1 Recommendations

The following guidance is based on the best available evidence. The full guideline gives details of the methods and the evidence used to develop the guidance.

All recommendations relate to children and young people aged under 18 years unless otherwise specified.

The wording used in the recommendations in this guideline (for example, words such as 'offer' and 'consider') denotes the certainty with which the recommendation is made (the strength of the recommendation). See About this guideline for details.

1.1 General principles of care

Working safely and effectively with children and young people

1.1.1 Health and social care professionals working with children and young people who present with behaviour suggestive of a conduct disorder, or who have a conduct disorder, should be trained and competent to work with children and young people of all levels of learning ability, cognitive capacity, emotional maturity and development.

1.1.2 Health and social care professionals should ensure that they:

  • can assess capacity and competence, including 'Gillick competence', in children and young people of all ages and

  • understand how to apply legislation, including the Children Act (1989), the Mental Health Act (1983; amended 1995 and 2007) and the Mental Capacity Act (2005), in the care and treatment of children and young people.

1.1.3 Health and social care providers should ensure that children and young people:

  • can routinely receive care and treatment from a single team or professional

  • are not passed from one team to another unnecessarily

  • do not undergo multiple assessments unnecessarily[3].

1.1.4 When providing assessment or treatment interventions for children and young people, ensure that the nature and content of the intervention is suitable for the child or young person's developmental level.

1.1.5 Consider children and young people for assessment according to local safeguarding procedures if there are concerns regarding exploitation or self-care, or if they have been in contact with the criminal justice system[3].

Establishing relationships with children and young people and their parents or carers

1.1.6 Be aware that many children and young people with a conduct disorder may have had poor or punitive experiences of care and be mistrustful or dismissive of offers of help as a result.

1.1.7 Develop a positive, caring and trusting relationship with the child or young person and their parents or carers to encourage their engagement with services.

1.1.8 Health and social care professionals working with children and young people should be trained and skilled in:

  • negotiating and working with parents and carers and

  • managing issues relating to information sharing and confidentiality as these apply to children and young people.

1.1.9 If a young person is 'Gillick competent' ask them what information can be shared before discussing their condition with their parents or carers.

1.1.10 When working with children and young people with a conduct disorder and their parents or carers:

  • make sure that discussions take place in settings in which confidentiality, privacy and dignity are respected

  • be clear with the child or young person and their parents or carers about limits of confidentiality (that is, which health and social care professionals have access to information about their diagnosis and its treatment and in what circumstances this may be shared with others)[3].

1.1.11 When coordinating care and discussing treatment decisions with children and young people and their parents or carers, ensure that:

  • everyone involved understands the purpose of any meetings and why information might need to be shared between services and

  • the right to confidentiality is respected throughout the process.

Working with parents and carers

1.1.12 If parents or carers are involved in the treatment of young people with a conduct disorder, discuss with young people of an appropriate developmental level, emotional maturity and cognitive capacity how they want them to be involved. Such discussions should take place at intervals to take account of any changes in circumstances, including developmental level, and should not happen only once[3].

1.1.13 Be aware that parents and carers of children and young people with a conduct disorder might feel blamed for their child's problems or stigmatised by their contact with services. When offering or providing interventions such as parent training programmes, directly address any concerns they have and set out the reasons for and purpose of the intervention.

1.1.14 Offer parents and carers an assessment of their own needs including:

  • personal, social and emotional support and

  • support in their caring role, including emergency plans and

  • advice on practical matters such as childcare, housing and finances, and help to obtain support.

Communication and information

1.1.15 When communicating with children and young people with a conduct disorder and their parents or carers:

  • take into account the child or young person's developmental level, emotional maturity and cognitive capacity, including any learning disabilities, sight or hearing problems, or delays in language development or social communication difficulties

  • use plain language if possible and clearly explain any clinical language; adjust strategies to the person's language ability, for example, breaking up information, checking back, summarising and recapping

  • check that the child or young person and their parents or carers understand what is being said

  • use communication aids (such as pictures, symbols, large print, braille, different languages or sign language) if needed.

