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Sarah Gaskell

Sarah Gaskell

Children and Young People Key Worker Service - Statutory Health Lead, Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust

Sarah Gaskell was appointed the Statutory Lead for the West Yorkshire Keyworker Service in January 2023. This is a collaborative role between Bradford District Care Trust and Barnardo’s. Sarah is employed by Bradford District Care Trust and is based full time with Barnardo’s who are commissioned by the West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership (WYHCP) to deliver keyworking services across West Yorkshire.

Keyworker Services were a recommendation by Dame Christine Lenehan in the ‘These are our children’ review and are encompassed in the NHS Long Term Plan. By 2023/24 all young people who are Autistic and/or who have a Learning Disability who are at risk of mental health hospital admission, will have the support of a Keyworker.

Sarah’s role is to lead the collaborative partnership between the NHS and Barnardo’s for the delivery of this provision within West Yorkshire’s 5 areas: Leeds, Bradford, Kirklees, Calderdale and Wakefield, and 4 NHS trusts. This includes working with all 13 Dynamic Support Registers that focus on meeting the complex needs of children and young people across the area and preventing inappropriate mental health hospital admission.

Sarah’s portfolio also includes the Specialist Keyworker Provision which is a trailblazing project focusing on meeting the intersectional needs of young people where gaps were identified within existing provision. This includes: LGBTQ+, Eating Disorders and Disordered Eating, Mental Health Inpatients, Youth Justice and Secure Estate, Care Experienced Young People and Transitions.

Prior to this role, Sarah was a Team Manager in a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS). She established and managed the Neurodiverse Inclusive Support Team before moving on to manage both the Core/Specialist and latterly the Crisis Team before embarking on her current role.

Sarah is a qualified Social Worker by profession, starting her career in Sheffield in the Youth Justice field. Over 7 years, Sarah worked with young people subject to statutory court orders, worked in Crown and Magistrates Court and collaborated with South Yorkshire Police in Gang Prevention Initiatives. Lastly, Sarah worked alongside colleagues in the secure estate at Wetherby Young Offenders Institute including a secondment to the Resettlement Consortium to evaluate outcomes from Custodial Sentences.

Sarah moved to a West Yorkshire Multi-Academy Trust within the education sector in to lead and embed mental health and wellbeing support across the trust. After 5 years in education, Sarah moved to CAMHS as a Crisis Practitioner before her appointment in management (as above).

Sarah’s career demonstrates a commitment to children and young people. She is dedicated to a person-centred, multi-agency approach to system change in order to meet the challenges of delivering safe and sustainable services. Sarah has extensive experience of working across sectors and developing integrated approaches to delivering high quality services which listen to and champion the views and voices of young people.

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