The CWP programme is a recruit to train programme. That means that for the first year, you would be funded to work both in your service, and train with the University of Exeter. The programme offers practitioners rigorous training in the CYP IAPT principles and evidence-based practice to equip practitioners to work with children and families with mild to moderate presentations of Anxiety, Depression, and behavioural problems in young children. CWPs will be able to work alongside children, young people and their families in a goal focussed, low intensity way, with an emphasis on early intervention and prevention and the opportunity to reach into the community.

Frequently asked questions

What is Low Intensity?

Low intensity means that children and young people are seen less intensively for support: this could mean less frequently, or it could mean that the tools employed are more structured around supported or guided self-help.

Does it work?

Yes! CWPs are able to improve earlier access to support by working within more community settings. This means that you could be working in schools or seeing young people in the community – from youth groups to cafés to the football field – wherever young people want to be seen. What we know from the research is that young people find low intensity approaches like supported self-help, computer-based CBT (cCBT) and telephone support more acceptable than traditional face to face, weekly therapy sessions. By improving their accessibility through self-referrals and community based work, CWPs are able to support children, young people, and families earlier and help to prevent challenges and distress from worsening.

How do I apply for a place?

If you are interested in applying for the course, you can look out for adverts within the Southwest Collaborative for Children’s Wellbeing Practitioner jobs. To see the latest vacancies check our jobs page, search online or on the NHS jobs homepage.

For a list of services in the SW collaborative please see here.

Am I eligible to apply?

This programme is offered at both postgraduate level (PGDip) and at final year undergraduate degree level (GradDip). If you do not hold an undergraduate degree you may be eligible for enrolment on the GradDip programme. The topics you will study are the same for both programmes. You would be expected to also have experience of working with children and/or young people.

What should I expect from the course?

This is a 12-month training programme where you will be working and studying full time. Teaching will begin with trainees spending five days per week at the University as part of the intensive teaching block. It will then taper down to four days per week, then three days per week, before working in service full time for the remainder of the training year. 

Teaching will enable mental health professionals to gain skills and knowledge in delivering brief, focused low-intensity informed interventions for children and young people experiencing common mental health (low mood and anxiety) and behavioural difficulties.

Assessments include:

  • a recorded presentation
  • a written exam
  • formative PPD (Professional Practice Document)
  • recordings
  • reflective commentaries
  • practice outcomes document/Portfolio.
Modules include:
Module 1 – Children and Young People’s Mental Health Settings – Context and Values

In this module the trainee will develop the knowledge in the core CYP mental health principles, and will become skilled in enhancing your work with children, young people and their families/parents. This module underpins training related to assessments and interventions skills. This module is to provide the necessary knowledge, attitude, and competence to operate effectively in an inclusive, values driven service and in the wider services context.

Module 2 – Assessment and Engagement

The aims of the module are to equip CWPs with a good understanding of the incidence, prevalence and presentation of common mental health problems and evidenced-based treatment choices. Skills teaching will develop core competences in active listening, engagement, alliance building, patient-centred information gathering, information giving and shared decision-making.

Module 3 – Evidence-based Interventions (Theory and Skills)

The aim of this module is to provide the CWP with a good understanding of the process of therapeutic support for a range of evidence-based, low intensity cognitive behavioural interventions for anxiety, low mood, behavioural and self-regulatory difficulties and to manage the learning and development of individual CYP and their parents / carers. 

Module 4 – Working, assessing and engaging in community based and primary settings

The aim of this module is to develop an understanding of the community and primary care context, as well as the assessment and engagement of children, young people, and their families specific to these settings. It has been designed as complement related modules.

Module 5 – Mental health prevention in community and primary care settings

Within this modules CWP’s will be trained in two primary prevention approaches within community settings: Training others to have an awareness of common mental health difficulties and to review, understand and support the participation of children, young people and their families.

Module 6 – Interventions for emerging mental health difficulties in community and mental health care settings

This module will work to equip CWPs with a good understanding of the process of psychoeducation and group work in community/ health care settings both face to face and virtually. The trainee will acquire a framework of key skills and knowledge through teaching, experiential learning, role play and supervised practice.

How is it financed?

The course is funded by Health Education England, who pay the university and your service directly. You will receive a salary while you are studying and training, at NHS Band 4 Agenda for Change or equivalent.

How can I find out more?

For more information about the course and applying, please visit our University of Exeter website. You can also contact the project team or the CWP admin team