1.1.16 When giving information to children and young people with a conduct disorder and their parents or carers, ensure you are :

  • familiar with local and national sources (organisations and websites) of information and/or support for children and young people with a conduct disorder and their parents or carers

  • able to discuss and advise how to access these resources

  • able to discuss and actively support children and young people and their parents or carers to engage with these resources[3].

1.1.17 When communicating with a child or young person use diverse media, including letters, phone calls, emails or text messages, according to their preference[3].

Culture, ethnicity and social inclusion

1.1.18 When working with children and young people with a conduct disorder and their parents or carers:

  • take into account that stigma and discrimination are often associated with using mental health services

  • be respectful of and sensitive to children and young people's gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, age, background (including cultural, ethnic and religious background) and any disability

  • be aware of possible variations in the presentation of mental health problems in children and young people of different genders, ages, cultural, ethnic, religious or other diverse backgrounds[3].

1.1.19 When working with children and young people and their parents or carers who have difficulties speaking or reading English:

  • provide and work proficiently with interpreters if needed

  • offer a list of local education providers who can provide English language teaching.

1.1.20 Health and social care professionals working with children and young people with a conduct disorder and their parents or carers should have competence in:

  • assessment skills and using explanatory models of conduct disorder for people from different cultural, ethnic, religious or other diverse backgrounds

  • explaining the possible causes of different mental health problems, and care, treatment and support options

  • addressing cultural, ethnic, religious or other differences in treatment expectations and adherence

  • addressing cultural, ethnic, religious or other beliefs about biological, social and familial influences on the possible causes of mental health problems

  • conflict management and conflict resolution[3].

Staff supervision

1.1.21 Health and social care services should ensure that staff supervision is built into the routine working of the service, is properly resourced within local systems and is monitored. Supervision should:

  • make use of direct observation (for example, recordings of sessions) and routine outcome measures

  • support adherence to the specific intervention

  • focus on outcomes

  • be regular and apply to the whole caseload.

Transfer and discharge

1.1.22 Anticipate that withdrawal and ending of treatments or services, and transition from one service to another, may evoke strong emotions and reactions in children and young people with a conduct disorder and their parents or carers. Ensure that:

  • such changes, especially discharge and transfer from CAMHS to adult services, are discussed and planned carefully beforehand with the child or young person and their parents or carers, and are structured and phased

  • children and young people and their parents or carers are given comprehensive information about the way adult services work and the nature of any potential interventions provided

  • any care plan supports effective collaboration with social care and other care providers during endings and transitions, and includes details of how to access services in times of crisis

  • when referring a child or young person for an assessment in other services (including for psychological interventions), they are supported during the referral period and arrangements for support are agreed beforehand with them[3].

1.1.23 For young people who continue to exhibit antisocial behaviour or meet criteria for a conduct disorder while in transition to adult services (in particular those who are still vulnerable, such as those who have been looked after or who have limited access to care) refer to Antisocial personality disorder (NICE clinical guideline 77). For those who have other mental health problems refer to other NICE guidance for the specific mental health problem.

1.2 Selective prevention

In this guideline selective prevention refers to interventions targeted to individuals or to a subgroup of the population whose risk of developing a conduct disorder is significantly higher than average, as evidenced by individual, family and social risk factors. Individual risk factors include low school achievement and impulsiveness; family risk factors include parental contact with the criminal justice system and child abuse; social risk factors include low family income and little education.

1.2.1 Offer classroom-based emotional learning and problem-solving programmes for children aged typically between 3 and 7 years in schools where classroom populations have a high proportion of children identified to be at risk of developing oppositional defiant disorder or conduct disorder as a result of any of the following factors:

  • low socioeconomic status

  • low school achievement

  • child abuse or parental conflict

  • separated or divorced parents

  • parental mental health or substance misuse problems

  • parental contact with the criminal justice system.

1.2.2 Classroom-based emotional learning and problem-solving programmes should be provided in a positive atmosphere and consist of interventions intended to:

  • increase children's awareness of their own and others' emotions

  • teach self-control of arousal and behaviour

  • promote a positive self-concept and good peer relations

  • develop children's problem-solving skills.

    Typically the programmes should consist of up to 30 classroom-based sessions over the course of 1 school year.

