First Steps

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  • First Steps is an early intervention community service which helps children and young people (0-18) experiencing many common problems with emotional wellbeing, relationships, behaviour and mental health.
  • A range of individual, family and group interventions, including parenting support.
  • Mental health promotion and teaching, training and consultation to frontline professionals working with children and young people. 
  • Development of projects which support and empower parents and community groups. 
  • Referral onto other services within the CAMHS Alliance as required by level of need. 
  • We are part of the Wellbeing and Mental Health in Schools (WAMHS) project, with clinicians based in Primary Schools across City & Hackney.
  • We work with community groups and the voluntary sector colleagues in a number of co-produced projects supporting children, young people and families wellbeing. We are based in GP surgeries and children centres across City and Hackney.


Eligibility criteria


We work with children and adolescents:

  • Aged 0-18 years.
  • With mild to moderate mental health difficulties.
  • With a GP in City & Hackney. 
  • Where the legally responsible parent/guardian has given consent for referral. 
  • Who have psychological difficulties which are likely to be helped by a short-term psychological intervention. We offer a range of intervention options including workshops and webinars for young people and parents, groups for parents, online self-help, and up six sessions of individual psychological support in our community basis.



First Steps won’t work with families open to Children’s Social Care at the point of referral (but this does not include families open to Early Help, who we will see).

How to refer

The following clinicians can refer to this service: GPs, Nurses

EMIS form

Referral methods: e-Referrals, EMIS managed referral

If you have had a conversation with a child or family, to enable effective safeguarding and risk practices, please refer the family to the appropriate CAMHS service or MASH (Children’s Social Care) directly. 


First Steps only accepts self-referrals from children families who are not currently open or being seen by a professional.

If you have spoken to a young person or family, please refer direct to the most appropriate CAMHS service.  The feedback received from families is this has helped them not to have to re-tell their story at times when the often feel most vulnerable.

9am - 5pm

020 7014 7079