The CYP South West Community of Practice was established as part of the CYP IAPT national workforce transformation programme.

CYP IAPT stands for Children and Young People’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies. It is a national transformation programme launched in 2011 that seeks to improve the quality and access of services that provide emotional wellbeing support for children and young people. The aim of the programme is to improve both the effectiveness of treatment and the experiences of children, young people and parents in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).

The programme supports improvement by ensuring that all services are embedding the five core principles into their day to day practice – find out more about each of these principles below.


Participation is the principle that young people, parents and carers should have an active role to play in decisions around their care, and the shape and delivery of services who support them.

Children and young people’s participation is one of the five key principles of the CYP IAPT programme, and it is essential to successful service transformation. Services need to be able to meet the needs of the young people and parents that they work with – not only in meeting their care, but also in how services are set up to deliver support.

Participation places great emphasis on shared decision making – which means that young people have an equal role with their practitioner in making decisions about their treatment. CYP IAPT practitioners will discuss a range of different ways of working together with the young person, and help them come to a shared decision about the opportunities.

Find out more about ways to participate in the Participation section.


The principle of Accessibility is about actively improving the awareness of Children and Young People’s emotional wellbeing, reducing stigma and improving access to services for support. Services will be working to improve access in a number of ways:

  • More community support
  • Raising awareness through wider (including digital) communication strategies to reduce the stigma of mental health
  • Integrating self-referral routes where possible
  • Making services more efficient, to avoid long waiting lists
  • Actively participating with young people to improve the locations and access where people are seen for support.

Find out more: 

You can find further information on improving the accessibility of services on MindEd :


The principle of Awareness is about increasing public understanding of the importance of emotional wellbeing and decreasing stigma and discrimination.

The Community of Practice supports the implementation of this principle into services through rigorous training of staff, social media and working with young people in training events.


The principle of Accountability is about ensuring that services are accessing young people’s views on the support that they are receiving. Services monitor the support process to make sure it’s actively helping young people move towards their goals for change. The outcomes from this data help to demonstrate that services are effective in the support that they provide, and flag up any areas for improvement.

The Community of Practice supports the implementation of outcome monitoring through each of its training programmes, and within the outreach support offer to services though consultation, training and workshops.

Through all of the CYP IAPT training programmes, practitioners are trained in the use of Routine Outcome Measures (ROMs) in day to day practice in order to aid meaningful conversations and allow for greater collaboration with Children and Young People. ROMs also help with problem identification, enable both young people and therapists to track progression and also see when things aren’t working. Use of ROMs have been shown to improve outcomes (Bickman et al 2011) reduce drop out (Miller et al, 2006) and reduce the length of interventions (Lambert et al. 2005)

Find out more:


Evidence-based practice is the “The integration of the best available research with clinical expertise in the context of patient characteristics, culture, and patient preferences” (American Psychological Association Task Force on Evidence-based Practice, 2006).

The South West Community of Practice, in partnership with the University of Exeter provides the CYP IAPT training which draws upon the most up to date research and guidelines for working with young people.

One of the key principles of CYP IAPT is use of evidence to guide clinical and managerial decision making and increase access to interventions that have been found to be effective (see NICE guidelines). The Community of Practice can support implementation of evidence based care pathways and practice in services through training and consultancy.