Our vision is a world where children and families are supported effectively to build on their strengths and to achieve their goals in life. We will continue to promote resilience and wellbeing in children, young people and families, as we have for over 60 years.
To transform the experience of children, young people and their families with mental health issues we:
Carry out research to improve understanding of mental health and resilience and to evaluate and improve the treatments and services children and families are offered.
Develop new approaches, tools and services that aim to support children, young people and families in distress.
Teach and train a new generation of clinicians and researchers in the latest skills and tools to improve mental health globally.
Take a leading role in the development of policy and practice in the UK and beyond to ensure that it is built on science, tested experience and has the input of children, young people and their families.
Creatively collaborate nationally and internationally in partnerships which jointly develop a step change in child mental health and wellbeing.
All of our work is guided by three principles:
1: Children, young people and families are at the heart of everything we do.
2: We are committed to discovering and sharing the best way to help children, young people, families, carers and professionals affected by mental health problems.
3: We aim to strengthen our impact through collaboration and partnership.
Our values infuse and guide everything we do
Our values represent the perspective of the organisation and the way it behaves at every level. The values may not be seen externally but provide everybody within the organisation with the framework for how they are expected to go about their work.
Involved: The experiences, needs and insights of children, young people and families inform and shape everything we do.
Inspirational: We want to influence and inspire the people and organisations involved in children’s lives to advance the latest thinking and transform mental health practice, nationally and internationally.
Pioneering: We question and challenge assumptions and conventional thinking to analyse, develop, teach and practice the best approaches in mental health care, rooted in science, analysis and the experience of the children, young people and families we support.
Determined: We are in this for the long term – we won’t rest until every child has the support they need and deserve, whatever their circumstances.
Who we are
The Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families has developed and delivered pioneering mental health care for over 60 years.
Our aim is to transform current mental health provision in the UK by improving the quality, accessibility and effectiveness of treatment.
We believe that every child and their family should be at the heart of the care they receive, working in partnership with professionals.
What we do
We bring together leaders in neuroscience, mental health, social care and education to work together to improve understanding and practice.
Our goal is to develop, disseminate and deliver the best possible evidence-based treatment, through scientific innovation, research and collaboration and underpinned by the direct experience and insight of children and their families.
This goal can’t be achieved on our own.
Through collaboration and partnership, both nationally and internationally we are able to:
– Carry out research to improve understanding of mental health and resilience and to evaluate and improve the treatments and services children and families are offered.
– Develop new approaches, tools and services that aim to support children, young people and families in distress.
– Teach and train a new generation of child professionals (teachers, therapists, social workers) and researchers in the latest skills and tools to improve mental health globally.
– Take a leading role in the development of policy and practice in the UK and beyond to ensure that it is evidence based and informed and inspired by the experience and insight of children, young people and families.
Why we do it
Mental ill health devastates lives. It is a complex issue, especially when it comes to children and young people, and there is no simple answer.
One in ten children and young people between the ages of five and 16 have a clinically diagnosed mental health disorder. For many problems persist into adulthood. Yet in the UK, children and young people receive less than 5% of mental health care funding.
Thousands of young people and their families dealing with often profound and complex mental health problems are being failed – fewer than 35% of young people with mental health problems get any help at all.
We passionately believe a step change is needed to radically improve the state of children’s mental health care in England and elsewhere.
We are leading the way by campaigning for and creating mental health services built around the needs and experiences of children, young people and their families and not around the institutions who deliver them.