1.3 Identification and assessment

Initial assessment of children and young people with a possible conduct disorder

1.3.1 Adjust delivery of initial assessment methods to:

  • the needs of children and young people with a suspected conduct disorder and

  • the setting in which they are delivered (for example, health and social care, educational settings or the criminal justice system).

1.3.2 Undertake an initial assessment for a suspected conduct disorder if a child or young person's parents or carers, health or social care professionals, school or college, or peer group raise concerns about persistent antisocial behaviour.

1.3.3 Do not regard a history of a neurodevelopmental condition (for example, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder [ADHD]) as a barrier to assessment.

1.3.4 For the initial assessment of a child or young person with a suspected conduct disorder, consider using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (completed by a parent, carer or teacher).

1.3.5 Assess for the presence of the following significant complicating factors:

  • a coexisting mental health problem (for example, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder)

  • a neurodevelopmental condition (in particular ADHD and autism)

  • a learning disability or difficulty

  • substance misuse in young people.

1.3.6 If any significant complicating factors are present refer the child or young person to a specialist CAMHS for a comprehensive assessment.

1.3.7 If no significant complicating factors are present consider direct referral for an intervention.

Comprehensive assessment

1.3.8 A comprehensive assessment of a child or young person with a suspected conduct disorder should be undertaken by a health or social care professional who is competent to undertake the assessment and should:

  • offer the child or young person the opportunity to meet the professional on their own

  • involve a parent, carer or other third party known to the child or young person who can provide information about current and past behaviour

  • if necessary involve more than 1 health or social care professional to ensure a comprehensive assessment is undertaken.

1.3.9 Before starting a comprehensive assessment, explain to the child or young person how the outcome of the assessment will be communicated to them. Involve a parent, carer or advocate to help explain the outcome.

1.3.10 The standard components of a comprehensive assessment of conduct disorders should include asking about and assessing the following:

  • core conduct disorders symptoms including:

    • patterns of negativistic, hostile, or defiant behaviour in children aged under 11 years

    • aggression to people and animals, destruction of property, deceitfulness or theft and serious violations of rules in children aged over 11 years

  • current functioning at home, at school or college and with peers

  • parenting quality

  • history of any past or current mental or physical health problems.

1.3.11 Take into account and address possible coexisting conditions such as:

  • learning difficulties or disabilities

  • neurodevelopmental conditions such as ADHD and autism

  • neurological disorders including epilepsy and motor impairments

  • other mental health problems (for example, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and bipolar disorder)

  • substance misuse

  • communication disorders (for example, speech and language problems).

1.3.12 Consider using formal assessment instruments to aid the diagnosis of coexisting conditions, such as:

  • the Child Behavior Checklist for all children and young people

  • the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire for all children or young people

  • the Connors Rating Scales – Revised for a child or young person with suspected ADHD

  • a validated measure of autistic behaviour for a child or young person with a suspected autism spectrum disorder (see Autism diagnosis in children and young people [NICE clinical guideline 128])

  • a validated measure of cognitive ability for a child or young person with a suspected learning disability

  • a validated reading test for a child or young person with a suspected reading difficulty.

1.3.13 Assess the risks faced by the child or young person and if needed develop a risk management plan for self-neglect, exploitation by others, self-harm or harm to others.

1.3.14 Assess for the presence or risk of physical, sexual and emotional abuse in line with local protocols for the assessment and management of these problems.

1.3.15 Conduct a comprehensive assessment of the child or young person's parents or carers, which should cover:

  • positive and negative aspects of parenting, in particular any use of coercive discipline

  • the parent–child relationship

  • positive and negative adult relationships within the child or young person's family, including domestic violence

  • parental wellbeing, encompassing mental health, substance misuse (including whether alcohol or drugs were used during pregnancy) and criminal behaviour.

1.3.16 Develop a care plan with the child or young person and their parents or carers that includes a profile of their needs, risks to self or others, and any further assessments that may be needed. This should encompass the development and maintenance of the conduct disorder and any associated behavioural problems, any coexisting mental or physical health problems and speech, language and communication difficulties, in the context of:

  • any personal, social, occupational, housing or educational needs

  • the needs of parents or carers

  • the strengths of the child or young person and their parents or carers.

