Research and restating our duty of care

The complaint from professionals that they are victims of the prevailing bio-behavioural paradigm, and therefore are powerless to create change, cannot be considered acceptable in the light of the duty of care we hold towards children, young people and their parents. Our duty of care runs in parallel with the professional role of advocate, and takes a values-based approach that supports the rights of the child and young person. Professionals in child and family mental health including child psychotherapists, therefore need to become emboldened to take action to bring about a paradigm shift, particularly with respect to promoting meaningful research that has tangible outcomes. Policy does not constitute a tablet of stone, but is there to be engaged with, opened up and exposed to criticism. We need to lobby and inform policy makers and politicians, that narrowing the theoretical and research perspectives in which we consider services for children and young people, is ultimately counter-productive and damaging to them.

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