Information for parents and carers

Information for parents and carers

For most children, parents and carers will be involved in the child's care, and you can help them to understand the information above. When young people are mature enough to make their own decisions, healthcare professionals should ask them how they would like you to be involved in treatment and care and what information can be shared.

As parents or carers of children with psychosis or schizophrenia you will usually be involved in the assessment (see the assessment section), developing the care plan, crisis planning (see the developing care and crisis plans section) and treatment decisions. If the child or young person has a crisis, the healthcare team will try and support them at home if possible. If they need treatment in hospital, you should be supported, especially if the unit is a long way from where you live. You should be given information about the hospital, the treatments, activities and services available, the rules of the ward and when you can visit.

The recommended treatment for children and young people with psychosis or schizophrenia is antipsychotic medication together with psychological therapy (CBT with family intervention). Family intervention involves all the family (see the treating a first episode of psychosis section). Research shows that psychological therapy works better if the child or young person is also taking antipsychotic medication, and you can help the child or young person decide which medication to try. The healthcare team will explain the pros and cons of different medications, and the possible side effects, and support you to make a decision.

You may need help and support yourself. Healthcare professionals should give you information about local family and carer support groups and other voluntary organisations, and help you to contact them. Anyone with a caring role has the right to a carer's assessment.

The healthcare team will work with schools and colleges to ensure that the child or young person can continue their education. If they think that they have special educational needs, they can advise you how to apply for an assessment and support you throughout the process.

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