1.4 Identifying effective treatment and care options

1.4.1 When discussing treatment or care interventions with a child or young person with a conduct disorder and, if appropriate, their parents or carers, take account of:

  • their past and current experience of the disorder

  • their experience of, and response to, previous interventions and services

  • the nature, severity and duration of the problem(s)

  • the impact of the disorder on educational performance

  • any chronic physical health problem

  • any social or family factors that may have a role in the development or maintenance of the identified problem(s)

  • any coexisting conditions[4].

1.4.2 When discussing treatment or care interventions with a child or young person and, if appropriate, their parents or carers, provide information about:

  • the nature, content and duration of any proposed intervention

  • the acceptability and tolerability of any proposed intervention

  • the possible impact on interventions for any other behavioural or mental health problem

  • the implications for the continuing provision of any current interventions[4].

1.4.3 When making a referral for treatment or care interventions for a conduct disorder, take account of the preferences of the child or young person and, if appropriate, their parents or carers when choosing from a range of evidence-based interventions[4].

1.5 Psychosocial interventions – treatment and indicated prevention

In this guideline indicated prevention refers to interventions targeted to high-risk individuals who are identified as having detectable signs or symptoms that may lead to the development of conduct disorders but who do not meet diagnostic criteria for conduct disorders when offered an intervention.

The interventions in recommendations 1.5.1–1.5.12 are suitable for children and young people who have a diagnosis of oppositional defiant disorder or conduct disorder, are in contact with the criminal justice system for antisocial behaviour, or have been identified as being at high risk of a conduct disorder using established rating scales of antisocial behaviour (for example, the Child Behavior Checklist and the Eyberg Child Behavior Inventory).

Parent training programmes

1.5.1 Offer a group parent training programme to the parents of children and young people aged between 3 and 11 years who:

  • have been identified as being at high risk of developing oppositional defiant disorder or conduct disorder or

  • have oppositional defiant disorder or conduct disorder or

  • are in contact with the criminal justice system because of antisocial behaviour.

1.5.2 Group parent training programmes should involve both parents if this is possible and in the best interests of the child or young person, and should:

  • typically have between 10 and 12 parents in a group

  • be based on a social learning model, using modelling, rehearsal and feedback to improve parenting skills

  • typically consist of 10 to 16 meetings of 90 to 120 minutes' duration

  • adhere to a developer's manual[5] and employ all of the necessary materials to ensure consistent implementation of the programme.

1.5.3 Offer an individual parent training programme to the parents of children and young people aged between 3 and 11 years who are not able to participate in a group parent training programme and whose child:

  • has been identified as being at high risk of developing oppositional defiant disorder or conduct disorder or

  • has oppositional defiant disorder or conduct disorder or

  • is in contact with the criminal justice system because of antisocial behaviour.

1.5.4 Individual parent training programmes should involve both parents if this is possible and in the best interests of the child or young person, and should:

  • be based on a social learning model using modelling, rehearsal and feedback to improve parenting skills

  • typically consist of 8 to 10 meetings of 60 to 90 minutes' duration

  • adhere to a developer's manual[5] and employ all of the necessary materials to ensure consistent implementation of the programme.

Parent and child training programmes for children with complex needs

1.5.5 Offer individual parent and child training programmes to children and young people aged between 3 and 11 years if their problems are severe and complex and they:

  • have been identified as being at high risk of developing oppositional defiant disorder or conduct disorder or

  • have oppositional defiant disorder or conduct disorder or

  • are in contact with the criminal justice system because of antisocial behaviour.

1.5.6 Individual parent and child training programmes should involve both parents, foster carers or guardians if this is possible and in the best interests of the child or young person, and should:

  • be based on a social learning model using modelling, rehearsal and feedback to improve parenting skills

  • consist of up to 10 meetings of 60 minutes' duration

  • adhere to a developer's manual[5] and employ all of the necessary materials to ensure consistent implementation of the programme.

Foster carer/guardian training programmes

1.5.7 Offer a group foster carer/guardian training programme to foster carers and guardians of children and young people aged between 3 and 11 years who:

  • have been identified as being at high risk of developing oppositional defiant disorder or conduct disorder or

  • have oppositional defiant disorder or conduct disorder or

  • are in contact with the criminal justice system because of antisocial behaviour.

