Children's psychology

Who are we?

Currently the Trust has clinical child psychologists working only in the Paediatric Psychology Team. They are managed by a Lead Consultant Clinical Psychologist who represents them, and they meet and work together regularly to support each other’s’ work in various different paediatric teams/services.

Psychologists reach a “formulation” about what is happening for a particular child, young person or their family by thinking with them about a whole range of issues - these include thinking about life experiences in general, the childs' development, their temperament, and their family situation, parents and how they have chosen to bring up their family, and school/college life. In this way psychologists do not “diagnose” a difficulty, but try to come to a wider and fully-informed understanding of the particular issues for the child/family, in the context they find themselves in, and adjust this understanding as things change and progress.

What type of professionals work for the service - who you are likely to see and why

We are all clinical psychologists trained to work with children and young people. We are trained to Doctorate level, and have specialised in working in these services.

Psychologists are trained to work across the lifespan and with different groups of people, and so although we have specialised to work with children and young people, we have a broad understanding of adults and parents as well. A clinical psychologist is someone who has been trained to help people make sense of their difficulties and think about the best way of dealing with them. This will include thinking about the background to their situation, perhaps learning to develop different ways of coping and sometimes having to make difficult or painful changes. Discussions often involve all those people in the family who are concerned, as long as they are happy to be involved.

Psychologists will not make decisions for you, but will take your difficulties seriously and, where appropriate, offer some help in dealing with them. Clinical psychologists are not medically qualified.

Our services

We work within other paediatric teams (for example at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital or Princess Royal Hospital) and with some teams within the Shropshire Community Health Trust such as the Community Children's Nursing Team.

Sometimes we meet together with colleagues from other local children's services and work on shared projects, or deliver training or supervision to other professionals.

The people we see

Our team works with children and young people resident in Telford and Wrekin and/or Shropshire aged 0 to 18 and their families. We also have arrangements to see some families from Powys and other areas by prior agreement with commissioners.

As a team we have developed a set of core principles and values. In the work we do with all of our teams, we:

  • Are accessible to clients and colleagues on basis of their need
  • Do not base our work on diagnostic criteria (“diagnoses”) but try to reach “formulations” which summarise the problems and pull together a range of factors which are contributing to the problem
  • Take an “interdependent and inter-relational model” (relationships drive behaviour, learning and feelings)
  • Offer input which is centred on the needs of the client and is age appropriate
  • Work using collaborative/partnership models so that everyone pulls together on the basis of a shared understanding
  • Are concerned with an individual’s functioning in cognition/affect/behaviour and not solely based on statistical cohort/categorical data
  • Offer input based on voluntary engagement, consent and a confidentiality agreement which protects privacy and dignity
  • Offer input based on a thorough and broad contextual assessment, a psychological formulation, and an intervention plan, using the available evidence base and a theoretically coherent approach
  • Understand that change can be helpful either within client but also in their wider context - hence we sometimes work with professionals and other people to address what they contribute to the situation
  • Try to offer a flexible service that “reaches out” to engage with clients, so is not too controlled limited or hampered by missed appointments (DNA’s), solely clinic based appointments, and we believe that people sometimes need/want to see us when they are “ready” or even if they find organising getting to sessions difficult
  • Believe that it is important to think and talk about how people can be resilient, how they are coping and making adjustments to difficult circumstances, and look at their and psychological well-being not just at problems, pathology and distress
  • Try to get involved at the most helpful time, not just when things get really bad
  • We believe in reflecting on what we do all the time, and make sure we all have regular ongoing supervision
  • Provide input in an appropriate and safe environment
  • Make sure we review and audit our services with service user input where possible

We work directly with children, young people and their families, and also at times we might work instead with other professionals, contributing to the discussion and making sure that the psychological (meaning things to do with behaviour, thinking, feelings or the impact on a person of their context) issues are included in the understanding of the problems and its potential solution.

New patients

Our referrals come through a variety of routes, depending on which team we are working with. Please see the details for further details:

Services we do not offer

Paediatric Psychology: This service is not a mental health provision and children with primarily mental health needs would be seen by CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health service) rather than this service. The service does not accept referrals for areas other than the targeted ones listed above (see "Our Services"). Children or young people with learning disabilities should be referred to the CAMHS LD service (within the Staffordshire and Shropshire Foundation Trust).


Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) and our "Local Offer"

What is the Local Offer?

The local offer provides information for children and young people with special educational needs (SEND) and their parents or carers in a single place. You can find out more about information about this on our SEND reforms and Local Offers page.

Service Description

In Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust we have clinical psychologists who work specifically with children and young people who have physical health conditions, and who are eligible for specialist psychological input. For details please go to the Paediatric Psychology pages.

What do you provide to children and young people with an additional need and or disability 0-25yrs?

Psychologists may meet with children and families themselves, or may be available to work with, and support, the professionals and teams providing care. They may also provide teaching, training and consultation to bring psychological perspectives to the work of the team. When working directly with children and/or their families, psychologists will usually meet over a number of initial sessions to thoroughly understand all the relevant issues. These discussions will include thinking about what kind of help is needed, who needs it, and how/where it can be arranged. We meet with children and families in clinics, in our own meeting rooms, or sometimes in their home if this is appropriate. The service is voluntary so we never arrange to meet people unless they are happy to do so.

Do you provide support for parents and carers?

When young people have problems or are in distress it is often very upsetting and difficult for close family members too. Psychologists may offer help and support to parents and families, providing advice and helping to develop strategies for coping. For example, this may include helping parents manage the demands of children's behaviour when they are distressed or worried, helping them think about how to support brothers and sisters; helping parents who have different ways of coping try to keep working together as a couple; helping individual family members find a safe, confidential place to talk about what is happening and how it affects them.

Who can use our service? Age? Disability?

The paediatric psychology service works with children and young people who live in Telford and Wrekin or Shropshire aged 0-18 and their families. The support we offer is for young people who have; diabetes; cancer; life limiting conditions; cystic fibrosis; muscular dystrophy; an allocated a Community Children’s Nurse; support from the nurse-led chronic constipation service (Telford only) or are requiring preparation for a planned operations. Referral criteria include that the primary presenting problem is around physical health and its impacts - the service is not a mental health provision and children with primarily mental health needs would be seen by CAMHS rather than this service. The service does not accept referrals for areas other than the targeted ones above. Some of the above teams within the hospital include patients from Powys or neighbouring counties.

Children or young people with mental health problems or a learning disability may be best served by the CAMHS service or CAMHS LD service which can offer specialist interventions. These services are delivered by the Staffordshire and Shropshire Foundation Trust (SSSFT). Please see their website for further details. Where there is overlap, discussion about the best service is held between the relevant teams.

How to access our service (inc. referral routes)

Please see the page for the relevant service you are interested in

How can families contact the service?

Please see the relevant page for the service you are interested in:

For external agencies: is the service free or charged?


How can families complain if they are not happy with the service?

All complaints are handled by our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) and Complaints teams.


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