Children & Young People's (CYP) Complex Needs Service

Who we are:

The Complex Needs Service is a team of experienced clinicians who provide advice, support and training to other services who are working with children and young people with, what we call, “complex needs.”

The needs of some children and young people can be described as "complex" and they are particularly vulnerable. Their mental health needs can be hard to meet through the usual services, because of their unique and often difficult social circumstances. A child with complex needs may, for example:

  • Have experienced abuse, neglect or other trauma
  • Be involved with the criminal justice system
  • Be vulnerable to criminal exploitation
  • Be in care, or be a young adult who has left care
  • Not be receiving any education or training, and not have a job.
  • May need help from more than one service
  • Find it difficult to keep appointments, or tell people they want help

How we work

We work with the professionals involved, so that everyone can share information and consider together how to best help. For some children, we hold meetings to try to build up a picture of what the child has experienced in their life. We think with other professionals us about how traumatic experiences can affect a child's development. We explore how the child's experiences could explain the difficulties they are having now. From there, we can make plans about what the child needs, and who from.

We do not see or talk to most of the children and young people who are referred to us. Children and young people are made awareif there is going to be some liaison with us. It depends very much on the situation, but if we do see a child, we might provide:

  • Psychological assessment, for example to identify needs related to learning, development, or mental health
  • Assess their language and communication needs
  • Engage the young person to help them develop trust in services and professionals
  • Help the young person to manage and understand emotions and behaviour
  • Helping the young person to engage with a service they need; so we may liaise with the service or accompany them to an appointment

The staff in the team, and how referrals are made:

We have a range of staff in the team, who work with specific services, or groups. What we all have in common is the way we work. We accept referrals and requests from professionals working in the following services:

  • Lincolnshire County Council’s Future4Me service
  • Lincolnshire County Council’s childrens homes
  • Barnardo’s Leaving Care service
  • Any health or social care professional with a concern about a child’s harmful behaviour


For further information please contact