What interventions can CAMHS provide for young people involved with Oranga Tamariki? A review of the literature


  • Joanna Appleby University of Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Barbara Staniforth University of Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Susan P. Kemp University of Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Helene Connor Te Atiawa and Ngāti Ruanui, Ngāti Rahiri and Ngāti Te Whiti; University of Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand


Mental health, child welfare, therapy, adolescents, care-experienced


INTRODUCTION: Many care-experienced young people face significant mental health challenges. However, this group is not well served by child and adolescent mental health services. In this first of a two-part series, we present the evidence for effective mental health interventions for care-experienced young people to inform clinical decision-making and improve mental health service delivery. This precedes a second review of principles for working effectively with care-experienced young people.

METHODS: This is a narrative review of the literature regarding mental health interventions for young people involved with child welfare. It is based on international reviews of mental health interventions with the addition of relevant research from Aotearoa New Zealand, especially with Māori young people.

FINDINGS: Appropriate mental health interventions include Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy, Wraparound, and assertive outreach approaches, as well as systemic interventions that work with the whole care system around a young person. Application of each of these interventions to meet the specific needs of care- experienced youth in Aotearoa New Zealand is discussed. The findings are also relevant to other jurisdictions with overrepresentation of Indigenous young people involved with child welfare services.

CONCLUSION: Individual and systemic interventions are recommended that can support holistic mental health care. There is little integration of cultural considerations and anti- discriminatory practice within the existing literature, despite many of these young people coming from marginalised communities. The authors argue that mental health interventions must be culturally appropriate to meet the needs of care-experienced young people.


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How to Cite

Appleby, J., Staniforth, B., Kemp, S., & Connor, H. (2024). What interventions can CAMHS provide for young people involved with Oranga Tamariki? A review of the literature. Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work, 36(2), 68–83. Retrieved from https://anzswjournal.nz/anzsw/article/view/1069



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