Under 5's Team

The Islington CAMHS Early Years Service (0-5 teams)

The Early Years Service (EYS) provides early intervention and prevention services for children 0-5 years of age (up to their 6th birthday) and their families.
Our work is aimed at supporting parents, babies and young children, promoting child development, positive parent-child relationships, and supporting children’s and parent’s emotional well-being, and mental health.
The EYS is made up of CAMHS clinicians including: Clinical Psychologists, Parent-Infant Psychotherapists, Child Psychotherapists, Family Therapists and Educational Psychotherapists, who have lots of experience of working with babies, young children and families.
The team’s work is supported by Assistant Psychologists, Placement Students and an Administrator.
Please note: We are available during the Covid-19 pandemic and can offer a range of remote sessions such as phone or video calls. We are an inclusive service and have experience working with a range of families from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds including families whose first language is not English via the support of accredited interpreters.

The Early Years Sevice is made up of the following teams

Parent and Baby Psychology Service (0-5 years)

We know that adjusting to parenthood can be challenging and can lead to difficult feelings that can sometimes interfere with the enjoyment of parenting. The Parent and Baby Psychology Service  (PBPS) offers help to parents to be and parents with a baby under one in this situation.
We run weekly psychology clinics for expectant parents and parents, with babies under one year, who are finding the transition to parenthood challenging. This may show through low mood, anxiety or finding it difficult to bond with their baby.
These appointments provide a safe place for expectant mothers and fathers to share in confidence their thoughts and feelings about becoming a parent. Some of these clinics are run in Health Centres and others in Children’s Centres.
Appointments can be offered individually or with the baby present, with an average of 6-10 sessions. Sometimes partners or other family members can join if helpful. The service does not accept self-referrals.
For a referral to the PBPS please approach your health visitor or GP.

Growing Together Services (1-5 years)

Growing Together is a service that helps families with their mental health and well-being.

Growing Together works with the adults and children (aged 1-5) in a family to support their mental health and wellbeing. This support might be for problems with emotions, behaviours and or relationships. We welcome referrals and self-referrals from families from diverse backgrounds, cultures and non-heteronormative families. 
How you may be feeling: Stressed out and overwhelmed, tearful and upset or anxious.

What we do: We can work with you in different ways, and sometimes a combination of these works best:

  • Parental mental health interventions:
    We can offer therapies to tackle common adult mental health issues like depression and anxiety, including CBT and other therapies. Therapy often involves understanding how the past influences you, as well as developing ideas for things you can do differently in the here-and-now. We offer a range of interventions and tailor the support we offer to each individual family.

  • Integrated Family Work:
    We can work with parents to understand what might be causing or keeping a problem going. When we understand the problem better, we can think together to work out some solutions. This might involve changes in routines, rules, or strategies. We always work with parents to find solutions that fit their family’s needs

  • Family Therapy:
    This therapy is based on the idea that the way people interact with others, influences the way individuals think, act and feels about themselves and their difficulties. It focuses on relationships and ways that people in families interact in the present, and how this might be influenced by the family’s experiences, history and surroundings.
    In Family Therapy we use talking and other ways of communicating. We may ask you to think about inviting a range of different people from the family to attend.

Family Therapy helps people in close relationships to:

  • think about how to help each other
  • express and explore difficult thoughts and emotions safely
  • understand each other’s experiences and views
  • build on strengths in their relationship
  • make changes in their relationships and lives.
    Find out more from the Association for Family Therapy.

  • Parent-Infant Psychotherapy:
    We work with parents and children to help them communicate better and enjoy each other. The therapist helps parents to think about their child’s play, emotions and behaviour. Parents also have opportunities to reflect on their own experience of being a child and how they would like to care for and set limits for their child.


  • MindSkills:
    This course aims to help parents who feel low in mood, anxious, stressed or lacking in confidence. Being a parent can be tough so it offers you a chance to learn more about worry and low mood and learn different ways of handling these times.

    The course is based on cognitive behavioural principles, which have been researched and found to be effective in helping with these problems.

    The course is practical and the aim is to help you to develop skills to use in your day to day life. For that reason, it includes exercises to do during each session and between sessions, as well as helpful summary hand outs that you can keep.

  • Mellow Parenting workshops:
    We run Mellow Parenting groups for mums who would like support with the challenges of parenting. It’s a day-long group in which group members share with each other their ideas and experiences, while their children attend a crèche. In the morning, mums are given a space to think about their own experiences, both past and present.

    At lunchtime the mums, children and group facilitators all eat together and take part in a fun activity with the children. In the afternoon we think about parenting and how to understand and manage children’s behaviour.

    Videos of group members with their child are used to help promote discussion about parenting challenges, and to receive advice and support from the group. Click here for more information.

  • Growing Together Workshops:
    The Growing Together team offers various workshops. These workshops are offered in the form of one-off sessions which aim to provide help to parents in common areas that they may be struggling with.