1.5.8 Group foster carer/guardian training programmes should involve both of the foster carers or guardians if this is possible and in the best interests of the child or young person, and should:

  • modify the intervention to take account of the care setting in which the child is living

  • typically have between 8 and 12 foster carers or guardians in a group

  • be based on a social learning model using modelling, rehearsal and feedback to improve parenting skills

  • typically consist of between 12 and 16 meetings of 90 to 120 minutes' duration

  • adhere to a developer's manual[5] and employ all of the necessary materials to ensure consistent implementation of the programme.

1.5.9 Offer an individual foster carer/guardian training programme to the foster carers or guardians of children and young people aged between 3 and 11 years who are not able to participate in a group programme and whose child:

  • has been identified as being at high risk of developing oppositional defiant disorder or conduct disorder or

  • has oppositional defiant disorder or conduct disorder or

  • is in contact with the criminal justice system because of antisocial behaviour.

1.5.10 Individual foster carer/guardian training programmes should involve both of the foster carers if this is possible and in the best interests of the child or young person, and should:

  • modify the intervention to take account of the care setting in which the child is living

  • be based on a social learning model using modelling, rehearsal and feedback to improve parenting skills

  • consist of up to 10 meetings of 60 minutes' duration

  • adhere to a developer's manual[5] and employ all of the necessary materials to ensure consistent implementation of the programme.

Child-focused programmes

1.5.11 Offer group social and cognitive problem-solving programmes to children and young people aged between 9 and 14 years who:

  • have been identified as being at high risk of developing oppositional defiant disorder or conduct disorder or

  • have oppositional defiant disorder or conduct disorder or

  • are in contact with the criminal justice system because of antisocial behaviour.

1.5.12 Group social and cognitive problem-solving programmes should be adapted to the children's or young people's developmental level and should:

  • be based on a cognitive–behavioural problem-solving model

  • use modelling, rehearsal and feedback to improve skills

  • typically consist of 10 to 18 weekly meetings of 2 hours' duration

  • adhere to a developer's manual[5] and employ all of the necessary materials to ensure consistent implementation of the programme.

Multimodal interventions

1.5.13 Offer multimodal interventions, for example, multisystemic therapy, to children and young people aged between 11 and 17 years for the treatment of conduct disorder.

1.5.14 Multimodal interventions should involve the child or young person and their parents and carers and should:

  • have an explicit and supportive family focus

  • be based on a social learning model with interventions provided at individual, family, school, criminal justice and community levels

  • be provided by specially trained case managers

  • typically consist of 3 to 4 meetings per week over a 3- to 5-month period

  • adhere to a developer's manual[5] and employ all of the necessary materials to ensure consistent implementation of the programme.

1.6 Pharmacological interventions

1.6.1 Do not offer pharmacological interventions for the routine management of behavioural problems in children and young people with oppositional defiant disorder or conduct disorder.

1.6.2 Offer methylphenidate or atomoxetine, within their licensed indications, for the management of ADHD in children and young people with oppositional defiant disorder or conduct disorder, in line with Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (NICE clinical guideline 72).

1.6.3 Consider risperidone[6] for the short-term management of severely aggressive behaviour in young people with a conduct disorder who have problems with explosive anger and severe emotional dysregulation and who have not responded to psychosocial interventions.

1.6.4 Provide young people and their parents or carers with age-appropriate information and discuss the likely benefits and possible side effects of risperidone[6] including:

  • metabolic (including weight gain and diabetes)

  • extrapyramidal (including akathisia, dyskinesia and dystonia)

  • cardiovascular (including prolonging the QT interval)

  • hormonal (including increasing plasma prolactin)

  • other (including unpleasant subjective experiences).

1.6.5 Risperidone[6] should be started by an appropriately qualified healthcare professional with expertise in conduct disorders and should be based on a comprehensive assessment and diagnosis. The healthcare professional should undertake and record the following baseline investigations:

  • weight and height (both plotted on a growth chart)

  • waist and hip measurements

  • pulse and blood pressure

  • fasting blood glucose, glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c), blood lipid and prolactin levels

  • assessment of any movement disorders

  • assessment of nutritional status, diet and level of physical activity.

