West Sussex County Council has reassured residents that mental health services for children and young people who are looked after or adopted are not being closed.
The move follows speculation that Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) for looked after and adopted children are at risk and facing an uncertain future.
“This is absolutely not the case,” said Peter Evans, County Council Cabinet Member for Children – Start of Life. “Contrary to recent media reports, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services are not closing. We have decided to manage the service from within the County Council when the contract with the current provider comes to an end and we are currently working on arrangements for a smooth transition.
“One of the many benefits of doing this is that our fostering and adoption service will be able to work much more closely with CAMHS, which we are confident will result in a better service for children and families.”
Plans are being are being drawn up with Sussex Partnership Foundation Trust to transfer the management of the service to the County Council from July when the current contract comes to an end.
Mr Evans said the change was not about saving money and there were no planned cuts to the service.
He said: “This is all about what is best for children and their families and we believe that this move will give children a young people an improved service.”
Children and families currently receiving services will see no immediate change and will continue to receive services until a transition plan has been agreed.
The County Council has written to all parents and carers who may be worried about the recent speculation and has promised to talk to them about any future transition arrangements.