Forensic CAMHS

Who we are

The FCAMHS South West (South), or Forensic Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service South West (South), is an NHS service that covers Somerset, Devon and Cornwall.

We aim to help young people who are struggling with their thoughts and emotions, and are putting themselves or others at risk. They may be in contact with the police about these behaviours.

Please find below information for Young People and their Families, and a separate box for Professionals, where you can find information about how to refer a young person to our service.



We are continuing to look at how we can improve our service and ensure we are offering the best advice and support for young people and the professional network. If you have had contact with us, via a referral or during a consultation, we would love to hear your feedback. via the contacts displayed on the right sidebar.


The Team

The team is made up of professionals with a variety of backgrounds and disciplines. Our team consists of a social worker, a mental health nurse, a psychologist/clinical lead, a psychiatrist, an assistant psychologist and a team secretary. We also sometimes have trainee psychologists.

How to refer

As we mainly work with the people working with you, we would ask them to refer. If you think you would benefit from a referral, then speak to the adults around you.

Information for Young People and Families

Are you just like CAMHS?

We work slightly differently to CAMHS. We won’t replace the people you already work with. Instead of meeting with you regularly, we mostly work with the adults who support you, to help them support you in the best way.

What does FCAMHS do?
  • We help professionals and families to understand behaviour and challenges using a psychological understanding of difficulties.
  • We teach people. We will meet with the people working with you and share our knowledge around working with young people with similar needs to you.
  • We try to understand why you use behaviours that worry people. We will look at notes people have made and talk with them.
  • We make recommendations to the people working with you. We help them see how we understand you, so that they can work with you in the best ways, to help you get your life on track!
  • Our advice will be different for every young person because everyone has different need and goals!

Information for Professionals

Who are we?

Forensic CAMHS South West (South) covers three counties: Somerset, Devon and Cornwall. We have close links across agencies in all regions, that support existing mental health and welfare services for children and adolescents.

Forensic CAMHS works closely with CAMHS and other agencies, such as education providers and children’s services, aiming to support the professional network around a young person to understand behaviours and difficulties.

Who is FCAMHS for?

FCAMHS works with the professional network who work with young people up to the age of 18 who:

  • Have complex mental health needs*
  • Are presenting with a high level of risk to others*
  • May be accommodated within secure services
  • May have a forensic history
  • May be at risk of involvement with criminal justice services
  • Have complex multi-agency involvement.
What is the referral criteria?

FCAMHS is a small and specialist team that works with young people who present with:

  • complex mental health needs that would meet the threshold for general CAMHS, and/or neurodevelopmental differences such as Autism and ADHD, and/or trauma and attachment difficulties.


  • a high level of risk of harm to others through behaviours such as fire setting, harmful sexual behaviour and serious violence in multiple settings.
Who can refer and how can they do that?

Any professionals involved with children meeting the inclusion criteria can contact the service. Young people and families can ask their GP or other professionals to refer.

Referrals will be via the Single Point of Access (SPA for Somerset).