The Champions’ Model: A way forward for collaborative working  


The Champions’ model was set up in Belfast Health and Social Care Trust (BHSCT) in October 2012 as part of the regional Think Family NI initiative. There are approximately 68 Champions in BHSCT spanning social work and nursing. All of these individuals have an interest in the area of parental mental health and give of their time to act as a link person for their team in line with the above objectives.

The aims of the project are:

  • Improve communication across the mental health & children’s services interface
  • Promote collaborative working
  • Improve outcomes for families where there is parental mental ill health.


The work of the project was recognised with a Poster Award at a recent international Think Family Symposium in Belfast, which was sponsored by Queen’s University, School of Midwifery & Nursing and HSCB, Think Family NI.  The Champions’ project was one of three recipients out of nineteen contributors.


The Symposium also launched the findings from the HSCB commissioned “Study of Health & Social care Professionals Family Focused Practice with Parents who have mental illness, their Children & Families in NI”. Copies of the report are available by clicking here


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For further information please contact Mary Donaghy by email at