1.6.6 Treatment with risperidone[7] should be carefully evaluated, and include the following:

  • Record the indications and expected benefits and risks, and the expected time for a change in symptoms and appearance of side effects.

  • At the start of treatment give a dose at the lower end of the licensed range and slowly titrate upwards within the dose range given in the British national formulary for children (BNFC) or the summary of product characteristics (SPC).

  • Justify and record reasons for dosages above the range given in the BNFC or SPC.

  • Monitor and record systematically throughout treatment, but especially during titration:

    • efficacy, including changes in symptoms and behaviour

    • the emergence of movement disorders

    • weight and height (weekly)

    • fasting blood glucose, HbA1c, blood lipid and prolactin levels

    • adherence to medication

    • physical health, including warning parents or carers and the young person about symptoms and signs of neuroleptic malignant syndrome.

  • Record the rationale for continuing or stopping treatment and the effects of these decisions[6].

1.6.7 Review the effects of risperidone[6] after 3–4 weeks and discontinue it if there is no indication of a clinically important response at 6 weeks.

1.7 Organisation and delivery of care

Improving access to services

1.7.1 Health and social care professionals, managers and commissioners should collaborate with colleagues in educational settings to develop local care pathways that promote access to services for children and young people with a conduct disorder and their parents and carers by:

  • supporting the integrated delivery of services across all care settings

  • having clear and explicit criteria for entry to the service

  • focusing on entry and not exclusion criteria

  • having multiple means (including self-referral) of access to the service

  • providing multiple points of access that facilitate links with the wider care system, including educational and social care services and the community in which the service is located[4].

1.7.2 Provide information about the services and interventions that constitute the local care pathway, including the:

  • range and nature of the interventions provided

  • settings in which services are delivered

  • processes by which a child or young person moves through the pathway

  • means by which progress and outcomes are assessed

  • delivery of care in related health and social care services[8].

1.7.3 When providing information about local care pathways for children and young people with a conduct disorder and their parents and carers:

  • take into account the person's knowledge and understanding of conduct disorders and their care and treatment

  • ensure that such information is appropriate to the communities using the pathway[4].

1.7.4 Provide all information about services in a range of languages and formats (visual, verbal and aural) and ensure that it is available in a range of settings throughout the whole community to which the service is responsible[8].

1.7.5 Health and social care professionals, managers and commissioners should collaborate with colleagues in educational settings to develop local care pathways that promote access for a range of groups at risk of under-utilising services, including:

  • girls and young women

  • black and minority ethnic groups

  • people with a coexisting condition (such as ADHD or autism)[4].

1.7.6 Support access to services and increase the uptake of interventions by:

  • ensuring systems are in place to provide for the overall coordination and continuity of care

  • designating a professional to oversee the whole period of care (for example, a staff member in a CAMHS or social care setting)[4].

1.7.7 Support access to services and increase the uptake of interventions by providing services for children and young people with a conduct disorder and their parents and carers, in a variety of settings. Use an assessment of local needs as a basis for the structure and distribution of services, which should typically include delivery of:

  • assessment and interventions outside normal working hours

  • assessment and interventions in the person's home or other residential settings

  • specialist assessment and interventions in accessible community-based settings (for example, community centres, schools and colleges and social centres) and if appropriate, in conjunction with staff from those settings

  • both generalist and specialist assessment and intervention services in primary care settings[4].

1.7.8 Health and social care professionals, managers and commissioners should collaborate with colleagues in educational settings to look at a range of services to support access to and uptake of services. These could include:

  • crèche facilities

  • assistance with travel

  • advocacy services[4].

Developing local care pathways

1.7.9 Local care pathways should be developed to promote implementation of key principles of good care. Pathways should be:

  • negotiable, workable and understandable for children and young people with a conduct disorder and their parents and carers as well as professionals

  • accessible and acceptable to all people in need of the services served by the pathway

  • responsive to the needs of children and young people with a conduct disorder and their parents and carers

  • integrated so that there are no barriers to movement between different levels of the pathway

  • focused on outcomes (including measures of quality, service user experience and harm)[4].

