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Case study: Anne Cattrall

Anne Cattrall is a mental health practitioner who has worked with children and families for 22 years. She manages a team in Liverpool.

"Our team serves two comprehensive schools and their feeder primaries. We provide a menu of group interventions, whole-school approaches and individual case work.

Group interventions are predominantly parenting groups addressing behaviour problems in children under 10.

As part of our whole-school approach we run emotional literacy groups, mainly at primary level, where we do training with teachers and teach children to solve problems. Research in children with behavioural problems shows they have difficulty problem-solving.

We do a lot of transition work, identifying children in Year 6 who might have problems going into Year 7. We are training staff to run core groups for children with anxiety problems.

We try to work systemically. We wouldn't just work with the child - we'd try to do the work in the school and with the parents, because we know that if we work with the systems children are placed in, then the outcomes are better.

We have consultations, meet the Senco, and discuss children they're having a problem with and whether they need to be referred to the team for an assessment. Consultation is a key part of our work. It's my job to allocate the child to the person best qualified to help."

Next month: Connexions. The feature on occupational therapy will appear next year

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