    The Calmer Nights Sleep Workshop explores ways to improve both parents’ and children’s sleep and offers support to help parents feel more confident about their family’s routine.

    The Mindfulness & Parenting workshop explores how mindfulness can help bring some calm to family life. The workshop aims to help parents to focus their attention on the present moment while parenting.

No referral is needed to join these workshops, if you are interested in joining one of our workshops you can sign up on our Eventbrite page . Please note that you can only register 4-6 weeks prior the workshop. Our courses are popular so Please let us know  if you cannot attend as spaces fill up quickly.

Where would I see someone?
We work with families in various community locations in Islington, like children’s centres or health centres.


How can I see the Growing Together team?
If you think that Growing Together could help your family, then please speak with your health visitor, GP, or someone from your local Children’s Centre, nursery or school. They can talk to you about what support you would like and contact Growing Together for you.

Self-refer, by calling iCope on 0303 123 1000. One of the therapists from Growing Together will then telephone you to arrange a meeting.
We are a partnership between iCope, Adult Mental Health Service (Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust) and Child and Adolescent Mental Health services (Whittington Health NHS Trust) and information is shared between the two NHS Trusts.

How can I get involved?
We want parents to be involved in Growing Together in as many different ways as possible – in fact the parents from the Growing Together group helped us choose our name and service logo.

If you have any ideas or would like to suggest ways we can improve our service, we would love to hear from you. Call us on 0203 316 1824 or email growingtogether@nhs.net to get involved.


CAMHS in Bright Start Islington Children's Centres Service (0-5 years)

CAMHS in Bright Start Islington Children’s Centres Team supports children up to the age of 5, and their families, in the local community.

CAMHS clinicians work in each of the 16 children’s centres in Islington, and across each of the 3 Bright Start Islington Areas (North, Central and South). We also work with Private, Voluntary and Independent nurseries and Islington School nurseries, with children with Priority Early Learning places. For more information visit Bright Start Islington.
We offer up to 5 sessions of assessment and support to young parents and children, if there are concerns about a child’s emotional well-being, behaviour or development.

  • Appointments
    We can talk through your concerns and come up with ideas to support your child and family. This might be a one-off meeting to discuss your concerns, which helps you to get back on track, or that links you with other useful services. Alternatively, it may lead to some more appointments. 

    We will try to meet you at a children’s centre near you or can meet you remotely.
    Sometimes we may decide with you that a different service or another part of Islington CAMHS would be helpful for your child or family.

  • Workshops
    We run workshops for parents, in the community, to help deal with common challenges in early childhood, such as;
    • Sleep (under 1s)
    • Feeding/Eating
    • Behaviour
    • Building positive relationships
    • Toilet training.

    These workshops are advertised and booked through Bright Start Islington in Children’s Centres and via the Family Information Service fis@islington.gov.uk

  • Consultation and Training
    We also offer consultation and training for nursery workers and Bright Start Islington staff, to support their work with children under 5 and their families.

  • How to speak to a CAMHS in Bright Start Islington CAMHS Clinician
    You can speak with your Health Visitor, Midwife, GP or someone from your nursery or local children’s centre. They will get in touch with us to discuss whether we are the right service for you. Or you can discuss a referral on 020 3316 1824.

    We work across the borough so will try to meet with you at a location that is most convenient to you.

The Incredible Years Parenting Groups Service (1-6 years)

The Early Years Parenting Groups Service runs Incredible Years parenting groups for parents of toddlers and young children, in Islington Children’s Centres.

CAMHS clinicians run the groups together with Bright Start Islington, Family Engagement Workers. The Toddler Parenting Group is for parents with children 1-3 years of age. The Early Childhood group is for parents with children 3-6 years of age.
Incredible Years parenting groups are Evidence Based Groups. The groups have been shown to help families by improving parent-child relationships, increasing parental confidence, improving parental knowledge of child development and developing positive parenting skills.
Incredible Years groups run for 14 or 15 weeks and start in the autumn and spring term each year, with breaks for school holidays. There can be a creche or childcare support if required. The groups are run across the borough. 
Please contact the Family Information Service fis@islington.gov.uk for up –to-date information about when and where the next groups are running.  You can self-refer through  020 7527 7000, Bright Start Islington your local children’s centre or by calling CAMHS on 020 3316 1824.
The Parenting Groups Service also runs School Age Incredible Years Parenting Groups for Parents of children 6-10 years, together with Bright Start 5-19.
For more Information on these groups please contact CAMHS on 020 3316 1824, or Bright Start 5-19 Early.Help@islington.gov.uk or 020 7527 4343.

Useful resources and links:

The Association of Child Psychotherapists has a very helpful series of leaflets called Understanding Childhood. They cover topics such as crying and sleeping, separation and changes in the early years, temper and tantrums, over activity, emotional development, bereavement, divorce and separation.
You can find these on their website The Association of Child Psychotherapists and many of them are in the resources section of our website.

For up to date support information about please see below links:
Last updated03 Nov 2023
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