and their adoptive families who are struggling emotionally.

Our aim is to try and understand the nature of the difficulties, particularly in relation to being adopted. We offer a tailor-made package of expertise and therapy to help to address the mental health needs of your adopted child and enable your family to work through this together to improve relationships.

Depending on your needs you will see a variety of people including: social workers, mental health practitioners, child and adolescent psychotherapists or a psychologist.

We usually begin with a consultation with our colleagues from the post adoption team to explore how your child’s history may have affected their emotional development. We’ll also look at current difficulties and their capacity to form relationships.

If therapy is needed, one or more of the following types will be offered:

  • regular individual therapy
  • therapeutic groups for parents and for teenagers and children
  • sibling, parent or family work
  • groups with child and parent/s together

All our referrals come via the Post Adoption Team at East Sussex County Council. You will have an allocated worker from that team who will be your link in to the other services.

We can also offer support to the other professionals working with your child, for example your child’s teachers at school. We do this to get a full picture of how your child’s history may be influencing behaviour, in addition to other biological factors. Where a child also has a specific mental health condition we can link in to Sussex Partnership’s mental health teams to make sure the support you and your child receive is consistent.