PY3EAS-Engagement and assessment skills for working with children and young people with common mental health

Module Provider: Psychology
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Summer term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Ms Pam Myles-Hooton


Type of module:

Summary module description:

Child and adolescent mental health practitioners assess children, young people and families with a range of mental health problems. This assessment must reflect the child and their family’s perspective and must be conducted with the child and family’s needs paramount. The assessment should reflect a shared understanding of the child or young person’s current difficulties and inform how decisions are made with the family about the best next steps for the child and the family. Possible next steps include giving advice and psycho-education, referral to another agency, care within the multidisciplinary CAMHs team (e.g. for medication or formal psychological therapy) or a low intensity intervention (e.g. guided self-help, brief behavioural activation) delivered by the practitioner themselves. The CAMHS practitioner must be able to undertake a child-centred interview which identifies the child’s current difficulties, their goals and those of their family/parents, their strengths and resources and any risk to self or others. They need to understand the child in the context of their family, culture, wider social environment, developmental stage and temperament. They need to engage the child or young person and their carer(s) and other family members and to establish therapeutic alliances. They need to gather appropriate information from different sources, be able to make sense of this and with the family develop a shared understanding. They also need to understand how the child’s difficulties fit within a diagnostic framework, identify other physical, developmental or psychological difficulties (e.g. epilepsy, autistic spectrum disorders, attachment history) and know what evidence-based interventions are likely to be appropriate.


The aims of the module are to equip CAMHs practitioners with a good understanding of the incidence, prevalence and presentation of common mental health problems and evidenced-based treatment choices. Skills teaching will develop core competencies in active listening, engagement, alliance building, patient-centred information gathering, information giving and shared decision-making. 

Assessable learning outcomes:

At the end of module 2 – PY3EAS trainees will:

•    Demonstrate core engagement skills (i.e. listening, reflection, alliance building, active questioning, sense checking, and empathy)

•    Using a range of methods (e.g. interview, questionnaire, observation) to  conduct comprehensive, structured assessments with children, adolescents and parents which consider multiple historical, family and contextual factors

•    Develop a shared understanding with the child/young person and their family which highlights key factors, identifies goals and outlines the next steps

•    Draw on knowledge of diagnoses and evidence-based practice to help the family make a decision about appropriate interventions

•    Make informed assessments concerning risk in relation to children and young people


Additional outcomes:

At the end of the module trainees will be able to: 

•    Assess any current risk to the child or young person, or of the child or young person to others and take appropriate actions

•    Understand and use current diagnostic frameworks relevant to child and adolescent mental health problems

•    Use routine outcome measures (in conjunction with other information gathered) to assess the child’s current difficulties and subsequently track change over time

•    Use observational methods, questionnaires, and interviews with the family to develop a shared understanding of their current difficulties  

•    Carry out a basic functional analysis of a child’s presenting difficulties

•    With the family, develop a treatment plan based on the assessment


Outline content:

The Engagement and Assessment Skills module involves in class teaching days and workplace directed learning days. Students will also be expected to dedicate considerable private study time (about five days) to complete the portfolio and prepare for and reflect on supervision.

Clinical Supervision

•    In the workplace, each student will have clinical supervision weekly in a group of no more than four with occasional individual sessions in place of the group sessions.

•    Recorded material from at least four cases should be included at some point during the supervision sessions

•    At the end of the course when clinical work has been completed the workplace supervisor will be asked to complete a pro-forma assessment form and indicate whether or not a student has reached a satisfactory level of clinical practice.

•    The clinical work of the practitioners will be supervised by staff that have either completed the Postgraduate Certificate in Supervising Evidenced Based Psychological Therapies course or the five day outreach generic supervisor training course at one of the CYP IAPT training providers. This will ensure that they have developed knowledge of and competency in the Roth and Pilling generic supervision competencies ( and how to embed the core CYP IAPT principles into their supervision practice. They should also have working knowledge of the interventions the practitioners will be implementing (or evidence how they will gain this knowledge).

•    Some supervision will also be provided to the practitioners by the HEI to support the development of skills within the training programme and to familiarise the practitioners with the process and content of supervision to support their work in services. This, in conjunction with the supervisor training, will allow for sustainable practices in relation to supervision being developed and embedded into services.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The aims of this module will be achieved through a series of workshops, which will incorporate lectures, role-plays, and small group discussions.  These will last from 9.30 to 4.30 p.m. In addition, they will be supplemented by e-learning material and experience of putting into practice what has been learned within the workplace. Teaching will be provided by course tutors, with some national experts where appropriate.

Skills-based competencies will be learned through a combination of clinical simulation in small groups working intensively under close supervision with peer and tutor feedback and supervised practice through supervised direct contact with patients in the workplace. Knowledge will be learned through a combination of lectures, seminars, discussion groups, guided reading and independent study. 

Knowledge will also be supplemented through e-learning sessions available on the MindEd e-portal. There are six timetabled teaching days. It is anticipated that five days will be delivered at the HEI in a combination of workshops, skills classes, and lectures and that one day will be delivered at the workplace using learning sets in groups. Students will also be expected to work independently between formal teaching sessions.  

E-learning sessions to support classroom or workplace learning, or for use in private study could include: 

•    The therapeutic alliance

•    Conducting a developmental assessment

•    Overview of diagnostic assessment

•    Assessing and managing risk

Contact hours:    6 days in total 

• Days will be split between in class theoretical teaching and clinical simulation, and in the workplace undertaking practice-based learning and supervision.



Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 35
Practicals classes and workshops 7
External visits 158
Total hours by term 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 25
Portfolio 25
Oral assessment and presentation 25
Practical skills assessment 25

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

The assessment has four parts. Assessment will be through a combination of:

1.    A video recording of an assessment session with a child or young person presenting with a common mental health problem.

2.    A reflective analysis related to the assessment session

3.    A Clinical Outcomes Portfolio

4.    Supervisor assessment of clinical competences to include direct observation of each of the treatment strategies taught, whether through video recording or live supervision - all must reach 50% minimum to be deemed competent on a standardised measure.

The Assessments will be weighted equally.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:

    Refer to “Assessment” section above.  Students must be marked as 50% or above on Part 1 and at 40% or more on Part 2.  Part 3 and Part 4 must be marked as a pass.  A minimum of 100% attendance is required.

    Reassessment arrangements:

    Students who do not obtain the required pass mark in the summative assessed work will be given the opportunity to resubmit, on one further occasion, any individual assessment that has been failed. The re-sit grade cannot exceed 40% for the academic assessment and 50% for the clinical assessment. A short ‘Top-up School’ will be held after the end of the course, giving students the opportunity to complete missed teaching sessions or assessments.

    Completion of studies is dependent on employment within a CAMHS partnership of the Central and South CYP IAPT Collaborative and ongoing access to a CYP IAPT appropriate clinical caseload. Students must successfully pass all modules of the CYP WP training programme. Therefore a student’s studies may be terminated if they are no longer working in a partnership service, no longer have access to an ongoing CYP IAPT appropriate caseload, or fail coursework at second attempt.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 30 May 2018


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