Who are Specialist Community Advisors (SCAs)?

SCAs are a team of qualified professionals who are all experienced in working cartoon of people holding giant jigsaw pieces within child and adolescent mental health. We are from a range of professional backgrounds and are all registered under professional bodies. We all have an Enhanced DBS check. View the SCA leaflet.

What are the aims of the service?

We aim to offer a place-based service to develop a ‘prevention and promotion’ approach for those working with children, young people and families in primary care, social care, voluntary and community sector, and education. Our aims are to enable and empower you to develop skills and confidence in helping young people manage and improve their own mental health, and helping you identify and offer effective initial support. The THRIVE model informs the aims of our service.

What do we offer?

Consultation: This is offered to individual professionals or groups, via telephone, face-to-face or virtual platforms. Consultation assists with the identification of mental health needs in partnership with you. Together we consider appropriate and evidence-based ways to advise and signpost you in meeting these needs. Consultation is for advanced level Early Help Practitioners.

Training: A rolling programme offers mental health awareness training and follow-on topics to increase understanding of specific child and adolescent mental health difficulties. This is open to all who work with children and young people. We also offer training to parents and carers.

Liaison: Multi-professional meetings and networking for working collaboratively. 

Strategic planning: Proactively responding to local need, engaging in joint planning to develop protocols and mental health strategies. Influencing ‘whole school approach’ to mental health prevention and early help in education, for students and staff.

Groups and workshops: We offer a ‘role-model’ function to you in developing and initially co-facilitating groups and workshops on topics such as anxiety, exam resilience and self-harm. 

Who can access the SCA team?

Any person working with children and young people, across statutory, voluntary and community services, for example;

  • Education staff
  • School nurses
  • MAT 
  • Social care 
  • Foster carer 
  • GPs
  • Police and criminal justice staff
  • Voluntary and community sector
  • Community paediatricians
  • Pro-social activity staff 

The child/young person must be registered with a Derbyshire/Derby City GP. For each child, young person and their family that you wish to discuss with us, we request that you have shared with them your concerns, and that you’re sharing information with us to best help alleviate the presenting needs. Please make the child and family aware that you will be contacting us. As part of our offer for consultation we require a ‘consultation contract’ to be in place.

Please contact the member of the SCA team for your area.

Contact us


If you are struggling to make contact with the SCA team, please use the CAMHS duty number 0300 123 9164 or leave a message with Saba Shameem, Team Administrator, by calling Temple House 0300 7900 264.

Making a SPOA Referral

To make a referral to SPOA please download and fill out the SPOA form and send to dhcft.SPOA@nhs.net

Derby and Derbyshire Emotional Health and Wellbeing Website

This website is a signposting website for Derby and Derbyshire which contains local and national links and resources and is updated regularly.