Qualified Educational Mental Health/Child Wellbeing Practitioner

Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust
St Albans
£27,055 to £32,934 a year (pro rata if applicable)
Closing date
6 Jun 2023
PALMS is expanding again and we are seeking to appoint a motivated, committed, flexible and forward thinking Qualified EMHP (Educational Mental Health Practitioner) or CWP (Child wellbeing practitioner) to work in our MHST team, who is committed to supporting Children and Young People (CYP) and their families across Hertfordshire.

The Mental Health Support Team is a National trailblazer scheme offering early intervention mental health support, to children and their families, within schools. The Sen's MHST is the only MHST within the country, to offer support to SEN schools we are hosted by Palms and work within Hertfordshire and West Essex. We currently work in 14 SEN schools offering tailored support to children with additional needs, learning disabilities, and Autistic Spectrum Disorder aged 5-18. We offer group work, individual interventions with child or family, and support the school to develop their whole school approach to overall wellbeing. As the only SEN's MHST in the country we are also paving the way, and supporting other teams to develop their wellbeing services, for children with additional needs.

This is a really exciting opportunity to take your EMHP or CWP training and build the MHST offering to children, families and schools who can have a great need for mental health support, whilst working very creatively with the training to meet the children's additional needs and support the schools.

Main duties of the job

You will be working in a variety of school environments across Hertfordshire and West Essex, combined with being part of a virtual team to deliver our service. We operate from 7-7 Monday to Friday.

The ideal candidate will be:
  • Must have some SEN experience
  • Creative and flexible in their approach
  • Have a good understanding of children with additional needs learning styles, and how to adapt practice to support children and their families
  • Able to work and build relationships with a wide variety of professionals, schools, and families
  • Be able to deliver evidence-based interventions for children and young people in education settings
  • Have a good understanding of risk assessing and seek support from supervisor to manage risk
  • Be willing and able to participate fully in supervision
  • Flexible in their approach and have resilience under pressure
  • Able to work both in a team environment and autonomously
  • Able to maintain a high degree of professionalism when working in settings where there is a highly emotive atmosphere.

About us

PALMS is a friendly, cohesive, and proactive team who value feedback. We empower all team members to contribute to the continuous development of the service and welcome innovation and change. We have continued to support CYP and their families through the COVID19 pandemic embracing virtual working and being creative in using video conferencing to undertake all our interventions. Virtual working offers flexibility to both team members and families and is now embedded in the PALMS team.

Job description

Job responsibilities

The post is Fixed Term until March 2024 with high potential of extension, and full time however, PALMS are open to flexible working and therefore part time / job share would be considered, working a minimum of 0.6 WTE.

We can offer you:
  • Regular clinical and professional supervision
  • Regular appraisal, personal development planning and opportunities for continuing professional development. This includes specific support with regards to fulfilling the MHST role such as co-facilitating workshops.
  • Regular opportunities to meet as a team
  • Regular CPD and Peer Reflection
  • Opportunities to work closely with a multi-disciplinary team including from Palms and Crisis service, learning from other evidence-based frameworks and approaches.
  • Involvement in service development
  • Opportunities to provide line management and clinical supervision to other members of the MHST team
  • 5% on top of basic salary high cost allowance supplement (subject to a minimum and a maximum payment pro rata)
  • 27 days holiday rising to 33 days (depending on NHS Trust service) plus bank holidays (pro rata where applicable)
  • One of the UK's best pension schemes
  • Special Leave for family and personal reasons
  • NHS Car Lease Scheme (for substantive staff)
  • Eye Care Vouchers
  • Employee Assistance Programme
  • NHS Discounts

A full valid driving license and access to a car to use regularly for business purposes is essential (unless you have a disability as defined by the Equality Act 2010).

Closing date for applications will be midnight on 14th May 2023with interviews running on 22nd May 2023 Interviews will be run using MS Teams and full details and instructions will be provided to successful candidates.

