Nora Dudley, Service Manager, Future First, Wandsworth Council Leaving Care Service talks about the development of the specialist mental health Personal Advisor role. 


To ensure that young people with acute emotional health needs are supported to access support.


A qualified social worker who has worked in a mental health setting was appointed as a specialist Personal Advisor (PA).

+ They work with up to 15 young people who have acute emotional health needs – young people who are often hospitalized or those who might not be ready to accept therapeutic work.

+ They undertake the full range of responsibilities of a PA– completing pathway plans, undertaking statutory visits, making referrals and support young people to access services.

+ They can adopt various therapeutic approaches in their work as a PA which reflect the style of the counselling input the young person is receiving.

+ The PAs therapeutic interventions help prepare those young people who are not ready for specialist services to receive them.

+ They receive clinical supervision from a transitions worker in CAMHS.

+ They have helped the leaving care team build relationships with various therapeutic services and Talk Wandsworth.

+ They are available to provide advise and guidance to other PAs in the team.


Young people with complex needs are reporting they feel more supported and more able to access help to address their underlying issues.