1.7.10 Responsibility for the development, management and evaluation of local care pathways should lie with a designated leadership team, which should include health and social care professionals, managers and commissioners. The leadership team should work in collaboration with colleagues in educational settings and take particular responsibility for:

  • developing clear policy and protocols for the operation of the pathway

  • providing training and support on the operation of the pathway

  • auditing and reviewing the performance of the pathway[4].

1.7.11 Health and social care professionals, managers and commissioners should work with colleagues in educational settings to design local care pathways that promote a model of service delivery that:

  • has clear and explicit criteria for the thresholds determining access to and movement between the different levels of the pathway

  • does not use single criteria such as symptom severity or functional impairment to determine movement within the pathway

  • monitors progress and outcomes to ensure the most effective interventions are delivered[4].

1.7.12 Health and social care professionals, managers and commissioners should work with colleagues in educational settings to design local care pathways that promote a range of evidence-based interventions in the pathway and support children and young people with a conduct disorder and their parents and carers in their choice of interventions[4].

1.7.13 All staff should ensure effective engagement with parents and carers, if appropriate, to:

  • inform and improve the care of the child or young person with a conduct disorder

  • meet the needs of parents and carers[4].

1.7.14 Health and social care professionals, managers and commissioners should work with colleagues in educational settings to design local care pathways that promote the active engagement of all populations served by the pathway. Pathways should:

  • offer prompt assessments and interventions that are appropriately adapted to the cultural, gender, age and communication needs of children and young people with a conduct disorder and their parents and carers

  • keep to a minimum the number of assessments needed to access interventions[4].

1.7.15 Health and social care professionals, managers and commissioners should work with colleagues in educational settings to design local care pathways that respond promptly and effectively to the changing needs of all populations served by the pathways. Pathways should have in place:

  • clear and agreed goals for the services offered to children and young people with a conduct disorder and their parents and carers

  • robust and effective means for measuring and evaluating the outcomes associated with the agreed goals

  • clear and agreed mechanisms for responding promptly to changes in individual needs[4].

1.7.16 Health and social care professionals, managers and commissioners should work with colleagues in educational settings to design local care pathways that provide an integrated programme of care across all care settings. Pathways should:

  • minimise the need for transition between different services or providers

  • allow services to be built around the pathway and not the pathway around the services

  • establish clear links (including access and entry points) to other care pathways (including those for physical healthcare needs)

  • have designated staff who are responsible for the coordination of people's engagement with the pathway[4].

1.7.17 Health and social care professionals, managers and commissioners should work with colleagues in educational settings to ensure effective communication about the functioning of the local care pathway. There should be protocols for:

  • sharing information with children and young people with a conduct disorder, and their parents and carers, about their care

  • sharing and communicating information about the care of children and young people with other professionals (including GPs)

  • communicating information between the services provided within the pathway

  • communicating information to services outside the pathway[4].

1.7.18 Health and social care professionals, managers and commissioners should work with colleagues in educational settings to design local care pathways that have robust systems for outcome measurement in place, which should be used to inform all involved in a pathway about its effectiveness. This should include providing:

  • individual routine outcome measurement systems

  • effective electronic systems for the routine reporting and aggregation of outcome measures

  • effective systems for the audit and review of the overall clinical and cost effectiveness of the pathway[4].



[3] Adapted from Service user experience in adult mental health (NICE clinical guidance 136).

[4] Adapted from Common mental health disorders (NICE clinical guideline 123).

[5] The manual should have been positively evaluated in a randomised controlled trial.

[6] At the time of publication (March 2013) some preparations of risperidone did not have a UK marketing authorisation for this indication in young people and no preparations were authorised for use in children aged under 5 years. The prescriber should consult the summary of product characteristics for the individual risperidone and follow relevant professional guidance, taking full responsibility for the decision. Informed consent should be obtained and documented. See the General Medical Council's Good practice in prescribing and managing medicines and devices for further information.

[7] Adapted from Psychosis and schizophrenia (NICE guideline CG82). This guideline has been replaced by Psychosis and schizophrenia in adults: prevention and management.

[8] From Common mental health disorders (NICE clinical guideline 123).

  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)