For further details / informal visits contact:

Sarah Garvey - MHST Team Lead, Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust on 01727 732031 or email: hct.mhst@nhs.net
Whilst it is not a legal requirement, Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust encourages and supports all staff to be vaccinated as this remains the best line of defence against COVID-19. We are committed to supporting flexible working options for staff, wherever possible, and welcome discussions on flexible working patterns to support our staff to maintain a healthy work life balance.

Person Specification



  • Successful completion of the HEE commissioned 1yr 'Education Mental Health Practitioner' course. Or CWP course
  • A further relevant degree qualification
  • Experience in relevant mental health/learning disability setting


  • A relevant teaching qualification
  • Further training in relevant areas of Autism, Learning disabilities and Mental health

Experience and Knowledge


  • Experience of working with children and young people, their families, and others.
  • Experience of working with children with learning disability and or Autism and/or mental health
  • Experience of Assessment
  • Experience of safeguarding, assessing risk and communicating concerns
  • Experience of working and liaising with a wide variety of agencies and stakeholders
  • Experience of working with children who cannot communicate verbally
  • Experience of adapting resources to support additional SEN needs
  • Experience working in a service which has agreed targets in place to demonstrate clinical outcomes.
  • Experience in using an electronic clinical records and data collection system.
  • Excellent IT skills including use of databases, spreadsheets, and PowerPoint presentations
  • An ability and commitment to work as a member of a team and effectively communicate,


  • Experience of working with children and their families in a healthcare and education setting
  • An understanding of the impact of learning disability, Autism and mental health difficulties and challenging behaviour on family life.
  • Experience of working with children and young people who have social, emotional and/or behavioural difficulties, and those who have experienced a mental health problem
  • Knowledge of evidence-based practice
  • Experience of working with anxiety disorders, affective (mood) disorders
  • Experience of navigating complex social systems and environments, who may have conflicting priorities or agendas
  • Experience of working with looked after children
  • Experience of working with other vulnerable groups
  • Experience of educating others to work with additional needs
  • Experience of supporting staff wellbeing and emotional resilience
  • Understanding of how to embed emotional wellbeing support into the school environment

Skills & Abilities


  • Demonstrates an understanding of anxiety, depression, and challenging behavior and how it may present in universal services
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the impact Autism and/or learning disability can have on a family environment
  • Demonstrates understanding of the need to use evidence based psychological models and how it relates to this post
  • Knowledge of factors affecting acceptability and accessibility of mental health care
  • Knowledge of educational environments
  • Knowledge of safeguarding issues
  • Ability to carry out 1:1 therapeutic mental health intervention with children/families
  • Ability to conduct groups and workshops with children with Autism and or learning disability
  • Ability to conduct group teacher or parenting workshops
  • Ability to work within educational settings to increase mental health awareness within the staff group
  • Ability to conduct mental health assessments of children and young people
  • Ability take appropriate action to mitigate or manage risk
  • Ability to teach others about mental health issues


  • Demonstrates knowledge of the stressors young people may encounter in an educational setting and the impact that these can have on mental health
  • Knowledge of Mental capacity Act
  • Knowledge of the functional operation of PALMS and specialist CAMHS teams
  • Knowledge of the school's safeguarding procedures and who the Designated Safeguarding Lead, (DSL), is in each establishment that they work in
  • Ability to be creative in your presentations and adapt to meet the individual needs of your audience.

Personal Qualities


  • An interest in and commitment to working with children who have a learning disability and/or Autism and/or mental health difficulties
  • Ability to work with children and young people whose behavior is personally challenging
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Able to write clear reports and letters
  • Ability to work within a team and foster good working relationships
  • Ability to meet targets and deadlines
  • Ability to manage potentially distressing phone calls and situations
  • Values that match the positive behavior ethos.
  • Capable of using initiative and managing professional boundaries
  • Ability to recognize the emotional consequences of working with children with distressing and life changing disorders and seek support if needed
  • Ability to recognize signs of stress and seek appropriate support
  • Ability to work as part of a virtual team
  • Able to challenge and be challenged
  • Ability to use clinical supervision positively and effectively
  • Able to develop good therapeutic relationships with young people
  • Ability to deliver interventions to groups (Young people and parent groups)
  • Skills in delivering Guided Self

    Any attachments will be accessible after you click to apply.


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